What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in life?

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bogledogle
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What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in life?

Post by bogledogle » Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:04 pm

What were you ignorant of, or learned too late or years after you started investing, that would have helped you only if you knew about earlier in life. Maybe some of us are still making those mistakes and it's not too late to correct? :sharebeer

I'll start with my own:

1) I was unaware that Roth IRA existed for the first 5 years of my working life.
2) I contributed just enough to get employer match in my 401K for many years.
3) Did not buy a house in HCOL during the 2012 downmarket. :oops:

SnowBog
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Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

Post by SnowBog » Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:20 pm

bogledogle wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:04 pm
1) I was unaware that Roth IRA existed for the first 5 years of my working life.
  • Knew about Roth - but didn't know about Backdoor Roth (for those who can't contribute directly)
  • Similarly, did not know about Mega Backdoor Roth - didn't know/use for 7+ years I could have...
  • Asset Allocation - you mean I'm supposed to do something other than pick the "best" funds in my plan??? :shock:
  • Index Investing & Three Fund Portfolio - have simplified my financial life - helping me avoid risks (known and unknown)...
  • Sell ESPP shares immediately for guaranteed returns (and reducing risk by a concentrated position tied to your income stream)
  • Most recently the potential benefits of I Bonds and EE Bonds (parallel threads - I like the "Build Your Own Annuity" perspective - but requires a 20+ year lead time for full benefits)

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Sandtrap
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Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

Post by Sandtrap » Wed Apr 08, 2020 6:21 pm

Thoughts and Actionable Precepts on Wealth and Substantial Wealth (vs investing, FI)

1 Given a choice between going to Med School or Finance. . . . . Take Med School. :shock:
2 Education, Education, Education, . . . . one reliable "shortcut". . . to financial security. (not necessarily wealth)
3 Hard Work and Ambition and Goals without strategy is null.
4 Land = R/E . . . is one basis for substantial wealth (in the old days)
5 Mentors . . . . find them. . .keep finding them. . . of any age. . .
6 Heroes. . . find them. . .keep finding them. . . of any age. . .
7 Humility . . . Propriety. . . . Get it.
8 Supportive of one's goals, maturity, intellect, integrity, in one's peer group. . or change it.
9 Have a big vision that will take more than a lifetime to achieve. . . . stick to it.
10 Forget Wealth if you need: vacations, time off, leave, no more than a 40 hour work week, job security, toys, and a predictable path.
11 Forget Wealth if you shun being alone, are insecure, need shallow self esteem, do not want attention or to stand out.
12 Contribute to the greater good because Wealth pursued for personal gain or narcissism does not last.
13 Investing is what one does with profits and earnings. . . increase earnings (trees). . wisely invest (fruit)
IE: focus on earning power, income streams, business profits, etc. (play offense).
14 Do what you love and have a passion for, mix in limitless ambition and drive, have a vision. . . then. . . . >>
IE: if you're a welder, open a chain of muffler shops
IE: if you love pizza . . . . Papa Johns.. .
IE: if you love books. . . . .Amazon.com

j :happy
Last edited by Sandtrap on Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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birdog
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Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

Post by birdog » Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:21 pm

That nobody can outperform or time the market over the long term. I'll never forget the day that concept was proven to me through cold hard data. I'd call it an epiphany based on the way it has changed my investing life.

The Broz
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Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

Post by The Broz » Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:23 pm

I wish I had read The Total Money Makeover earlier. I never had a big problem with debt, but I never had any structure in terms of what to save for retirement, what an emergency fund should contain, etc.

TravelforFun
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Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

Post by TravelforFun » Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:24 pm

Knowing the differences between assets and liabilities. Hint: the home you're living in may not be an asset.

TravelforFun

heyyou
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Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

Post by heyyou » Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:24 pm

Live below your means in order to save for the distant future.
Marry someone who is already practicing the above.
Recognize marketing for what it is, and isn't. The truth suffers any time money is involved.
Bull markets and crashes are just part of long term investing, we get paid to tolerate the inevitable volatility.

AlphaLess
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Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

Post by AlphaLess » Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:27 pm

When you are very early in your career (and younger), and when you have reasonable expectation that you pay is going to double in the next 3-5 years, go more than 100% stocks. Not much more. Maybe 120% stocks, 60% intermediate treasuries.

That still gives you 2x1 ratio of stocks vs treasuries, but with a 2x leverage.
"A Republic, if you can keep it". Benjamin Franklin. 1787. | Party affiliation: Vanguard. Religion: low-cost investing.

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tvubpwcisla
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Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

Post by tvubpwcisla » Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:27 pm

Buy low cost index funds, as much as you can, often, and never sell them.

:moneybag
Stay invested my friends.

FishTaco
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Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

Post by FishTaco » Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:31 pm

The most important thing about investing I have learned is this 1 quote:

"I was taught that the strategy to get rich—take concentrated risk, typically with your labor capital/business—is entirely different than the strategy to stay rich, which is to minimize the risks we take, diversify the ones we take as much as possible, keep costs low, tax efficiency high, and don't spend too much." - Larry Swedroe

Other notable things are:
- Don't pick individual stocks.
- Picking your partner is just as important as picking your investments.
- Don't underestimate fixed income.
- Education (in the right field) is probably the best investment you will ever make.

invest4
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Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

Post by invest4 » Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:41 pm

In no particular order:

* Roth IRA and to invest there early in my career
* Mega backdoor Roth
* Simple portfolio...3/4 funds / ETFs
* Value of fixed income / bonds in portfolio
* Rebalancing...particularly during times of market volatility

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SimpleGift
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Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

Post by SimpleGift » Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:51 pm

That a one, two or three fund portfolio can provide all the diversification that one needs over a lifetime.

In the 1990s, when we sold a business and lump-summed into an all taxable portfolio, the conventional wisdom was that one needed numerous asset classes for adequate diversification (ala Roger Gibson in his book Asset Allocation).

With simple life-cycle and total market funds now available, in hindsight these would have been a better choice, with fewer funds to manage over the years. But 30 years later, now that we're retire, all of our diverse funds have too much embedded capital gains in them to be able to practically sell them and simply our holdings.
Last edited by SimpleGift on Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jdamo
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Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

Post by jdamo » Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:03 pm

I am retired for 1 yr now after a 38 career with a lump sum pension and a 401k-that I contributed in for all those years. I am now investing via the Boglehead philosophy using a 40% stocks/60%bonds with a 5 yr emergency fund of cash. I am studying how my AA and portfolio will work in this downturn. I am due to evaluate rebalancing soon so I will see. An intermediate check looks ok and moderated the downturn which I was glad to see. Staying with my AA.
Looking back the most important things I realize now:
  • It paid off to save 10% plus company match of 7% over those years! Save in your 401k. Pay yourself first!
      However, I stayed too conservative in cash/bond type fund in the 401k for many earlier years...I didn't want to lose it but wanted to save it no matter what. I got more into stocks in the last years. Now (after Boglehead guide to Investing book and videos) I realize I should have been more aggressive and diversified with say an SP500 equiv fund. I would have achieved more.
        Despite the above, the power of contributing all those years plus the long term compounding of returns (despite 1987, and 2008 and other crashes) really worked and added up over the years.
          I didn't change things and kept saving all those years.
            We also didn't live in the largest house or drive the fanciest cars, but we have a nice house and 2 Lexus that are all paid for!
            • But I drove a Corolla for many years and it's really not that bad! It paid to save!
              Pay off the house in 15 yrs w 15 yr loan...saves lots of interest cost.
                Zero debt to anyone is wonderful!
                  Stay the course!
                I want to sincerely thank the long time Bogleheads and the forum for the advice over the last ~3 years for what I know now and continue to learn!
                Cheers! :sharebeer

                averagedude
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                Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

                Post by averagedude » Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:38 pm

                I've made some mistakes in building wealth and these are some things I wish I had known when I was younger.
                1. An employee stock purchase plan isn't always a good deal.
                2. It is wiser and safer to be invested in broad based index funds instead of individual stocks.
                3. Purchasing mutual fund investments by past performance is a mistake.
                4. Entrepreneurship has the potential of higher earning than working for an employer. I actually knew this but was unwilling to take the risk.
                5. Emergency funds invested in cash equivalents is overrated if you have a stable job, have little debt, and live below your means.
                In my opinion, the single best advice on building wealth, is to invest a double digit percentage of the first paycheck that you receive in life and continue doing it till you bag work. This is one thing that I did do.

                02nz
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                Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

                Post by 02nz » Wed Apr 08, 2020 8:47 pm

                I was not aware of the Roth IRA for the first 3 years or so of my career, when income was lowest and it would've really made sense to max those out.

                I also did not fully understand the implications of the progressive income tax system for withdrawals from tax-deferred balances (that is, you can potentially pay much lower taxes on that money in retirement), and so did not max those out in some high-earning years when I really should have.

                And I didn't take advantage of an HDHP/HSA in many years when it was available and it made sense for me. That might be the most expensive mistake of all. Coulda shoulda woulda!

                And: Past performance is no guarantee (often not even an indication) of the future.

                Low cost is the single biggest factor in maximizing returns. You get what you don't pay for.

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                Nate79
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                Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

                Post by Nate79 » Wed Apr 08, 2020 9:33 pm

                Stop spending money and save as much as possible.

                flaccidsteele
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                Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

                Post by flaccidsteele » Wed Apr 08, 2020 11:40 pm

                Buy US index regularly
                Buy more US index during bears
                Rinse and repeat

                The US market always recovers. Always

                It’s never different this time

                Successful investing is simple and boring [deleted -- mod oldcomputerguy]
                The US market always recovers. It’s never different this time. Retired in my 40s. Investing is a simple game of rinse and repeat

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                UpsetRaptor
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                Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

                Post by UpsetRaptor » Wed Apr 08, 2020 11:59 pm

                I wish I'd found bogleheads.org earlier. If you're in your 20s and reading this forum, consider yourself lucky.

                james22
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                Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

                Post by james22 » Thu Apr 09, 2020 12:11 am

                Your band isn't going to make it big.

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                AerialWombat
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                Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

                Post by AerialWombat » Thu Apr 09, 2020 12:18 am

                Investing: Start early, keep it simple, lose your password.

                Building wealth was the polar opposite, and a lesson I learned too late: Think bigger, complicate your life. You can’t build a company by keeping things simple.

                oldfort
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                Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

                Post by oldfort » Thu Apr 09, 2020 12:20 am

                If I could give advice to 18 year old me, it would be to earn a higher income. Probably, I would say go to law or med school. Don't get a MS in engineering as a full time student. Even being funded, I still lost out on the opportunity cost of not working those two years. Don't have a career with the federal government, at least not in the IC.

                phxjcc
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                Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

                Post by phxjcc » Thu Apr 09, 2020 12:38 am

                1. Don't believe the stock option "road to riches" hype.

                I got AAA options at 60, BBB at 80, and CCC at 40.
                AAA was bought by ZZZ for 30 (hi tech)
                BBB was bought by YYY for 15 (telecom)
                CCC was bought by XXX for 25 (fintech)

                I did make 15K on DDD options, however--but I was there 12 years.

                2. The rule of 72
                3. "Where are all the customers yachts?"
                4. You need to understand YOUR OWN risk tolerance, not your Uncle Dave' (who lives in Vegas, baby, yeah!), or your buddy in charge of west coast sales: Marty (who makes 4x what you make), nor Aunt Louise that lived through the depression and picked cotton in Bakersfield after being a Debutante in St Louis.
                5. The most important: have a hard discussion about money and how it will be handled and what it will be used for BEFORE marriage, before engagement, before moving in together. Period.
                6. Last add: always have a plan B; not quite the "SHTF prepper" scenario, but if you get laid off, sick, disabled AND divorced all at once WTH will you do? By this I mean, what is your absolute minimum run rate expense secanrio and how would you fund it?
                It may not happen, but when you already have a plan, it is easier to deal with the bumps in the road knowing you have a plan.

                Monsterflockster
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                Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

                Post by Monsterflockster » Thu Apr 09, 2020 12:49 am

                What I would tell a younger me:
                  Invest early. Even in college when I was really, really poor (like the only thing we had to eat was a bag of potatoes for 2 weeks poor) stashed $10 a month or whatever I could into a Roth.
                    A home is a long term investment. If the market crashes stay put if you can and wIt it out.
                      The market is a long term investment. If the market crashes stay put if you can and wIt it out.
                        As a teacher go straight to public school and build years of service for that pension. Private schools look pretty but terrible in the long term financial picture.
                          Terrible financial decision to buy that GT Mustang right out of college but sometimes you just gotta pay up for what you want.

                          dru808
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                          Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

                          Post by dru808 » Thu Apr 09, 2020 1:33 am

                          Did not start till I was 28, wish I would’ve started at 18.
                          60% US equity | 25% International equity | 15% US Treasury bonds

                          Ari
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                          Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

                          Post by Ari » Thu Apr 09, 2020 1:52 am

                          I didn't know that you could invest and build wealth.

                          Once I learned that investing was a thing, at about age 30, I researched it and I think I got most of the important ideas figured out pretty quickly. but nobody told me you could invest in the stock market and make money. Growing up, we talked about being independently wealthy, but when making these calculations for how much money we'd need, we always assumed we were limited to whatever interest rate you get at a bank account. This stuff just isn't part of the conversation in Sweden. Whenever this subject comes up in conversation, many still assume that stock investing is a zero-sum game (that is, the average investor has a return of zero). People think they'd need three million dollars to retire, or some even more ridiculously huge number. It's gotten better with the pension reforms, but this stuff isn't really part of the conversation in Sweden. Working until whatever age the government tells you you can retire at and then accepting whatever the government decides to give you is just assumed as a fact of life.
                          All in, all the time.

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                          Portfolio7
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                          Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

                          Post by Portfolio7 » Thu Apr 09, 2020 2:07 am

                          james22 wrote:
                          Thu Apr 09, 2020 12:11 am
                          Your band isn't going to make it big.
                          Ha!

                          I had a teacher who told us he had a chance to invest in Chicago before they made it big. He was still teaching us, so obviously he decided against it.

                          I had a friend (whom I met years later) whose band was up for a potential contract, it was down to two bands. They lost out to Huey Lewis and the News. I have no idea if the decision was a close one or not! He was a great guy, but unfortunately passed some years ago.
                          "An investment in knowledge pays the best interest" - Benjamin Franklin

                          Carter3
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                          Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

                          Post by Carter3 » Thu Apr 09, 2020 2:10 am

                          Index funds and keep investing on schedule

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                          Harry Livermore
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                          Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

                          Post by Harry Livermore » Thu Apr 09, 2020 7:33 am

                          I was lucky to have started saving, in and out of IRAs, very early, like 21, and bought my first house at 26. I have always been frugal, and very DIY around the house, foregoing services with ongoing fees like cable TV, trash pickup, lawn cutting, etc. However, I definitely blundered around somewhat in my investing life.
                          I probably:
                          • believed in the "skilled manager" for far too long, and pored over Morningstar for too many hours, choosing managed funds. I also bought some VG index funds, notably S&P 500 and Total Market, early on. But I was probably 30 years old before it really sank in what a futile search it was to find "that really smart team".
                          • should have paid more attention to the influence of tech in my small stock-picking fund. I avoided anything "hot" like the plague, as a devoted Buffett/ Lynch fellow should. But in my discussions with fellow investment club members, I also took a pass on all the FAANG stocks (yes I know I own them via indexes anyway) In particular, I had a discussion with a club member in 1997, when it seemed Apple was like 2 weeks away from running out of cash. We thought, what the hell? It's $7 a share. But it seemed too risky.
                          • should have continued finding good companies to build up positions via DRIP plans. Yes I know it's Bogleheads, but I had a terrific result owning 12 or so companies that's I'd throw in $150 per quarter. At some point, the dividend reinvestment was nearly the same as what I was putting in. I built up several-hundred-plus share positions in good companies this way. But when I really threw in the towel on active, I mostly stopped investing this way. I really wish I had found just a few more companies and done the DRIP. Maybe I still will!

                          I think that's it. I am mostly really proud of how I have conducted my personal finances. I may be a mediocre husband and dad, a barely OK business guy, but I'm pretty skilled at being cheap, ahem, frugal, and deploying money only when it brings joy or security to me and my loved ones.
                          Cheers

                          sharukh
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                          Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

                          Post by sharukh » Thu Apr 09, 2020 7:40 am

                          Counter party risk is too much risk to take.

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                          Top99%
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                          Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

                          Post by Top99% » Thu Apr 09, 2020 7:55 am

                          1. The value of starting early. We lived at our means until our late 30s and lost precious compounding time as a result.
                          2. Automobiles are the easiest opportunity to save a lot of money. Buy a Toyota or Honda, keep for 10+ years, rinse and repeat.
                          3. Think about every dollar you spend in terms of a trade-off between current value and contributing to your financial independence.
                          4. Take the time to educate yourself on the basics of investing. When I started investing in the 80s that would have meant going to the library to find a book or two. Back then most 401Ks didn't offer index funds but at least it would have helped me pick the least poor active fund.
                          Adapt or perish

                          chuckb84
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                          Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

                          Post by chuckb84 » Thu Apr 09, 2020 8:36 am

                          I think investing for young people consists of learning one difficult concept, and then filling in the details.

                          When I was 25, my conception of 65-year-old me was....dead. I would not have imagined anything else. I don't mean that in a morbid or dystopian way; I just couldn't imagine it.

                          So, the first advice is "pay yourself first", that is, your 65-year-old self.

                          If 25-year-old investors can really BELIEVE in that reality, -then- I'd start in with all the good practical advice in this thread.

                          17outs
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                          Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

                          Post by 17outs » Thu Apr 09, 2020 9:38 am

                          The things I realized later than I should have:

                          1. Debt is the biggest drag on your portfolio. ESPECIALLY car payments. Avoid debt by making more than you spend. It's that simple.
                          2. Save and invest 15% minimum no matter how much you make.
                          3. Work on maxing out Roth IRA before you make too much, then Backdoor Roth and max out 401k, Mega backdoor if you can get it.
                          4. Don't take financial advice from poor people. Would you take medical advice from someone other than your doctor? What do you think your financial advisor's net worth is?
                          5. The best investing you can do isn't sexy. It's boring AF.
                          6. You are more conservative than you think you are. I'm 40 and I am not 100% equities any more even with a 30 year time horizon.
                          7. YOU DON'T NEED WHOLE LIFE, VARIABLE UNIVERSAL LIFE, INDEXED UNIVERSAL LIFE, etc. You need term life and long term disability insurance. Maybe one day you will be self insured.
                          8. Investing and Insurance are different products. ALWAYS.
                          9. As soon as you are out of debt you can truly be free to invest for your future. The sooner the better. I lost at least 10 years of my investing prime to buying 100K+ cars that I now barely remember because I made a lot of money and thought I deserved it and it was okay because I could afford it.

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                          Harry Livermore
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                          Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

                          Post by Harry Livermore » Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:15 am

                          17outs wrote:
                          Thu Apr 09, 2020 9:38 am
                          I lost at least 10 years of my investing prime to buying 100K+ cars that I now barely remember because I made a lot of money and thought I deserved it and it was okay because I could afford it.
                          Wow, is that true? I bet all the cars I have ever purchased put together barely top $100K. Tough lesson indeed. Glad you learned it. That's a really good one to pass along to very young professionals who may be thrown into a high salary situation very early on.
                          Cheers

                          17outs
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                          Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

                          Post by 17outs » Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:45 am

                          Harry Livermore wrote:
                          Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:15 am
                          17outs wrote:
                          Thu Apr 09, 2020 9:38 am
                          I lost at least 10 years of my investing prime to buying 100K+ cars that I now barely remember because I made a lot of money and thought I deserved it and it was okay because I could afford it.
                          Wow, is that true? I bet all the cars I have ever purchased put together barely top $100K. Tough lesson indeed. Glad you learned it. That's a really good one to pass along to very young professionals who may be thrown into a high salary situation very early on.
                          Cheers
                          Maybe not 10 years specifically to cars alone, but def a large contributor. Your car payment shouldn't equal your rent payment. They weren't all sunk costs but 2 were leases that added up to 100k in 5 years. Think about if I had half of that back and invested conservatively. It would have doubled by now. They were a lot of fun, but I don't sit around and reminisce about the cars I used to drive. They simply weren't worth it, but when you are 25...

                          james22
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                          Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

                          Post by james22 » Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:51 am

                          Portfolio7 wrote:
                          Thu Apr 09, 2020 2:07 am
                          james22 wrote:
                          Thu Apr 09, 2020 12:11 am
                          Your band isn't going to make it big.
                          Ha!

                          I had a teacher who told us he had a chance to invest in Chicago before they made it big. He was still teaching us, so obviously he decided against it.

                          I had a friend (whom I met years later) whose band was up for a potential contract, it was down to two bands. They lost out to Huey Lewis and the News. I have no idea if the decision was a close one or not! He was a great guy, but unfortunately passed some years ago.
                          What did your friend end up doing? How did he deal with missing his shot?

                          That he was a great guy suggests he handled it well.

                          I'm long beyond it now, but I know many who've never got past it.
                          chuckb84 wrote:
                          Thu Apr 09, 2020 8:36 am
                          When I was 25, my conception of 65-year-old me was....dead. I would not have imagined anything else. I don't mean that in a morbid or dystopian way; I just couldn't imagine it.
                          THIS.

                          Caduceus
                          Posts: 2729
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                          Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

                          Post by Caduceus » Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:43 pm

                          I'd say that the most important thing is to live life by your own values and not to worry about impressing others with the things you own. My fiance is an investment banker and there's some social pressure to convey success and status by the things that you own. I remember the first time I met some of his colleagues for a social dinner and they were amazed by my used Iphone 5 and the old backpack I was carrying with a small patch over a hole that I got repaired for $10.

                          We're good friends now and I still get razzed over my ultra-frugal habits. My fiance has never bothered to try to "adjust" his friends' perceptions of me by telling them how much I really make. It's just not important to us if people think we're poorer than them or less successful.

                          You will build wealth much faster that way, and you'll be happier too.

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                          Portfolio7
                          Posts: 843
                          Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2016 3:53 am

                          Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

                          Post by Portfolio7 » Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:55 pm

                          james22 wrote:
                          Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:51 am
                          Portfolio7 wrote:
                          Thu Apr 09, 2020 2:07 am
                          james22 wrote:
                          Thu Apr 09, 2020 12:11 am
                          Your band isn't going to make it big.
                          Ha!

                          I had a teacher who told us he had a chance to invest in Chicago before they made it big. He was still teaching us, so obviously he decided against it.

                          I had a friend (whom I met years later) whose band was up for a potential contract, it was down to two bands. They lost out to Huey Lewis and the News. I have no idea if the decision was a close one or not! He was a great guy, but unfortunately passed some years ago.
                          What did your friend end up doing? How did he deal with missing his shot?

                          That he was a great guy suggests he handled it well.

                          I'm long beyond it now, but I know many who've never got past it.
                          He ended up getting married, doing general financial work for megacorp, raised a family, bought into a small business and was growing that nicely before he passed. We met at work, he trained me on my first job with megacorp.

                          We started off talking a lot of baseball. He was a huge Giants fan, and we just became friends. When DW and I were considering starting a family, he's one of the people we talked to about the pros and cons, and he gave us some really great perspectives. I am terrible with musical instruments, so I didn't know that side of him as well, but I know he never stopped playing. From what I could tell he was in some band or other or just hanging with music friends a fair amount, even if it was just to jam a little on the weekends. He and his son would both play in a local band. He was also really involved in his hometown community.

                          He had it together; really dealt with life events well. Even when he related the story, it was more like something cool that happened to him than the big black hole of disappointment it could become for many people. If the near miss bothered him, well, I sure couldn't tell.
                          "An investment in knowledge pays the best interest" - Benjamin Franklin

                          james22
                          Posts: 1698
                          Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 2:22 pm

                          Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

                          Post by james22 » Thu Apr 09, 2020 5:18 pm

                          Thanks, Portfolio7.

                          I think understanding early that chance will play a role in your life is as important a thing to learn as anything else.

                          Better to learn to roll with the punches than believe you've one shot that you'll make or miss.

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                          bertilak
                          Posts: 7523
                          Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:23 pm
                          Location: East of the Pecos, West of the Mississippi

                          Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

                          Post by bertilak » Thu Apr 09, 2020 5:23 pm

                          I would take Nike's advice: Just do it!

                          I went for years without saving or investing. I caught myself in time, but just barely.
                          May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your gizzard. -- Squire Omar Barker (aka S.O.B.), the Cowboy Poet


                          Dottie57
                          Posts: 8675
                          Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:43 pm
                          Location: Earth Northern Hemisphere

                          Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

                          Post by Dottie57 » Thu Apr 09, 2020 5:41 pm

                          1. Bogleheads.org -> three fundportfolio -simple investing - DIY
                          2. I-bonds -

                          khangaroo
                          Posts: 59
                          Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2017 1:11 am

                          Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

                          Post by khangaroo » Thu Apr 09, 2020 5:44 pm

                          Get out of debt as quickly as you can and stay out of debt. My financial life before I was debt-free and after is black and white. I don't agree with all of his teachings but Dave Ramsey will always have a special place in my heart.

                          Don't invest in managed mutual funds, just put it in index funds. When I first started investing at 16, I bought a managed fund and when I sold it 10 years later, it was down $300.

                          Start a Roth IRA as early as you can and max it out every year. I was lucky enough to hear this advice when I turned 18.

                          Your income is your greatest wealth building tool so maximize that however you can. Get more education, push for promotions/raises, ask for more responsibilities aka bigger roles, network in your industry, find other revenue streams, etc.

                          This one is still a TBD because I'm less than a year in but own rental property. I'll let you know how this goes a few decades from now :D

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                          BroIceCream
                          Posts: 218
                          Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:31 pm
                          Location: California

                          Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

                          Post by BroIceCream » Thu Apr 09, 2020 7:29 pm

                          I wish I had...
                          • Known what an expense ratio was early on.
                          • Utilized Fidelity BrokerageLink in my 401K, to choose my own investments.
                          • http://twofundsforlife.com/

                          User avatar
                          Chicken lady
                          Posts: 142
                          Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:46 pm

                          Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

                          Post by Chicken lady » Thu Apr 09, 2020 7:51 pm

                          1. Managed funds are a means of putting my money in someone else's pocket.
                          2. Be patient and work toward goals (have an AA Plan you can live with when the market is down)


                          7eight9
                          Posts: 1084
                          Joined: Fri May 17, 2019 7:11 pm

                          Re: What did you learn about investing or building wealth that would have helped you, if you knew about it earlier in li

                          Post by 7eight9 » Thu Apr 09, 2020 8:16 pm

                          The difference between a professional poker player and a large pepperoni pizza.

                          The pizza can feed a family of four.

                          :happy
                          I guess it all could be much worse. | They could be warming up my hearse.

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