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What was your dumbest purchase ever?

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 6:53 am
by Gekko
What was YOUR dumbest purchase ever?

http://blogs.moneycentral.msn.com/smart ... -ever.aspx

Re: What was your dumbest purchase ever?

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 7:05 am
by VictoriaF
Gekko wrote:What was YOUR dumbest purchase ever?
In 2000, I kept purchasing the stock of the hi-tech company I worked for at the time--on its way down--within my 401(k).

Clothing

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 7:10 am
by jimmydean
Nice Shirt and pants I've only worn once. I bought the clothing at one of those expensive designer stores in Los Vegas, wore it that night to some fancy dinner. I don't remember the total damage, but it was over $2000.

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 7:34 am
by dphmd
Brand-new car, navy blue with black leather seats -- while living in Georgia.

(It seemed like a good idea when I bought the car in December.)

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:20 am
by spacepilot
dphmd wrote:Brand-new car, navy blue with black leather seats -- while living in Georgia.

(It seemed like a good idea when I bought the car in December.)
You mean Georgia the country or Georgia the state? Either way, I don't see why it was a dumb purchase.

My current vehicle is among my dumber and most costly purchases. It handles well, has many features and good safety, but I cannot get past that it has an automatic transmission. Before I bought it, I thought it would be a nice change not having to row the gears myself. But no, I've been having buyer's remorse for 3 years now. Well, good thing my wife will probably take the car when she starts working next year, and I can start looking for a 2nd hand Miata for myself. 8)

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 9:23 am
by ElJay
Probably my current car, but I don't know for sure yet. I'm concerned about the longevity of its automatic transmission plus the engine seems to have developed valve clatter noise (that my dealer can't hear) after only 13,000mi. Oh well, what else do I have emergency funds for other than to have new transmissions and engines dropped into it after the huge 36,000mi warranty expires? :twisted:

Re: What was your dumbest purchase ever?

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 9:27 am
by VictoriaF
Gekko wrote:What was YOUR dumbest purchase ever?
Ask Eliot Spitzer.

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 9:34 am
by dphmd
spacepilot wrote:
dphmd wrote:Brand-new car, navy blue with black leather seats -- while living in Georgia.

(It seemed like a good idea when I bought the car in December.)
You mean Georgia the country or Georgia the state? Either way, I don't see why it was a dumb purchase.
Black leather seats + Georgia (as in Atlanta) sun in July = Pain

(Plus, I should have bought used. :) )

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 9:37 am
by modal
dumbest purchases last year
-Buying clothes I don't wear or just wear once... actually anything I purchased but used once or did not use... I hate clutter
-Second IPOD
-Buying things for dates, things fizzle out ( :( ), and then I get stuck with those things :evil: I see the same pattern this year. :lol:

Last year, I upgraded my computer. Upgrade was useful but I probably would have been better off buying/putting a new one together when all was done.

I have a lot of choices on dumbest purchase but I'll go with a Yamaha YZ250 dirt bike I got in the early part of this decade.

While I don't believe things make us, I still like Leonard's quote "Everything that you own owns piece of you."

Purchases I hate are those which in the event you are not satisfied are hard to turn over (give away, sell, shoot even dispose of!).

Re: What was your dumbest purchase ever?

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 9:45 am
by modal
VictoriaF wrote:
Gekko wrote:What was YOUR dumbest purchase ever?
Ask Eliot Spitzer.
Why isn't a post like this censored?? :lol:

My thoughts on Spitzer are that he and his wife couldn't find a babysitter and he needed a date. :lol:

I do not really think he made a purchase though. It was more of a rental.

Re: What was your dumbest purchase ever?

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 9:50 am
by VictoriaF
modal wrote:
Why isn't a post like this censored?? :lol:

My thoughts on Spitzer are that he and his wife couldn't find a babysitter and he needed a date. :lol:

I do not really think he made a purchase though. It was more of a rental.
I was thinking of the train tickets ;)

Re: What was your dumbest purchase ever?

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 9:50 am
by SoonerSunDevil
modal wrote:My thoughts on Spitzer are that he and his wife couldn't find a babysitter and he needed a date. :lol:

I do not really think he made a purchase though. It was more of a rental.
If it flies, floats, or flirts, lease it.

Re: What was your dumbest purchase ever?

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:04 am
by modal
VictoriaF wrote:I was thinking of the train tickets ;)
:o
OUJohnNasr wrote:If it flies, floats, or flirts, lease it.


:x, maybe I need to listen to the latter part of that. :lol:

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:08 am
by alec
$450 golf driver. I only play 1-3 times per year, and I'm terrible. :cry:

Re: What was your dumbest purchase ever?

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:10 am
by VictoriaF
deleted

Re: What was your dumbest purchase ever?

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:18 am
by alec
modal wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:I was thinking of the train tickets ;)
:o
OUJohnNasr wrote:If it flies, floats, or flirts, lease it.


:x, maybe I need to listen to the latter part of that. :lol:
Nah, you just need to play "hard to get" more, or remain aloof and ambivalent. Get the opposite sex to seek you out. If you're a guy, the ladies will think you're "interesting", or "there's something about him." Plus, it really lowers the expectations, so almost anything you do appears special. Use "anchoring" and other behavioral tricks to your advantage. :wink:

Note: It worked for me [married w/ 2 kids], and I've never bought anyone a drink in my life.

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:25 am
by modal
alec wrote:$450 golf driver. I only play 1-3 times per year, and I'm terrible. :cry:
My brother in law had an expensive driver. We went golfing and on my first tee off, which was the second time the driver had been used, I knocked the head off the club. :lol:

Re: What was your dumbest purchase ever?

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:28 am
by Bounca
Gekko wrote:What was YOUR dumbest purchase ever?

http://blogs.moneycentral.msn.com/smart ... -ever.aspx
Speaking of Spitzer, what he did was heinous, granted. But the lady celebrity moguls (ThinkThe Vue) out there bashing men over this lately, better check themselves because it goes both ways.

Case in point. My dumbest purchase ever was an engagement ring for a girlfriend when I was 24. She started doing some guy behind my back and it was over from there.

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 11:32 am
by Grt2bOutdoors
1) Buying Fidelity Aggressive Growth just before the peak of the Internet craze and subsequently realizing the manager was not "investing" but speculating by conducting rapid fire trades. The bottom line, I lost over 50% of my investment and realized I needed to develop a better investment plan. In hindsight, had I stayed in the investment, over 7 years later, it is still nowhere close to my original cost.

2) Early on, buying individual stocks on a "tip". Bottom line, I lost 73% of my investment.

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 11:44 am
by LedMizer
I bought a boat. Not just any boat either. I bought a brand new, fully loaded, offshore fishing machine. 8)

B - Break
O - Out
A - Another
T - Thousand

I felt very blessed that some other fool decided to take it off my hands three years later for close to what I paid. I had all of 110 hours on it.

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 11:59 am
by DocHolliday
I bought a new Dodge Avenger in 1996. I traded in a paid-off 1993 Ford pick up truck that I loved. The Avenger was a piece of junk and ended costing me thousands when the warrenty ran out. It was worth little when I traded it in three years later. The 93 Ford would probably have been worth more at that point even with more miles and years. To this day, I do not know what I was thinking.

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 12:48 pm
by serenity
My dumbest and smartest purchase.....

Stock in Sun Microsystems. Bought it because....um....well...I'm not sure. Java was cool. Went up for a while. Went down for a long while. Went back up above what I paid for it. Went sharply up for no reason I could understand. Sold it. Made some money. Had no idea why.

First (dumbest) and last (smartest) individual stock purchase.

serenity

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 1:35 pm
by bolt
I like how you used the terms in your post OUJohnNasr. Very wise,.. some might say yay, or nay.. My dumb purchase was a brand new car in 84. Then again I was a diffrent person in both mind and body then, but I'm sure there were a few more.Good Luck!

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 2:15 pm
by FinanceGeek
Dumbest purchase has been all the "stuff" I've bought over the years and either never or seldom used.

Need to have a laser-focus on EVERYTHING I buy to see if it really is "worth it" and will be used.

Several on my list

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 2:20 pm
by moneyhoney
My #1, was a boatload of QQQ's in November 2000, courtesy of a Bob Brinker timing call ( thanks Bob ), and my own dumb ignorance in following it.

#2 was a boat ( new ), which someone else got a great deal on second hand. Never buy a boat used, there are just too many good used boats out there.

#3 was a car, bought at night from a scumbag car dealer masquerading as as someone down on their luck. I felt sorry for the guy ( big mistake ), and bought a station wagon that A) I couldn't title and B) had a rusted out section in the floor pan under the fold-out jump seat ( great for the kids though, they could watch the highway go by under their feet ).

Best buy was a house in CA in 1997, which made up for the stupidity above, and then some.

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:17 pm
by timid investor
shorting the s&p last easter in excess of 2200% leverage.

Of course those same contracts are would be worth apx 1/2 million today.

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 9:05 pm
by 9Iron
In 1979, I bought a used Ford Mustang II ( aka a pinto with a trunk).
I also bought an extended warranty to protect my investment.

The car was nothing but trouble and the expensive warranty never seemed to cover what needed to be repaired.

On the positive side, I did learn a lot about fixing cars!

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 9:51 pm
by schellhase
Worst was jumping into tech funds in January 2000.

Second worst was a 79 or 80 VW Dasher diesel in reaction the the gas crisis. It was absolutely gutless and stunk, we had to turn the AC off to get up the driveway.

Best was a $500 engagement ring in 1968, it is still paying big time dividends today.

Larry

Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 6:07 am
by DaleMaley
In 1979, I bought a used Ford Mustang II ( aka a pinto with a trunk).
I also bought an extended warranty to protect my investment.

The car was nothing but trouble and the expensive warranty never seemed to cover what needed to be repaired.

On the positive side, I did learn a lot about fixing cars!
I sold my souped up 66 Mustang in 1977 for a used 1974 Mustang II. The camshaft eccentric lobes wore down to round lobes at ~75,000 miles....so bad the pushrods fell off and I was running .....barely.....on 3 of 4 cylinders. I got to learn how to change a camshaft, rollers and bearings :(

Imagine what the souped up 66 Mustang would be worth today :wink:

Vega

Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:56 am
by TimDex
Gee, I wonder what the Chevrolet Vega I bought in the early 70's would be worth today?

Probably not a lot....

Tim

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 2:44 pm
by gunn_show
For some idiot reason I bought the protection package when I got my last car thinking it would protect the seats/paint/etc because it is a convertible. I could have done the same thing with some $10 stuff from Kragen.

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 3:04 pm
by Judsen
Well amoung the many dumb buys I've made was this:
I picked out a pretty emerald green material to have a suit tailor made.
The tailor did a fine job! Perfect fit! However when I put the suit on I felt that I looked like a giant frog.
I paid for the suit and never wore it.
I've made many more expensive mistakes but this one was the silliest.

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 3:30 pm
by turboLT
ElJay wrote:the engine seems to have developed valve clatter noise (that my dealer can't hear) after only 13,000mi. :
shoot me a PM - I'm happy to help! Alot of engines have "ticky" valves and its perfectly OK.

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 3:42 pm
by turboLT
Best - "Boglehead's Guide to Investing" If it weren't for that book (which actually was a gift) and the subsequent onslaught of research that followed, I'd be well on my way to dropping $60k for a career in buy side I banking.

Worst - A '97 Honda VFR that had been down. Twice. Never purchase a wrecked motorcycle unless you enjoy torture and are too snobby to simply poke yourself in the eye.

Not sure - Brand new toyota truck. I wish I hadn't purchased new, but since i'm an amateur mechanic at least I know the vehicle is mint and hasn't been wrenched on by a bunch of kids who don't know and don't care.

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 3:58 pm
by Rager1
Here is a copy of my response in a thread on a different topic:

In September, 1985, we decided to purchase some rental property with the intention of purchasing a property every year for 10 years, taking the generous tax write-offs that were provided for rental property, and then begin selling them off, one-by-one over a period of the next 10 years. Our objective was to reduce our current income taxes, through the rental property write-offs, and use our ultimate rental property profits when we sold them to help fund our future retirement. Our effective total marginal income tax rate in 1985 was 41.3%, so it made a lot of sense, from a taxation point of view, to capitalize on the tax benefits of holding rental property.

Since we felt we were “behind the curve” with this wonderful tax write-off, we purchased 3 properties to get us started, closed on them during the 4th quarter of 1985, and became landlords for the first time. Our plan was to continue purchasing a new property every year for the next 7 years to get us to the point where we owned a total of 10 rental properties. However, in 1986, Congress changed the tax laws regarding write-offs for rental property, taking away the bulk of the tax benefits. Since we were new to the rental business, we decided to keep the 3 properties we owned and abandon our plan to obtain a total of 10 properties. We felt that the 3 properties we owned would eventually provide us with a long term payoff, although we realized the annual tax benefit was gone due to the tax law changes.

We held the rental properties for a total of 17 years, selling them in 2002. When the sales were closed, I did an internal rate of return (IRR) analysis to see how these properties “paid off”. Unfortunately, the IRR was not impressive. The total IRR for the three properties combined was -1.25%. We considered this relatively small loss a learning experience for us.

However, the light bulb went off for us when we went one step further with the analysis. We wanted to know what the “opportunity cost” was for our rental property experience. To do this analysis, we assumed that in the years where the properties had a negative cash flow (where the expenses were greater than the income), that we took that amount of money and invested it in Vanguard’s Total Stock Market Index on the first trading day of the next year. (We ignored the years where there was a positive cash flow (3 years out of the 17 years)).

The end result: an opportunity cost of $553,000!

An expensive learning experience.

Ed

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 4:05 pm
by Midpack
I bought into an IPO for sentimental reasons (a once profitable sailboat company, Pearson, trying to come back to life). Owned the stock for a little over a year, and it went all the way to ZERO. Fortunately I only invested $1,000 --- so I can laugh about it and it makes a good cocktail party story, but it was a really stupid move. I did get a really 'purty' stock certificate though...

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 4:19 pm
by leonard
Judsen wrote:
Well amoung the many dumb buys I've made was this:
I picked out a pretty emerald green material to have a suit tailor made.
The tailor did a fine job! Perfect fit! However when I put the suit on I felt that I looked like a giant frog.
I paid for the suit and never wore it.
I've made many more expensive mistakes but this one was the silliest.
2 more pockets and you would have looked like a pool table, huh?

Re: What was your dumbest purchase ever?

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 5:27 pm
by Valuethinker
Gekko wrote:What was YOUR dumbest purchase ever?

http://blogs.moneycentral.msn.com/smart ... -ever.aspx

Bear Sterns, last week ;-)?

Dumbest purchase

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:06 pm
by jeremiahr
I bought gap insurance on my 2007 Honda Civic... I still see the car sold used for more than I paid for it new (including the insurance).

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:12 pm
by hoxbox
Worse: Brand new Canon 40D SLR camera + lens/accessories for ~$3000 total. I'll be using it twice a year tops when if I go on vacations. With my amature skills a $500 camera would of sufficed...

Best: My current computer which, despite a few minor upgrades here and there, is still the same one I built senior year of high school (almost 10 years ago). It has outlived 3 monitors and 5 mice. I have $1500 set aside this year in case it dies.

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:00 pm
by jeff mc
at the turn of the century, i bought PLUG (small startup fuel cell company) at $10 based on 2 things: a coworkers tip AND seeing it on one of those "5 stocks ya gotta buy now!!!" shows. my 'due diligence' at the time was to not buy a stock until i saw 'buy' signals from two fully independent sources, one of which had to be a nationwide source (tv show, nationwide magazine, wsj, etc).

so, sold it at $5 a few months later. wasn't a high % of portfolio, but still slightly stung, and more than my more 'responsible' blue chip buys of INTC, ORCL, MSFT, ELNK, QQQ, etc. by that time, indiv. stocks were only a small 'mad money' % of an otherwise index based portfolio. stock picks like that made me abandon the mad money account and just get to 100% passive index funds.

cheap lesson learned.

another dumb purchase... right out of college, worked at refinery that went on strike 2 weeks after i started... so, no more engineering, but was on 'e-crew' as pump mechanic, working 12 hours days, 7 days a week. took salary and converted to an hourly rate, then paid OT, etc. overtime daily, july-4th was like quadruple time, etc. made a lot, no time to spend it. so, strike ended late summer, had a huge balance for first time in life... what to do? go buy an irresponsible, ridiculous car... a toyota supra turbo w/ t-tops (quasi-convertible). very fun car, but i bought it on labor day weekend, and soon, after first snow (live in the frozen north.. mn) started second-guessing my purchase as my low profile tires, rear wheel drive, low riding car spun my way thru the winter. had the car for about 4 winters before buying a more 'reasonable' camry...

the supra was a really dumb purchase... and i'd do it again exactly the same. below pic is not mine but looks just like it... (but w/ pearl paint and near 100% window tint)
Image

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:13 pm
by MWCA
I purchased some basketball cards when i was a young lad thinking they would be worth TONS OF MONEY. Eh well maybe in 80 years they would turn a profit :)

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 11:53 pm
by blood_donor
Best: my college ride, 1988 Toyota Corolla. Almost $0 repairs in 80,000 mi.

Worst: Spent $10000 on a wedding ring, should have gone for a less "investment" grade diamond. Bride couldn'tly care less, and tells me so to this day. And the so-called invesrment grade stone? Dealer offered me $6000 for it.

What was your dumbest purchase ever?

Posted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 7:52 pm
by yockee
I have to agree with MoneyHoney...Brinker and his QQQ call...of course like Jim Cramer says "Hogs get slaughtered". Granted I did learn a bunch from ole BB. Great way to pass the time when cleaning up the garage on Saturday, listening to "The Starship Captain".
The dumbest thing though was actually executing on his QQQ idea. Just waiting for the QQQ to go someplace like "up" so I can reduce my losses, of course could always sell some off every year to offset the capitol gains in other places I guess.
Best thing I bought. Bought my wife a 1997 Plymouth Breeze (w/2.0 liter Automatic, gets about 38 on the highway) Program Car with 15K miles on it for $10,550 going on 11 years ago. Got 93K miles on now.
To think that a Aveo/Rio/Yaris ETC or any of those mini cars that sell for $9,995 or so. Have to keep the Breeze...that's her baby! I know yall know "If momma ain't happy, ain't no one happy!"
yock