Best Advice You Never Took

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
BradJ
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Best Advice You Never Took

Post by BradJ » Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:19 am

What is the best piece of advice you never took? Or, the best piece advice you ignored but shouldn't have?

SQRT
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by SQRT » Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:33 am

When I got engaged to my first wife my father said “Do you have rocks in your head?” He was right but it took me quite a while to realize it. See my post about financial set backs.

Theseus
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by Theseus » Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:49 am

BradJ wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:19 am
What is the best piece of advice you never took? Or, the best piece advice you ignored but shouldn't have?
In 1992 when I was just starting out my career, a colleague of DW advised her to invest our savings in Vanguard S&P500 index fund. I thought he was full of himself and completely ignored it. :oops: . Turned out that I was full of myself :) not him.

goblue100
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by goblue100 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:02 am

This question made me go hmm. My life has worked out pretty well and in general I've followed reasonable advice. I've dollar cost averaged, paid myself first, and been a diligent saver my whole life.

I can't say I recall anyone in particular giving me this advice, but the one thing I feel might have made a bigger difference is if I had done more with real estate(buy land, its the only thing they are not making more of!). On the other hand, I barely want to maintain the house I live in, so a bunch of rental houses might have been anathema to me.
Some people are immune to good advice. - Saul Goodman

kazper
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by kazper » Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:03 am

Probably to invest early.

I'm only mid-30s now so I didn't wait too long, but I could have started putting more money away for retirement when I started my first serious job nearly a decade ago. My balance would look quite a bit different than it does now if I did...

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JamesSFO
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by JamesSFO » Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:08 am

I would say I let my lifestyle creep up as my income went up and repeated it. It's not been disastrous, but I could probably have brought in my retirement a few years if I did it (still working)

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rustymutt
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by rustymutt » Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:12 am

When I went to work doing the exact job my father had done over 37 years with the same company, different subsidiary, he told me, "Keep your mouth shut and just do your job. I found that imposible. LOL
I'm amazed at the wealth of Knowledge others gather, and share over a lifetime of learning. The mind is truly unique. It's nice when we use it!

fishmonger
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by fishmonger » Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:31 am

kazper wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:03 am
Probably to invest early.

I'm only mid-30s now so I didn't wait too long, but I could have started putting more money away for retirement when I started my first serious job nearly a decade ago. My balance would look quite a bit different than it does now if I did...
+1. Didn't really invest for the first 3 or 4 years of my post-college career. Was tired of living the broke college student life and I realize now how much of that discretionary income was just wasted - new car, eating out, going to bars 3 nights a week, etc. As soon as I got serious I was married with a baby on the way.

I'm 36 now and in decent shape, but if I had just listened to my Pops and put away 10% from the start I'd be in a much, much better place

Glockenspiel
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by Glockenspiel » Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:45 am

I would have invested more my first few years out of college. I was only putting 8-10% of my income into my 401k, (salary back then was in the low-mid 40s) but this was 2008-2010, when I could have tried to max out my 401k and minimize expenses, since I was living in a LCOL town.

I'm doing pretty well now, but I can only imagine what I'd have if I had maxed out my 401k in those years.

golfCaddy
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by golfCaddy » Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:14 pm

go to med school

frugalmama
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by frugalmama » Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:38 pm

Take better care of my teeth when I was younger. Dental care is expensive and dental insurance isn't good!

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GerryL
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by GerryL » Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:38 pm

I started acquiring company stock on the employee stock purchase plan as soon as possible. At first the maximum and later half (which eventually became the maximum). All around me people were doing immediate sales while I held on to every share. Then I acquired more through RSUs.

I was told both directly and indirectly that I should not have so much of my net worth in my company stock, but I just left it. Inertia.

Eventually sold a few lots here and there, but not much. The company stock now accounts for ~15% of my net worth. It's extra money that I don't rely on and the dividends have been useful pre-SS, but I do have to strategize how to dissolve my holdings without messing up my taxes.

In the long run, I probably would have been better off listening to the folks who advised me to minimize my holdings in the stock.

carolinaman
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by carolinaman » Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:41 pm

My first significant job was as a computer operator in the 1960s. After 3 years, I got a promotion to programmer analyst. The operations manager told me not to take that job because there was no future in software programming. I ignored his advice and was glad that I did.

daggerboard
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by daggerboard » Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:47 pm

"Never take a job working for a boss you dont like"

As I learned the hard way, truer words ne'er been spoken....

itsgot8
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by itsgot8 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:01 pm

kazper wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:03 am
Probably to invest early.

I'm only mid-30s now so I didn't wait too long, but I could have started putting more money away for retirement when I started my first serious job nearly a decade ago. My balance would look quite a bit different than it does now if I did...
I'm in the same boat. While I'm doing alright, I can't help but wonder how much better off I would be if I had saved more in those early years or even if I hadn't procrastinated five years to open an IRA.

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VictoriaF
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by VictoriaF » Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:13 pm

To learn to play fortepiano.

Victoria
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JoeRetire
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by JoeRetire » Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:16 pm

BradJ wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:19 am
What is the best piece of advice you never took?
My late uncle was a huge believer in municipal bonds. He was perhaps the most tax-averse person I have ever met and would do anything (including investing in low-interest instruments) if it reduced taxes. His advice was to put everything in munis.

I never followed that advice and always followed a more diversified investing pattern. It worked out rather well.
Or, the best piece advice you ignored but shouldn't have?
When the company where I worked was going public, we had the opportunity to give some of our options to "friends and family". They could exercise those options on IPO day, while us insiders had to wait for 6 months.

Some of my coworkers suggested that I should give ALL of my options to family and have them buy then sell on the IPO day. But I only gave half to my parents and kept the rest.

My parents did very, very well with their options. By the time my blackout period expired 6 months later, the stock had tanked and all of my remaining options were underwater. They never regained my strike price. Oh well.

Exafchick
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by Exafchick » Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:28 pm

Not to marry my first husband...or second!

gcc32
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by gcc32 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:43 pm

A number of people have told me over the years to enjoy youth and not be in such a rush to grow up so fast. I was always fairly ahead of the curve with achievement and ambition. It took me until probably my mid to late 20's to really understand this, but by that time, some of the best years of my life had passed without enjoying certain things as much as I could have. I try my best to always keep this in mind today.

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marti038
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by marti038 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:53 pm

Financially, just avoiding debt. I had a business strategy professor that used his last lecture to deliver what he called his "Guaranteed Millionaire" talk. I was expecting some talk about avoiding debt, but he spent over half the lecture telling us not to go take out a note on a brand new car just because we got our first salaried job and were making a little money. The second half of the lecture was basically save, save, save.

Overall, the best advice I ever got was about marriage. Make your home an environment where your goal is to out-serve your spouse. You'd think you'd start to resent someone you put ahead of yourself, but I've found it does the opposite. It does not apply to marriage alone obviously, and I was fortunate enough to have my wife with me when the advice was given.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by TomatoTomahto » Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:58 pm

SQRT wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:33 am
When I got engaged to my first wife my father said “Do you have rocks in your head?” He was right but it took me quite a while to realize it. See my post about financial set backs.
After my marriage to my first wife fell apart, friends who had known her longer than I did told me they knew the marriage was doomed. I guess this is somewhat different than the topic of this thread, something like “NOW you tell me; Best advice you never received.”

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by TomatoTomahto » Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:05 pm

Overall, the best advice I ever got was about marriage. Make your home an environment where your goal is to out-serve your spouse. You'd think you'd start to resent someone you put ahead of yourself, but I've found it does the opposite.
Advice I give my kids: set your alarm for 15 minutes before your spouse has to get up. Make coffee. Bring it to him/her. I have done this for more than 20 years, and every morning my wife appreciates it as though it were the first time.

mptfan
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by mptfan » Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:11 pm

Deleted.
Last edited by mptfan on Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Cycle
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by Cycle » Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:16 pm

Someone once told me to try and max out my 401k when I was 22 at my first job, but I didn't start maxing until I was 24. I also skipped contributing to my Roth like 2 years in my 20s, and again for 2 years in my 30s before I discovered the backdoor Roth. As a result I reached FI at 33 instead of like 31 or 32, and may not hit 2% SAWR until 45.

Take a year to travel. I still could, but haven't.
Last edited by Cycle on Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mptfan
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by mptfan » Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:19 pm

Cycle wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:16 pm
As a result I reached FI at 33 instead of like 31 or 32, and may not hit 2% SAWR until 45.
That sounds awful.
:oops:

youngpleb
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by youngpleb » Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:25 pm

When I was applying to grad schools for my Comp Sci masters program, my favorite undergrad professor told me to apply to schools as a PhD student. His reasoning was that if I did so then all my school would be paid for, I'd get a stipend, I'd get my masters along the way, and then if I didn't like it anymore I could hit the eject button after that point. Probably would have saved me $15,000 worth of tuition, but at the risk of not getting into schools (since I'd be applying as a PhD and not Masters student). It seemed deceptive at the time, but looking back it would have been a good strategy.
27. Always learning.

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:37 pm

Buy Enron, Buy Worldcom! - never acted on those "hot tips".
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

BradJ
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by BradJ » Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:49 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:37 pm
Buy Enron, Buy Worldcom! - never acted on those "hot tips".
I am in the energy industry, I will never forget my boss gave me a "relic" on my first day- an Enron golf ball.

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Tycoon
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by Tycoon » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:14 pm

Go ahead, jump, it won't hurt.
...I might be just beginning | I might be near the end. Enya | | C'est la vie

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:37 pm

Take up golf.

vested1
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by vested1 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:13 pm

At my wedding reception the bride's brother came up to me and told me I was in for it with his sister and advised that I dump her immediately. Turns out it was the best advice I'd ever received. Unfortunately it took me 10 years to give up trying to change her before the inevitable divorce and after the birth of two kids.

mhalley
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by mhalley » Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:16 pm

Many years ago I bonds were going for 3% and several bogleheads recommended backing up the truck. I didn't. :oops:

jabbahop
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by jabbahop » Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:24 pm

1) read a random walk on Wall Street as a 21 year old and didn’t employ the lessons until 30years and lots of fees later.
2) my wife and I sold our stock options and employee stock purchase as We got them in the late 80’s and 90’s at the equivalent of $1.50/share.

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randomizer
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by randomizer » Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:36 pm

Something about saving money. I have saved well enough over the last 5 years, but for my entire life before that I didn't do well at all.
75:25 AA / Expected retirement: 2097

BF2011
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by BF2011 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:40 pm

A prof in school once said "be careful of the mountain you climb, you may end up regretting when you get to the top".
Didn't quite understand back then, and took a job that was the envy of the class. The long hours and the stress resulted in multiple health issues, and I have never been the same...

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mlebuf
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by mlebuf » Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:47 pm

Over 30 years ago, I knew nothing about investing. I started making money and called a knowledgable guy I knew to ask for his advice on how to invest. He said, "It's real simple. Just buy Berkshire Hathaway." That seemed like putting too many eggs in one basket so I ignored his advice. :oops:

This has the makings of a great thread. Life is 20 percent doing smart things and 80 percent not doing dumb things.
Best wishes, | Michael | | Invest your time actively and your money passively.

montanagirl
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by montanagirl » Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:34 pm

I must be forgetting something, but I can't think of anything. I really could have used some guidance.

My grandmother did tell me to become a stenographer, but I turned up my nose at that. But it was solid advice.

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VictoriaF
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by VictoriaF » Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:46 pm

I never took the Bogleheads' advice to open boxes with my smartphones and start using them. Caveats:
1) I may still open one or both boxes.
2) It's not clear if that's the best advice.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

TravelforFun
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by TravelforFun » Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:55 pm

How about best advice I wish I had heard in my 20s? NFL great Emmitt Smith recalls Dallas Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones, once advised him, 'Have a big front door and a small back door. Take in as much as you can, and spend as little as you can.'

TravelforFun

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by oldcomputerguy » Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:57 pm

:beer
carolinaman wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:41 pm
My first significant job was as a computer operator in the 1960s.
My kind of guy....

:beer
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

Geno
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by Geno » Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:12 pm

Not to buy $13,000 brand new car in 1979, instead of good used one for $400.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway.

MathIsMyWayr
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by MathIsMyWayr » Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:32 pm

"What do you want to do when you grow up?"

VAslim16
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by VAslim16 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:13 am

kazper wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:03 am
Probably to invest early.

I'm only mid-30s now so I didn't wait too long, but I could have started putting more money away for retirement when I started my first serious job nearly a decade ago. My balance would look quite a bit different than it does now if I did...
+3

basspond
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by basspond » Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:16 am

Back in the early 80s some coworkers were talking about investing in a company run by a “kid” who was building computers in his UT dorm.

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peterinjapan
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by peterinjapan » Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:33 am

So once, back in 2001 I guess it was, I was at some online service provider convention in Las Vegas. There was a Paypal booth there, and I gushed about how cool I thought Paypal was, as a user of its services (as a merchant). A few days later I get a call from Paypal offering to let me invest in their IPO (their first one, not the more recent one), and as I'd just had a bad experience, I thanked them but declined. Obviously missing out on a successful IPO was dumb, but in retrospect I am positive a younger, less famous Elon Musk was standing behind the man I was talking to when I gushed about Paypal, who said "Let that man invest in our IPO if he wants."

likegarden
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by likegarden » Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:49 am

I did not take the 'WORST advice I never took'. People told me in 1966 when I complained that money goes fast (I had to furnish a small apartment and buy a used car right after college) that I should get whole life insurance for retirement. I did not buy that. My savings only started after I got married in 1971. In 1974 then we bought a house. People nowadays are so much better of having Bogleheads forum.

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cheese_breath
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by cheese_breath » Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:00 am

You have too much in company stock. This was EDS shortly before the spin-off from GM, and the stock was in the low 60s. First earnings report after the spin-off was awful and it lost nearly half it's value in one day.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

Dandy
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by Dandy » Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:27 pm

when I was just starting my career and interest rates were soaring an old timer said he was loading up on 30 Year Treasuries for himself and his grandkids. I forget what the rate was then but it was, i believe in the high teen digits or better. When rates are rising (a bit like now but it was more rapid as I recall) the mentality is they are going higher so why buy now. So, I passed on that idea and missed out. Of course the rates could have gone higher but they didn't.

Some allocation to an historic high rate with a government guarantee would probably have been a good bet.

When I look at the rising CD rates it brings back those "wait it will go higher" feelings. :oops:

2015
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by 2015 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:12 pm

Tie between: "Let your energy take you there, not your anxiety." and "It's just not that serious, no matter what it is."

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tennisplyr
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Re: Best Advice You Never Took

Post by tennisplyr » Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:26 pm

Listen to people when they have something important to say....you don't have to follow their advice.
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

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