How did you fall in love with investing?

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Marinelayer
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How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by Marinelayer » Mon May 14, 2018 4:24 pm

I'm extremely new to the investment world, but I have to say, I absolutely love it. I've been a mountaineer/climber for the majority of my life, always drawn to risk and reward. I was hoping to hear how others out there found themselves involved in investing, maybe you have a great story or insight that you'd care to share!

Thanks!

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Nicolas
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by Nicolas » Mon May 14, 2018 11:17 pm

What's love got to do with it?

My parents bought me a few shares of a big lumber company when I was a kid and I watched the dividends roll in, but that wasn't what did it for me. (Later when I was a teenager I was shocked when they told me they'd lost $2K on an oil stock. That was when $2K was really something and to me it was unimaginable).

What did it for me was watching the birth of the great bull market that started in August of '82. That really opened my eyes to the possibilities and I've been investing ever since. In fact I've never been completely out of the market since May of '78.
Last edited by Nicolas on Mon May 21, 2018 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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stemikger
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by stemikger » Tue May 15, 2018 12:11 am

I was always hard wired to save, but I was also a late starter. I remember when I was a kid and wanted to save in a Christmas Club my dad discouraged me. After that, I didn't start saving until I was in my early 30s. One of the books that really got me going was The Automatic Millionaire. I realized that I didn't have to make a huge salary or budget to become a millionaire during my working lifetime. I came from a family that was clueless when it came to personal finance and investing and after my dad died at a young age, I watched my Mother lose everything (they were a live for today family). I made a vow to myself that I would do things differently so that will not happen to me.

I also love the hobby and art/science of investing and enjoy reading and talking about it. It has been a fun journey that I'm glad I took.
Choose Simplicity ~ Stay the Course!! ~ Press on Regardless!!!

cocoon
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by cocoon » Tue May 15, 2018 1:43 am

Unfortunately, I am new to the whole investment world as well. However, I can say that for me the great feeling that I get when I win is the one that keeps me going. Doesn't mean if I win a lot or just a small amount, it's just the feeling that I did something right. On the other hand, I am very disappointed and mad if I lose. But hey, the butterflies in the stomach that you will get when you do the investment is an indescribable feeling, at least for me. :moneybag

elcadarj
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by elcadarj » Tue May 15, 2018 5:36 am

By reading my brokerage statement, back in the days of paper statements, and realizing I was making one comma money just by opening an envelope.

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wander
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by wander » Tue May 15, 2018 5:58 am

I consider investing is part of life, not too much about love.

GCD
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by GCD » Tue May 15, 2018 5:59 am

I'm not in love with investing. I think it's boring. IMO, if you are doing it right it certainly isn't exciting. In any event, I wish you success at your new passion.

racy
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by racy » Tue May 15, 2018 6:14 am

Grew up on a small farm with parents who thought smart investing was buying life insurance policies. In fact, they had me buy a whole life policy as a teenager (cost me $11.25 per month!)
The aha moment for me was learning about the 'magic of compound interest'. I saw that investing and starting as soon as possible was the key. 41 years of investing and staying the course worked :greedy
Last edited by racy on Tue May 15, 2018 6:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

mmmodem
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by mmmodem » Tue May 15, 2018 6:16 am

While many in this forum may not like her investing advice, I was introduced to saving but Suzy Orman. I first saw her specials on PBS and just loved listening to her. I was always excited to go to my sister's house because she had cable. I tried to time my visits on Saturday night so I can catch an episode. I was so happy when she got a DVR and could record every episode.

Everyone I know invested money by buying a house and renting it out. That is how money is made. If you have friends or family then you can buy one with them. This is the Bay Area so no one loses money until the recession 10 years ago. I didn't do that because Suzy said it was a bad idea.

After all my debt was paid off and I started saving money, I listened to Suzy's investing advice and she was not very clear. I turned to Dave Ramsey and he didn't make sense either. My sister said buy index funds. And here I am.

Wish I could say I was always this lucky. I also blindly listened to the financial advisors that set up the SEP IRA at my first job. I paid some 12b-1 loads there.

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StevieG72
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by StevieG72 » Tue May 15, 2018 6:50 am

I fell in love with DIY investing after a financial advisor / insurance salesman tried to sell me a whole life policy with premiums of $800 a month.
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.

student
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by student » Tue May 15, 2018 6:54 am

I would not say I love investing but I would like to do it myself rather than paying others to do it. It is primarily out of necessity. With no pension at my job, I have to do the investing myself.

GLState
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by GLState » Tue May 15, 2018 7:01 am

I've never been "in love" with investing. I find the financial world interesting. You're in the puppy love stage. Investing is new and everything has gone right so far. You have to get to the point where you take investing for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, til death do you part.

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sleepysurf
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by sleepysurf » Tue May 15, 2018 7:18 am

For 15+ years I used 1% AUM advisors (with high E.R. active funds). I eventually stumbled upon Paul Farrell's Lazy Portfolios column, which piqued my curiosity. I built a "Bill Schultheis Coffeehouse Portfolio" (at the original TD Waterhouse), and eventually fired my advisors. I kept educating myself, and moved everything to Vanguard, but among friends, family, and co-workers, I felt like the sole survivor on a deserted island, until I discovered the Bogleheads community! The rest is history.
Retired 2017 | ~50/45/5 (partially sliced and diced) | Current WR 2.8%

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samsoes
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by samsoes » Tue May 15, 2018 7:32 am

wander wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 5:58 am
I consider investing is part of life, not too much about love.
Agreed. Just like colonoscopies. No love, just something ya gotta do.
"Happiness Is Not My Companion" - Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren. | (Avatar is the statue of Gen. Warren at Little Round Top @ Gettysburg National Military Park.)

mak1277
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by mak1277 » Tue May 15, 2018 7:43 am

GCD wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 5:59 am
I'm not in love with investing. I think it's boring. IMO, if you are doing it right it certainly isn't exciting. In any event, I wish you success at your new passion.
This. The reason I love the boglehead philosophy is because I don't have to think about investing at all...ever. I have my 3 fund portfolio and send money in on a regular basis. But I don't have to think about anything more than that.

goingup
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by goingup » Tue May 15, 2018 8:01 am

sleepysurf wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 7:18 am
For 15+ years I used 1% AUM advisors (with high E.R. active funds). I eventually stumbled upon Paul Farrell's Lazy Portfolios column, which piqued my curiosity. I built a "Bill Schultheis Coffeehouse Portfolio" (at the original TD Waterhouse), and eventually fired my advisors. I kept educating myself, and moved everything to Vanguard, but among friends, family, and co-workers, I felt like the sole survivor on a deserted island, until I discovered the Bogleheads community! The rest is history.
The OP might enjoy reading Coffeehouse Investor. Bill Schultheis used to climb in the Cascades and has a great outlook on investing. http://www.coffeehouseinvestor.com/about-bill/

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DR
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by DR » Tue May 15, 2018 9:54 am

My biggest investment in life--i.e., spending for future production--was in my education. Investing in a few more college degrees gave me job and lifestyle opportunities that I never would have had with my B.A. alone. I thought I was interested in "investing" in the late 1990s with the run up to the dot com bust. It all seemed so easy! I was really good at it! And then I wasn't. That's when I quit being interested in "investing" and got interested in building life-cycle planning models and allocating my savings. Now I exchange shares with others, but I don't think of that as investing. I'm allocating my savings and, per my model, I'm doing so with as little exposure to equities as I can afford. I still invest in my future when I spend time or money to learn new things that I can use to create some future production. But mostly I'm interested in allocating my savings in the safest way possible that addresses the specific goals of my planning model. Fortunately I don't have to allocate in a way that involves much risk because I've adapted to a modest life style, I am not house poor, and I have a little annual cushion beyond my normal annual spending needs. So my investing days are kind of over; I do save still, but my passion is really in studying my planning model and helping others do the same. BTW, I'm not a financial planner. I really like this forum because I get to chat with and listen in on how others feel about these topics.

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1210sda
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by 1210sda » Tue May 15, 2018 10:12 am

My involvement with personal finance and investing began in the mid-seventies.

1. Even though it may be considered irrelevant today, back then Money magazine was one of the few places to learn about investing. Because of Money, I made my first index fund investment...Vanguard Index Trust, 500 Portfolio, in the early '80's.

2. Went to a financial planning seminar with the accompanying "free 1 hour consultation". In this "consultation", I got so turned off by the greedy, fast talking "salesman" that I vowed to learn how to do it myself.

From there my interest just grew.

1210

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DR
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by DR » Tue May 15, 2018 10:23 am

1210sda wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 10:12 am
My involvement with personal finance and investing began in the mid-seventies.

1. Even though it may be considered irrelevant today, back then Money magazine was one of the few places to learn about investing. Because of Money, I made my first index fund investment...Vanguard Index Trust, 500 Portfolio, in the early '80's.

2. Went to a financial planning seminar with the accompanying "free 1 hour consultation". In this "consultation", I got so turned off by the greedy, fast talking "salesman" that I vowed to learn how to do it myself.

From there my interest just grew.

1210
Yes, I learned a lot from Money magazine in early 1980s myself. Your experience 1210 is similar to mine though I actually used a fee-only planner after the dot com bust in 2000 and realized he was sort of faking quite a bit and made some really bad moves for me. I then realized I could "invest" in some learning and save myself a lot of money and enjoy the process so much more.

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nisiprius
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by nisiprius » Tue May 15, 2018 10:30 am

I try to keep my emotions out of my investing. The market doesn't care about me, and I'd better not kid myself into thinking it does.

Of course I'm careful what I say when I'm in my car, because I don't want to hurt its feelings, but I try not to do that with stocks.

I sometimes worry about only having Vanguard mutual funds, not because I rationally see any problem with that, but because I worry that I am letting my investing be influenced by being a Bogle and a Vanguard "fan." Maybe I ought to pay $75 to buy one Fidelity index fund in my Vanguard account, just avoid any idea that "Vanguard loves me and will never let me down."
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by MJW » Tue May 15, 2018 10:41 am

I didn't, haven't, and hopefully won't. It's a means to an end for me.

But I think the question you are really asking is what made me become more interested in investing compared to the average bear. I began to read up on investing when I started making decent money and my spouse and I were finding our footing financially. I saw it as an important financial decision and believed I owed it to myself to understand it as best I could rather than blindly throwing money into some random funds every month. I still enjoy the learning process, as evidence by my membership on the BH Forum, but I view the learning/study to be the hobby rather than the actual act of investing.

In retrospect I wish I had started much sooner, but there ya go. I've gone out of my way to encourage my brother, who is eight years younger, to make decent headway in his late twenties.

Arinbjorn
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by Arinbjorn » Tue May 15, 2018 10:51 am

I was introduced to investing at 18 in the military - I recall my drill sergeant exercising us all into utter puking level exhaustion while he lauded how he could be a millionaire right now if he had invested more in the TSP - the military's retirement 401k type option. The food and housing was free, though bad quality (Army 37F), and I didn't need a personal vehicle - so I invested in the TSP.

After a couple years, I got out honorable discharge after realizing I'd rather not be shot at for a 20 year career. I was a hospital security guard making peanuts, but I invested 10% of my meager income in index funds after the crash in 08. I also bought a 650 square foot house to live in when prices were okay, and they were foolish enough to give a 20 year old dude a loan still.

I worked several full time jobs while putting myself through school full time, as the military wasn't keen on putting me through medical x ray school. Graduated x ray technologist school. Did the same to go to CT scan school. Never had educational debt, never carried personal debt outside my mortgage.

Paying triple principal mortgage payments, investing in index funds. Forbes listed my employer as the top Illinois employer in 2018, and I have a side hustle job at another health system that funds house repairs and extra investing.

Read Boglehead approved books, and Reddit's personal finance section. Just turned 30 years old.

My family is financially illterate and has a lot of substance abuse issues. My brother is a "musician." I wanted a different life, so I put in the work and effort to learn.

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alpenglow
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by alpenglow » Tue May 15, 2018 10:57 am

My parents bought me a few shares of T, KO, and XOM as a kid. I loved cashing those quarterly dividend checks, as little as they were. My Dad also watched Nightly Business Report religiously. Now I just set it and forget it with a more or less three fund portfolio.

I can't say I'm in love with investing per se, but I'm in love with the freedoms that saving and investing has and will bring to my family.

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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by Fallible » Tue May 15, 2018 11:40 am

Marinelayer wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 4:24 pm
I'm extremely new to the investment world, but I have to say, I absolutely love it. I've been a mountaineer/climber for the majority of my life, always drawn to risk and reward. I was hoping to hear how others out there found themselves involved in investing, maybe you have a great story or insight that you'd care to share!
Thanks!
How can you "absolutely love," even be "in love with," something you're "extremely new" to? In equating investing with mountain climbing, you seem to be saying you can handle investment risk, perhaps excessive risk, to get the reward you want. But how far along are you in investing? This would be good to know if it's investing advice you are seeking. Whatever, you might be interested in the chapter on "Risk" in the book, Your Money & Your Brain by WSJ columnist Jason Zweig. The chapter begins with an example of a premier U.S. rock climber who sticks to self-described "boring" mutual funds and blue-chip stocks.

For me, investing based on the Bogleheads' philosophy is a matter of necessity for a comfortable retirement. That basically means achieving self-discipline, especially when markets crash.
Bogleheads® wiki | Investing Advice Inspired by Jack Bogle

thangngo
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by thangngo » Tue May 15, 2018 11:46 am

Marinelayer wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 4:24 pm
I'm extremely new to the investment world, but I have to say, I absolutely love it. I've been a mountaineer/climber for the majority of my life, always drawn to risk and reward. I was hoping to hear how others out there found themselves involved in investing, maybe you have a great story or insight that you'd care to share!

Thanks!
It gets boring pretty quickly. :beer

staythecourse
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by staythecourse » Tue May 15, 2018 11:51 am

For me, I had NO Interest in being rich when I was young. I always was cheap and saved as a byproduct. I chose a field out of residency that makes good money. I started to date my now current wife at that time and started to see a bunch of money sitting in my bank account after a few months as an attending. I was going to meet up with some of my colleagues I did residency and fellowship in New York for a conference and decided I should do something constructive on the flight. I went to the library and randomly picked out a book in the finance section. The book was Mr. Gibson's "Asset Allocation". I read the whole book on that trip and loved it. After reading several more books what my goal became was to hit 7 digits as fast as possible as I was sold on the idea of compounding. So glad I did as my life is MUCH easier now with now wife, 2 kids, and all the chaos that comes from that. Now it is just a matter of time (pun intended) to see that wealth grow and grow just like planting a tree in the backyard.

Good luck.

p.s. Thanks for the walk down memory lane.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

Dadarkar
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by Dadarkar » Tue May 15, 2018 12:03 pm

I did not enjoy investing in In Individual stocks, however after reading Four Pillars of investing and switching my most of the portfolio to Vanguard, i love investing. Since my portfolio moves up and down with market (Mostly in 3 funds) , I am a happy investor

staythecourse
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by staythecourse » Tue May 15, 2018 12:15 pm

Dadarkar wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 12:03 pm
Since my portfolio moves up and down with market (Mostly in 3 funds) , I am a happy investor
Not to deviate the topic, but for our younger investors this is as an important comment as I have ever seen. For the passive investor they ONLY thing they should care about is not their returns, but does their chosen funds/ etf match the performing benchmark in a low cost manner. Kudos to this investor for understanding that.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

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lthenderson
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by lthenderson » Tue May 15, 2018 1:27 pm

About ten years ago I was getting burnt out career wise and had almost all my portfolio tied up in company stock. I started researching how to invest all that money which eventually led me to this site and Bogleheads Guide to Investing. After I finished reading that book I was convinced so I sold my share of the company, opened up a Vanguard account and have been investing my own money in the three index fund portfolio for the last six years. I had at the time and still do have a minor amount invested through a family friend who works for a major investment firm and I have handily beat his returns every single year which has made be a firm believer in index fund investing.

gluskap
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by gluskap » Tue May 15, 2018 2:27 pm

I am also a mountain climber and can relate to the risk/reward analogy. I first got started investing seriously when I learned about Mr. Money Mustache. I had been working for awhile but only had invested the minimum amount that my company matched in my 401k because I was saving for a house and wedding. When I learned that through investing you could save and retire at an early age, I started to become obsessed with investing. I learned about Vanguard and VTSAX and have been hooked ever since. I found it hard though to keep up with the frugality of MMM so I've gradually drifted over to Bogleheads as I found the spending on here was more realistic.

grettman
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by grettman » Tue May 15, 2018 2:35 pm

I want to be free of *having* to go to work every day.

I want that freedom sooner than later.

I don't love investing.

It is something I just have to do in order to be free.

Marinelayer
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by Marinelayer » Tue May 15, 2018 2:44 pm

How can you "absolutely love," even be "in love with," something you're "extremely new" to? In equating investing with mountain climbing, you seem to be saying you can handle investment risk, perhaps excessive risk, to get the reward you want.
I really appreciate your response. I suppose my juvenile enthusiasm will be tempered in time. And admittedly, the climbing comparison was a little lame. With that said, it's really cool to read all of the different experiences/perspectives of everyone who has shared. Many thanks!

frugalmama
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by frugalmama » Tue May 15, 2018 3:02 pm

I've always been a saver. I saved every penny and remember my first trip to the bank to open a bank account. One day I told my dad how much I had in my savings account and he sort of freaked out...I didn't know about stocks/bonds, etc. and had way too much in my bank account at that point as I'd been working for several years as a kid, not spending any of it really. I didn't know that it was considered that much money as I didn't know how much a house or anything else cost. He took me to a brokerage house and I opened my first Roth at 17. I quickly figured out (with the help of my now husband who is a bit older) that %-based was not the way to go and my husband introduced me to Vanguard where his grandmother invested...and I've been there since. The week after I turned 20, we bought a house and I liked having the down payment money already ready to do what I wanted and that was when I really was lit on fire. I don't like delaying gratification LOL...so I prefer to be ready with the money for when I really want something...I just don't usually want a whole lot of things that cost money and believe in the idea that it is better to save so that I will have the funds when I need/want something. Had I not done that, we would never have been able to have a large family or my husband quit his stressful job and take his lower paying dream job...and so today that just encourages me more. I love watching the numbers grow and manipulating them...whether they go up or down so I see a down market as just another chance to invest more and so does my husband. In fact when we loose quite a bit, he refers to it as "funny money" because we really have no emotion attached to any of it. Investing for us is not about the actual money.

Teague
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by Teague » Tue May 15, 2018 3:33 pm

No special love for investing here. I've never been a "numbers guy." I started because I got tired of living from one paycheck to another and always being broke, which I found even more distasteful.
Semper Augustus

Tal-
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by Tal- » Tue May 15, 2018 3:37 pm

I grew up dirt poor.
Debt is to personal finance as a knife is to cooking.

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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by mickeyd » Tue May 15, 2018 3:41 pm

I have no love for investing, but I do appreciate the process and respect what I receive from the markets that I have chosen to participate in. As Jack Bogle has often said, I only want what the markets is willing to give me.
Part-Owner of Texas | | “The CMH-the Cost Matters Hypothesis -is all that is needed to explain why indexing must and will work… Yes, it is that simple.” John C. Bogle

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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by jebmke » Tue May 15, 2018 3:41 pm

wander wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 5:58 am
I consider investing is part of life, not too much about love.
Same here. I try not to spend much time on it.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

Marinelayer
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by Marinelayer » Tue May 15, 2018 3:49 pm

Loved your post "Frugalmama"!

2015
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by 2015 » Tue May 15, 2018 8:50 pm

"Investing should be more like watching paint dry or watching grass grow. If you want excitement, take $800 and go to Las Vegas."

- Paul Samuelson

Fitch
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by Fitch » Tue May 15, 2018 9:10 pm

I fell out of love with poverty.

Snuffycuts99
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by Snuffycuts99 » Tue May 15, 2018 9:42 pm

I enjoy investing, but I love saving. Always have since I was a kid. I still fondly remember walking down back roads as a kid collecting aluminum cans to earn spare cash. But I didn't spend the money like most of my friends...just socked it away and kept saving. It's been a helpful habit thus far in life, but I actually worry about being able to reverse course when I finally reach the decumulation phase. Saving seems to be so ingrained in my DNA and I sure hope that I'll be able to let loose and live a little.

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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by 2 bits » Mon May 21, 2018 10:39 am

[/quote]

Yes, I learned a lot from Money magazine in early 1980s myself.
[/quote]

Money mag for me as well. I became a bit disenchanted when it occurred to that in a large part the magazine was essentially an advertisement for high fee mutual funds.
But, I still considered my subscription to be a monthly reminder to save.
I sometimes think that I am living the life of which my immigrant ancestors dreamed.

imareal1
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by imareal1 » Mon May 21, 2018 10:51 am

I'm 25, and it's a very comforting feeling knowing I am in a great position to take advantage of compound interest.

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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Mon May 21, 2018 10:58 am

You can either have someone dictate your course or you can set your own course. Which do you prefer?
Investing is just one lever in the tool box enabling one to reach their destination on their own schedule.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

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DaftInvestor
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by DaftInvestor » Mon May 21, 2018 11:15 am

I graduated from college in 1990 - the company I worked for was in the final stage of discontinuing their pension program (big trend in the 90's with most of corporate America removing their pension programs). I fell in love with the necessity of investing because I had a Grandmother who was trying to live on Social Security (and failing); I had parents that were getting ready to retire (but had pensions); and since I didn't want to end up living on the poverty line trying to survive on SS and knew I wasn't going to get a pension - investing was the obvious solution. Love had nothing to do with it.
Of course in the late 90's I got swept up into the internet stock euphoria with many others - but was smart enough to keep cashing out/diversifying so I didn't lose my shirt like others. After the crazy stock run ups of the late nineties - I came out of it giving up all stock selection investing (it became like a second job for me - and things were happening without any rhyme/reason/rationale even with all the time spent) - and I moved to mutual funds and eventually all index mutual funds.

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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Mon May 21, 2018 1:32 pm

By borrowing for education.
PJW

dcabler
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Re: How did you fall in love with investing?

Post by dcabler » Mon May 21, 2018 2:10 pm

It wasn't love at first sight for sure. I used to look at one of my friends sideways whenever he said that he wanted to "get to where his money is working for him, rather than the other way around".

Graduated college in 1984 and started work. Retirement was the absolute farthest thing from my mind at that time. There were no 401Ks; just my salary and I needed to get my student loans paid off. By the time I was 27 or so, buying a house started to be on my mind and I just saved and put everything into my bank account after student loans were paid off, which only took a couple of years. That's OK, interest rates were still nice at that time for savers and, unfortunately, not so much for purchasers. Got married in our late 20's, pooled our resources and bought a house in 1990 - and are still there. Bought it from some friends and were able to just assume the VA loan he had: No realtor and nothing down so we ended up having money left over after closing. First mortgage interest rate was something like 8.25%, so refinanced it a couple of times...

Started to hear about this investing thing around that time when friends introducing me to the concept of mutual funds. Company made a 401K available. Started off light and then put all of my raises into the 401K until it was maxed out and have been maxed out ever since. Wife did likewise when she was working full time. Meanwhile opened a taxable account at Fidelity and started throwing money in there. Lived on my salary and saved all of hers. Really had absolutely no idea what we were doing and made some silly mistakes. Learned a little, but still made money despite the mistakes. Big wakeup call in 2008 was the slap in the face needed to really get serious. Learned quickly about AA and what makes sense. Got lucky with some things I did the first year or two after 2008, learned more and went through a few different AA's. Kept learning and settled on my current AA a few years ago. Had an employment gap of about 10 months and had plenty of time on my hands to learn even more, including what it might look like to be retired. That helped a lot too.

I still tweak around the edges even today. When I do make changes, it's because I have some new information I didn't have before. Even then, the changes are really never that big and they're almost never instantaneous. Yes, "stay the course", but not so rigid about it that if I did something stupid I'm likely to follow the lemmings over the cliff. :D

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