What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Discuss all general (i.e. non-personal) investing questions and issues, investing news, and theory.
Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

AlohaBill wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 6:06 pm My education and my family.
My education, family and friends. Without those three I think my life would have turned out vastly different.
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WJW
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by WJW »

My rental properties. Excellent cash flow with minimal effort.
finfire
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by finfire »

Visa stock.
YeahBuddy
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by YeahBuddy »

This one stumped me. Could be a lot of answers. My wife, my friend, education, this site.
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Tundrama
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by Tundrama »

HootingSloth wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 4:06 pm I'm sure I won't be the only one to say this, but engagement ring. If that doesn't count, then it's just VTSAX.

100%

#1….Yup, not getting divorced.

… while married to a women working her tail off to help our family financially.

#2…that old minivan that many folks scoff at called the S&P 500.
FInatic
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by FInatic »

My marriage. DW and I have similar habits when it comes to money, which helps immensely when planning for retirement.
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grkmec
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by grkmec »

Early Bitcoin adopter (2014), made 7 figure profits on an initial $50k investment
Claudia Whitten
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by Claudia Whitten »

Hard to pick a best. I suppose education.

It's useful to remember that many if not most of the things people say they are proud of have as much to do with luck as accomplishment or wisdom.

Also, this thread would be even more interesting if people also listed their worst investment. Perhaps another thread...
NulledVariable
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by NulledVariable »

Bought a $420K second home for visiting family during the pandemic in Aug 2021 at 10% down at 2.75%. It is near a National Park. We replaced three levels of flooring, painted, furnished, and replaced HVAC/fencing for $80K. Rented it out as a short term rental when we weren’t using it. $125K in equity as of today.

2022 (starting in May): $45K profit
2023: $83K profit
2024: $80K profit projected
alexbogle
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by alexbogle »

Bought puts on my former employer. Saw their stock spike for no reason and I knew it would crater after earnings. 200% gain in 2 days.
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RetiredAL
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by RetiredAL »

1) Discovering SP500 investing years ago.
2) Picking a lower cost Brokerage.

Long before Index Funds became the vogue, my investing policy centered around 'if this fund has not equaled or beat the SP500, why hold it'.
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snackdog
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by snackdog »

College degrees were by far my best investment. Without those my net worth would potentially be an order of magnitude lower today.
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DireStraits
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by DireStraits »

260chrisb wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 3:58 pmMy house!
Same.

My primary residence.
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Chv396
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by Chv396 »

Education, learning from frugal parents, started investing in my 20’s in mutual funds…
“Stay the Course” - My Portfolio (BND, VT, VXUS), Spouse’s Portfolio (VEA, VGSH, VOO, VOT)
JakeyLee
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime

Post by JakeyLee »

Here’s a not too exciting anecdote I’ve shared with nieces /nephews:

On April 1st 1995, I was contacted at work by a county Human Resources type manager. He’d been trying to contact me for a few days. Very strange, as it was a Saturday. Could it be an April fools joke? He proceeded to tell me that they “discovered” several months of unpaid overtime I was owed, going back to the prior year. Meh, I was a young/dumb police officer. I worked so many extra shifts, it was hard to keep track of what I was getting paid. The back pay was a touch over 10k. I panicked. By Monday morning I called payroll, and asked a simple question: can you guys just take out the max $9,240 and place it in my deferred comp plan (403b)?? A couple weeks later they did just that.

AND that is the story of how I signed up for first pre-tax plan… a Vanguard S&P 500 index fund (thank you, Bob Brinker). Here’s the kicker: I vividly remember feeling “robbed”. The S&P had just crossed the historic $500 price. I thought, “wow. I’ve got to be the dumbest investor alive. I just made my first max pre-tax contribution…. at all time historic highs. At least I’ve got some tax savings..” :oops:

Not sure I ever had a “best investment”. But this one has always resonated with me. :beer
“On balance, the financial system subtracts value from society” | -John Bogle
connor
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by connor »

In 1993, I went to work for Dell and started participating in the company 401k. Their matching contribution was put in a Dell stock fund. Dell turned out to be the top-performing stock of the nineties. After seven years, I had some real money in my 401k, and that experience is what led me to get serious about investing. The subsequent dotcom crash was also a valuable part of my investment education.
Sagefemme
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by Sagefemme »

1). Excellent spouse who I married when we were both 21.

2). Starting contributions to my first 401K in 1984.

3). Finding this website. With the teaching and encouragement of the wise ones of Bogelheads I fired my financial advisors. Next I sold a large number of funds in an inherited taxable account and bought VTI and VXUS. Next I learned (on this website) about tax loss harvesting just in time to sell VTI and VXUS for a large capital loss in March of 2020 and replace with different index funds. All excellent investments!
Grump99
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by Grump99 »

My daughter.
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Godot
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by Godot »

vfinx wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 12:58 am Years ago (or maybe even a decade), I bought a single unit of a thing for $100. I met some random guy from Craigslist at Starbucks. It wasn't an investment, but rather I was trying to figure out what the hype was about this thing. He was really nice and advised me on how to secure it, and gave me a crash course. He was a bit of an evangelist. A short time later the value shot up to $1000 and I sold it to buy a TV. That 10x return is probably the best investment I have ever made on a percentage basis.

Now a single unit of that thing is worth over $66k :oops:
Is this "thing" bigger than a breadbox?
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GAAP
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by GAAP »

My wife's engagement ring.
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Parkinglotracer
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by Parkinglotracer »

finfire wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 6:38 am Visa stock.
Probably my education or wife.

But my brother worked for Visa. He could buy as many shares as he could afford when it went public in 2008 @44. The 84 shares I bought at 44 dollars a share split 4:1 so my current basis in those is 11 dollars a share. I sold 3/4 of the shares. I kept 21 shares. The 21 shares cost me $231. They are now worth $5851. Vanguard statement says that is a 2433% gain. With dividends added since that time I now have 53.81 shares at $278 a share. At the time I remember saying the charge card business is like selling crack cocaine. I don’t have enough to move the dial but it has been a great investment.
alfaspider
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by alfaspider »

In terms of traditional investments: S&P 500 index funds. Other than that, a choice of spouse and law school.
locke12
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by locke12 »

Ethereum. Bought at around $7 and still holding around 50% of my entry. I cashed out about $300K when it was $3500-4000.
JPM
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by JPM »

Spent $400 on engagement ring in 1970. By far the best ROI ever for me. Nothing else comes close. Another vote here for the engagement ring.
adave
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by adave »

I am still on the hunt for a 1000x return someday.

I refuse to play options so doubtful I will be able to find one.
finfire
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by finfire »

Parkinglotracer wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 3:13 pm
finfire wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 6:38 am Visa stock.
Probably my education or wife.

But my brother worked for Visa. He could buy as many shares as he could afford when it went public in 2008 @44. The 84 shares I bought at 44 dollars a share split 4:1 so my current basis in those is 11 dollars a share. I sold 3/4 of the shares. I kept 21 shares. The 21 shares cost me $231. They are now worth $5851. Vanguard statement says that is a 2433% gain. With dividends added since that time I now have 53.81 shares at $278 a share. At the time I remember saying the charge card business is like selling crack cocaine. I don’t have enough to move the dial but it has been a great investment.
I bought Visa because it was the only credit card in my wallet (still true). Its the only stock I own currently. I never sold any but prob should some day...no idea exact how much of an gain I made in % (1500%??) , but its certainly been the best.
doobiedoo
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by doobiedoo »

Costco stock is my best investment.
I bought COST at $46, $58, $112, $151, $161, $167, $324, $334, $369, $376.
COST is 17% of my net worth.

Visa stock is my next best investment.
I bought V at $46, $52, $68, $95, $138, $158, $170, $192, $196, $207, $217, $222, $233.
V is 11% of my net worth.
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by LadyGeek »

Religion is a sensitive topic, much more so than politics. I removed a post stating a certain religion was the best lifetime investment. See: Politics and Religion
In order to avoid the inevitable frictions that arise from these topics, political or religious posts and comments are prohibited. The only exceptions to this rule are:
  • Common religious expressions such as sending your prayers to an ailing member.
    ...
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ge1
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by ge1 »

$400k (tax free) from an apartment we owned in Brooklyn. Followed by approx 300k in company stock.

Both not even close to my wife :D
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Metsfan91
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by Metsfan91 »

vfinx wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 12:58 am Years ago (or maybe even a decade), I bought a single unit of a thing for $100. I met some random guy from Craigslist at Starbucks. It wasn't an investment, but rather I was trying to figure out what the hype was about this thing. He was really nice and advised me on how to secure it, and gave me a crash course. He was a bit of an evangelist. A short time later the value shot up to $1000 and I sold it to buy a TV. That 10x return is probably the best investment I have ever made on a percentage basis.

Now a single unit of that thing is worth over $66k :oops:
What is that thing? If you can share.
"Know what you own, and know why you own it." — Peter Lynch
Case59
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by Case59 »

My law school degree.
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Eowyn
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by Eowyn »

The book "Making the Most of Your Money" (original edition) by Jane Bryant Quinn, or my husband's business.
AlaskaTeach
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by AlaskaTeach »

I left state of Texas employment in 1992. I completed the direct transfer of retirement money to an IRA and promptly forgot about the money. Fast forward to 2012 and by then had been teaching 11 years and decided to buy back the time I had worked for the state, six years. I am not sure if I knew it at the time, but it turned out that if a person had worked for over 3 years at the state, the person could decide which retirement system to retire from, either the state of Texas system or the teacher retirement system.

The state of Texas system includes a free health insurance premium for me for life and my wife's health insurance is 50% off.

This decision gives me the flexibility to retire as early as age 61, instead of if I had never bought the time back, I would have to work until at least age 67, and have to figure out health insurance on my own.

Honorable mention goes to my purchase of the MCC, Mortgage Credit Certificate, an outlay of about $1600 or so resulted in tax credits of $28,000 over 14 years.
vfinx
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by vfinx »

Metsfan91 wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 8:35 pm
vfinx wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 12:58 am Years ago (or maybe even a decade), I bought a single unit of a thing for $100. I met some random guy from Craigslist at Starbucks. It wasn't an investment, but rather I was trying to figure out what the hype was about this thing. He was really nice and advised me on how to secure it, and gave me a crash course. He was a bit of an evangelist. A short time later the value shot up to $1000 and I sold it to buy a TV. That 10x return is probably the best investment I have ever made on a percentage basis.

Now a single unit of that thing is worth over $66k :oops:
What is that thing? If you can share.
I wasn’t actually trying to be coy and I thought it might be pretty obvious. I think I’m not allowed to discuss the “thing” on these forums. It’s a little “bit” like a “coin” if that helps.
Retired2013
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by Retired2013 »

For 2010 only, the IRS / Congress allowed for a Roth Conversion and you could spread the tax over one or two years. Since my company did not have a Roth 401(k), I maxed out the 401(k) tax-deferred which helped build the taxed-deferred balance. I could then use the larger 401(k) when I retired at age 56. I then converted two years of projected conversion amounts from a prior employer's 401(k) to a Roth. I then learned that if you elected to spread the tax over two years, it was over the next two years, not the current year so I was not benefiting in the current year. I then learned that if you were married, one of you could select the one year option (current year tax return) and the other could select the two year option, spreading the tax over three years. I then did a large Roth conversion for my spouse from a former employer and elected the current year for her tax return year. Since we had no plans of needing the funds, it was all converted to Vanguard Total Stock Market.

Little did I know, four years later, ACA would be available which then allowed me to retire in 2013 but limit Roth conversions until age 65. Those Roth conversions while working now represents 50% of our retirement portfolio. I wish I had done even a larger Roth conversion while working.
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dogagility
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by dogagility »

Cultivating relationships.
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FInatic
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by FInatic »

vfinx wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 12:27 am
Metsfan91 wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 8:35 pm
vfinx wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 12:58 am Years ago (or maybe even a decade), I bought a single unit of a thing for $100. I met some random guy from Craigslist at Starbucks. It wasn't an investment, but rather I was trying to figure out what the hype was about this thing. He was really nice and advised me on how to secure it, and gave me a crash course. He was a bit of an evangelist. A short time later the value shot up to $1000 and I sold it to buy a TV. That 10x return is probably the best investment I have ever made on a percentage basis.

Now a single unit of that thing is worth over $66k :oops:
What is that thing? If you can share.
I wasn’t actually trying to be coy and I thought it might be pretty obvious. I think I’m not allowed to discuss the “thing” on these forums. It’s a little “bit” like a “coin” if that helps.
I bought a little bit of that "coin" too but sold if off at only about 10% gain :D . The crazy prize swings drove me nuts.
100% Global Stocks FTW
Leesbro63
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by Leesbro63 »

Pennsylvania TAP Guaranteed Savings Plan (529 Account) for college for my two small kids. Funded starting when it first became tax free if withdrawal to pay qualified expenses, around 2001. College soared, stocks cratered and my kids went to college at 2001 prices about 15 years later.
Last edited by Leesbro63 on Wed Apr 03, 2024 7:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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MrBobcat
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by MrBobcat »

WorldCom. Learned all kinds of valuable investing lessons with that one.
feh
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by feh »

Investment in an LLC: 28% CAGR over 12 years
Bitcoin: 50% CAGR over 8 years
Maverick3320
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by Maverick3320 »

Investing in my own human capital.
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Metsfan91
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by Metsfan91 »

vfinx wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 12:27 am
Metsfan91 wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 8:35 pm
vfinx wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 12:58 am Years ago (or maybe even a decade), I bought a single unit of a thing for $100. I met some random guy from Craigslist at Starbucks. It wasn't an investment, but rather I was trying to figure out what the hype was about this thing. He was really nice and advised me on how to secure it, and gave me a crash course. He was a bit of an evangelist. A short time later the value shot up to $1000 and I sold it to buy a TV. That 10x return is probably the best investment I have ever made on a percentage basis.

Now a single unit of that thing is worth over $66k :oops:
What is that thing? If you can share.
I wasn’t actually trying to be coy and I thought it might be pretty obvious. I think I’m not allowed to discuss the “thing” on these forums. It’s a little “bit” like a “coin” if that helps.
Thanks... I am slow. I had no idea it was traded on Craiglist like that back in the day.
"Know what you own, and know why you own it." — Peter Lynch
unix_joe
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by unix_joe »

My house. Purchased less than one year's salary back in 2018. It was supposed to be a "starter home." Same neighborhood where I grew up.

Anyway, it more than doubled in value and all I did was let the kids color on the walls for the first four years of ownership before I decided that this is a nice place to stay, and started doing renovations.

We got in at the right time. It doubled in a couple of years, but I remember when houses here cost less than 60k (when I was a kid); now they are 10x that price.
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peterw
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by peterw »

JustGotScammed wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 3:49 pm Financially speaking in terms of largest gain on a single investment.
Investments in health.
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by peterw »

peterw wrote: Thu Apr 04, 2024 12:47 am
JustGotScammed wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 3:49 pm Financially speaking in terms of largest gain on a single investment.
The best investment I've ever made is in my health. It doesn't matter what else you have if you don't have your physical and mental health. Sickness comes with its own financial costs.
Mr. Buzzkill
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by Mr. Buzzkill »

JustGotScammed wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 3:49 pm Financially speaking in terms of largest gain on a single investment.
A low cost target date fund in my 401k, when I didn’t know yet about how to build my own even lower cost portfolio from diversified asset classes.

If served me quite well and became the foundation of my retirement savings as single largest holding in my portfolio until I managed things myself.
A strategy that works only in bull markets isn’t much of a strategy. Anyway, four dollars a pound.
stonerolled
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by stonerolled »

Getting sober and staying sober since 1987.
ttboy
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by ttboy »

In general a long term mindset centered around sound investments
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zaboomafoozarg
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by zaboomafoozarg »

gator15 wrote: Mon Apr 01, 2024 4:26 pm A career that will result in a pension and discounted health insurance for the rest of my life. It provides a lot of flexibility in my life going forward.
That's my hope too. If I can make it to 55 I'll have a good pension and cheap health insurance + Medicare supplement for life.
HDM1004
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Re: What's Been The Best Investment of Your Lifetime?

Post by HDM1004 »

FDGRX lifetime of fund since 1983 14.46%. annual return.
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