If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
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mlebuf
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If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by mlebuf » Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:21 pm

Last October, a friend who teaches Management at Arizona State University invited me to be a guest speaker in his classes. Knowing that I would be speaking to several hundred students, most of who were about 20 years of age, I told him, that if it was OK, I'd like to tell them how to become financially independent by age 50. Wanting to be well-prepared, I constructed a sentence outline of my remarks. Another friend suggested that I post it online and my first thought was to post it here. Please feel free to share and pass it along to any young person or anyone you know. Also, if anything comes to mind that you wish you had known earlier in life, please add it to the thread. It may help a lot of people.

IF I KNEW THEN WHAT I KNOW NOW
By Michael LeBoeuf


Some years ago, I saw a cartoon of two young guys looking at a very tall ladder with a sign on it that read, “The Ladder of Success.” One guy said to the other, “I was hoping for an escalator.”

1. Over 50 years ago I was sitting in a basic management class just like you. My goal this morning is to share with you some of the things I’ve learned in life that can help you make the climb far less difficult than it has to be.

There is an old but true saying: Rich people plan for 3 generations.
Poor people plan for Saturday night.
Your odds of being successful increase exponentially when you begin with a good plan.


2. Let’s begin by take an imaginary trip into the distant future.
Imagine you are 50 years of age. I picked 50 because if you have reached your 20th birthday, odds are the majority of your remaining life will be spent after 50. Imagine being 50, being healthy and having the freedom to do whatever you want. You can work if you want to but you don’t have to because you’re financially independent. You can sleep-in, stay up late, watch sports on TV, play golf, take a trip, you name it, because every day is Saturday in your life. Would you like that?

Well, I have good news for you. Every one of you is capable creating a life like that for yourself.
It all comes down to making good choices as you manage your life. We are all the sum of the many choices we make every day and those choices; more than anything else determine our fate. The bad news is that historically only about 5 percent of Americans at age 65 are financially independent. Today I’m going to teach you how to be a member of the fortunate 5 percent. Whether your not you do it is up to you.

3. Here are 4 things we know about having a successful life:

A. Success is the product of making good choices.
B. Good choices come from good judgment.
C. Good judgment comes from experience.
D. Experience comes from bad judgment.
The point is to learn from the experiences of others whenever you can. Talk to successful people, find out what they did, learn from them and do something similar. That’s what education is all about – learning from others who came before us. Experience is a very tough, expensive teacher because you get the test first and then you get the lesson. It’s always cheaper and easier to learn from the experiences of others.

I WANT TO SPEND THE REST OF OUR TIME TALKING ABOUT SOME KEY CHOICES THAT WILL BE CRITICAL IN DECIDING HOW WEALTHY YOU BECOME. I’M GOING TO COVER FOUR TYPES OF CHOICES:
1. SAVING AND INVESTMENT CHOICES
2. EDUCATIONAL CHOICES
3. CAREER CHOICES
4. PERSONAL CHOICES THAT IMPACT WEALTH CREATION

I – THE FOUNDATION OF ALL WEALTH CREATION IS ROOTED IN CHOOSING TO SAVE AND INVEST A PORTION OF EVERY DOLLAR YOU EARN

A. Know the difference between income and wealth. Making a high income is nice but that’s not where action is. From this day forward make it your goal to become a wealth builder. For most of us this requires changing the way we think about money. Think of money as stored energy. Money you put away for tomorrow will someday free you from the need to work.

B. Graduate from the paycheck mentality to the net worth mentality. Making a big salary does nothing to build wealth if you spend it all or carry an enormous amount of debt. Instead, focus on building your net worth. Net worth is simply the dollar value of what you own minus the debts you owe. While you are in school it’s perfectly OK to have a zero or negative net worth. But it’s not OK to be broke at 70. Your earning years are behind you and it’s frightening. Right now your greatest asset is your potential earning power because you have years to work, save and invest. Make the most of them.

C. You have heard this before and you’ll hear this again. PAY YOURSELF FIRST. Resolve to save at least 15 percent of every paycheck you earn after taxes. The only caveat to this is to pay off any credit card debts you may have accumulated before saving. The more you can save, the faster you will reach financial independence. Save half of your salary and you’ll likely be able to retire in just 20 years.

D. Put six months worth of living expenses in a bank checking or savings account for emergencies. After that, I suggest you invest your money using a strategy known as passive investing or index investing. Put the rest of your savings into low-cost, no-load, index mutual funds and keep them there. If you do this, over the long-term you will outperform 80 percent of all investors who try to pick stocks or time the market. Four excellent companies are: Vanguard, T. Rowe Price, TIAA-CREF and USAA.

E. Be wary of people calling themselves financial planners who want to sell you investments. The only thing required to be a financial planner is a suit and a sales pitch. The finance/investing business is filled with charlatans who want to sell you products that make high commissions for them. Never invest in anything you don’t understand or can’t explain to a 12 year-old.

F. Don't put any money in stock mutual funds that you will need in the next 5 and preferably 10 years. Put any money you’ll need in the next decade in a bank savings account, short-term bond mutual fund or money market fund. Stocks are volatile, but the only long-term trend is up.

G. When the stock market takes a dive, ignore it. People will tell you to sell before you lose everything. Ignore the noise. The market drops 40 or 50 percent from time to time. Those who panic and sell only lock in their losses. Those who buy and hold will eventually be rewarded when the market rebounds to an all-time high. It has been doing this for over 200 years and will likely continue to do so for the rest of your life. Only two things matter when it comes to the price of an investment: How much you pay for it, and how much you get when you sell it. The rest is just noise.

H. When people tell you they can time the market, tell you when to get in and get out, or they can pick stocks that will outperform the market, they are either lying or delusional. The fact is they don’t know any more about the future than you or I do. Timing the market is for losers. Time in the market is what makes you rich.


G. If you stay the course and follow this plan, your savings will be multiplied by the power of compound interest and you’ll get rich slowly over time. Ignore people who pitch get rich quick schemes.

“The problem with getting rich quick is that you have to do it so often.” - Jason Zweig

In 2005, Vanguard Founder, John Bogle received a letter from a shareholder. The person writing said he had been investing with Vanguard since the mid-seventies and the value of his portfolio had grown to $1,250,000. But here is the interesting part: The man never earned more than $25,000 per year! How he did it is no mystery. It turns out that if an investor invests $601 each month in an index fund and gets an average return of 10 percent, in 30 years, their portfolio will grow to $1, 249,655.

One of the best savings vehicles is to invest $5500 each year in a Roth IRA. If you keep the money there until age 60, any withdrawals you make are tax-free. For example, let’s assume a 25 year-old couple each invest $5500 in a Roth IRA every year until age 60. If their investments earn an average annual return of 8 percent, at age 60 the combined money in their Roth IRA accounts will be worth over $2 million. If they get an average return of 10 percent, it would be worth over $3 million at age 60.

H. A two-career married couple can build a nest egg relatively easy. Live on one salary and invest the other.

G. How much is enough before you can consider yourself financially independent? Twenty times annual spending is a good rule of thumb. If you do that and withdraw no more than 5 percent per year from your investments, odds are good you’ll never run out of money.

H. An e-book worth reading: IF YOU CAN by William Bernstein. Available at amazon.com for 99 cents or free from his website,(http://www.efficientfrontier.com). A website where you can learn online the basics of investing: Bogleheads.org. Click-on: Start here link in the upper left-hand corner.


II – EDUCATIONAL CHOICES

One of the best investments you’ll ever make is the one you are making now by studying at ASU. Education is a great investment if you keep the following points in mind:
A. – Don’t overspend.
At ASU you are getting a quality education
thanks to the taxpayers of AZ. Graduate with as little debt as possible.
B. – Major in a field that will increase your value in the job market.
C. - What you major in is far more important than where you go to school.
D. – Be sure and graduate. Close only counts in horseshoes and dancing.
E. Consider the increased earning potential of getting an advanced degree. Ben Franklin was correct: “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
F. Remember that lifelong learning is everybody’s job. We live in a rapidly changing world and in times of change, the learners inherit the earth. Another great saying: if you think education is expensive, try ignorance.

III – CAREER CHOICES

A. How many of you would like to be in business for yourself someday? How many of you would like to work in sales? For those of you who chose neither of the above, I have some surprising news for you: Regardless of what you do for a living, you will be in business for yourself and you will sell something - either to your employer or to customers. In short, understand from Day One that your career and your future are up to you. From this day forward, think of yourself as You, Inc. You are in charge of your own personal finance, production and marketing operation. You and everyone else are in business for yourself.

B. When it comes to choosing a career, here is the best advice I ever heard: Work very hard at something that comes very easily to you. Happiness comes from doing what you are good at and it gives you a competitive edge. Everybody can be a star at something. Look for an occupation where you can shine.

C. Choose a career that doesn’t have a ceiling on how much money you can earn. The more money you make, the easier it to save and invest. The more you save and invest, the sooner you reach financial independence. My former students, Richard and Wayne made millions in insurance. Don made his fortune as a hotel management executive. I chose to become a business school professor because it offered a nice wage and I had the option of supplementing my income through writing, speaking and consulting.

D. How much money you earn will depend on 3 things:
1. What you do.
2. How well you do it.
3. How difficult it is to replace you.


E. It’s important to enjoy your work most of the time, but don’t expect any work to always be unlimited bliss.
Wealth = Passion + Profitability

I enjoyed, teaching, writing and speaking but I never loved any of them so much that I was willing to do it for free. There’s a reason why it’s called WORK.

F. If you hate the very nature of doing the work you do, get another career. Life is too short to be miserable. Years ago I met an air conditioning repairman who had a degree in Accounting and was a CPA. He hated being an accountant, changed careers, started his own heating and AC business and was much happier for it.

G. Finally, never get married to a company because no company is married to you. Work and save with the goal of becoming financially independent because someday you will almost surely need it.



IV – PERSONAL CHOICES THAT WILL IMPACT YOUR ABILITY
TO SAVE

A. WHOM YOU MARRY - Marry one frugal spouse who shares your dream of becoming financially independent. Weddings are all about love and divorces are all about money. Make sure that you and your beloved or on the same page financially before signing up for life. Between 40 and 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce and the leading cause is disagreement over money.

B. HOW MANY CHILDREN YOU HAVE - Have a moderate number of children. The average cost of raising a child born in 2013 up until age 18 for a middle-income family in the U.S. is approximately $245,340 (or $304,480, adjusted for projected inflation), according to the latest annual "Cost of Raising A Child" report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

C. THE COST OF LIVING WHERE YOU CHOOSE TO LIVE - Choose to live where the cost of living is moderate. Arizona is moderate. Florida and Texas have no state income taxes and moderate real estate prices. NY, LA, SFO, Boston, etc. are super-expensive and that makes it more difficult to save.

D. THE CHOICE TO BE A HOMEOWNER OR RENTER - Buy a moderately priced home if you are going to be in one place for at least 5 years. The net worth of most retirees is concentrated in their homes. Most renters reach retirement with little or no net worth.


CONCLUSION

When I was a freshman in college, I wanted to succeed, make good grades and graduate. I bought a book on how to study and take exams. I don’t remember what the details were but the author had one line in the book that served me well: Maturity is the ability to relate today’s actions to tomorrow’s results. People who can think 10, 20 or 30 years ahead and make good choices are the one’s most likely to succeed. Make it your mission to enjoy every day, but do something that will make for a better tomorrow. Don’t expect to be perfect and don’t expect everything to go as planned because you can be sure it won’t. However, if you have solid financial and personal goals, make smart choices and stay the course, you will meet with an uncommon success that escapes most people. Good luck happens when opportunity meets preparation.

And someday when you become financially independent, make it your business to stay financially independent. You only have to get rich once, and you may not get a second chance. Good luck to all of you.
Last edited by mlebuf on Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Best wishes, | Michael | | Invest your time actively and your money passively.

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Toons
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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by Toons » Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:26 pm

Just Superb,
Thanks for posting :happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:31 pm

Excellent! Thanks for posting that. :beer
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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by 2b2 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:39 pm

Very valuable advice.
Thank you!

2b2

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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by mac808 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:18 pm

Great advice. I would just add one thing. No doubt some people will be attracted to high cost of living areas due to the unique opportunities available in such places. In those cases, don't be afraid to live like a pauper for a few years to arbitrage the high salaries against a low cost of living, e.g. living with roommates in a dump in San Francisco versus living alone in a 1 bedroom apartment somewhere else. Don't think you're entitled to any minimum lifestyle in a high COL area, that's the slide down the slippery slope. It kills me when I see 23 year old developers making $120k/year, spending $4k/month in rent in San Francisco, and then wondering after a couple years where all their money went.

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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by htdrag11 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:34 pm

On a dreary and wet Saturday, this brings sunshine and fresh air.

I always told people that "I'm not as smart as you are but not as dumb as you think!"

Cheers to the power of compounding interest and thinking long term! :D

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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by sleepysurf » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:35 pm

SUPERB! Just forwarded to my kids!
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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by ShiftF5 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:37 pm

Outstanding. Planting those seeds at an early age can completely change one's life.

The only thing I can suggest is that each student receive a printed copy of this important information or possibly make it available to them online for review.

Thank you for posting.

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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by Professor Emeritus » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:48 pm

My mother told me to learn how to cook and marry a Doctor. Worked for me.

My only concern is the lack of discussion of risk and uncertainty in the various decisions.
What do you do if a child is disabled? etc etc
What do you do when you do your job well but
the company is run into the ground or bought out or the world price for its products crashes?

with a spouse money is only one and often the easiest thing to be on the same page.
Lifestyle is just as important even if its not financial.
Last edited by Professor Emeritus on Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ShiftF5
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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by ShiftF5 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:52 pm

Could this important information be added to the Boglehead Wiki?

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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by GoldenFinch » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:57 pm

Bravo!

A+++ :happy

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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by Gleops2 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 6:13 pm

DON"T do something in college that will follow you negatively the rest of your life.

What do you think the guy in the recent fraternity racist fracas will face when future employers Google his name?

No one will touch him. So much for 10 seconds of fame.

I recently say a 20/20 or Dateline or some similar show about a young guy who got stinking drunk and participated in a filmed rape of a young woman. He is awaiting sentencing after being found guilty. His life is ruined no matter what. He seemed sincere and remorseful on the show, but who knows.

I think parents should show videos of these people to thier kids. I have no kids, but I think it'd be a good lesson to learn on someone else's dime.

Get drunk-do something stupid or criminal while everyone is recording you today and sending it to CNN in one click.....STOOPID...

Doesn't everyone know that there is NO privacy today? And that 10 seconds of video can ruin your life?

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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by goodenyou » Sat Mar 14, 2015 6:46 pm

Standing ovation. You are very kind to share. Thanks!
"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge" | "The best years you have left are the ones you have right now"

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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by ekmanus » Sat Mar 14, 2015 7:12 pm

Great Post!

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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by Wricha » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:32 pm

There are two things that one can do to stay out of poverty. One, get a high school diploma. Two, get married and don't get divorced . Seems like their half way there. I would mention how divorce and raising kids in a single person family is pretty big nut to overcome financially.

I think managing cash flow and passive income are as important as net worth. Also, tax management is something worth mentioning.

You have done a nice job.

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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by snowshoes » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:43 pm

:D
:thumbsup

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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by PoppyA » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:58 pm

Very good!

Have you thought about giving them a written copy?
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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by Taylor Larimore » Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:19 pm

Michael:

I wish I had had the opportunity to read your wonderful advice when I was starting-out in the business world. Fortunately, I did the next best thing--being your co-author (with Mel) of The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing.

Best wishes.
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by wormtail » Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:22 pm

Well that was a nice read. Well done and thanks. I sent it to my 2 twenty year old children.

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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by mjb » Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:26 pm

Great post. Truly, a great post.

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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by madman19 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:31 pm

Wow, this is great. Thank you for sharing. I'd be interested in seeing a video of the entire talk, or a transcript of the entire talk if available.

I wonder what percentage of your audience will actually "get it" and take your advice to heart. I'd say that if one in ten come away from it and make some meaningful changes then it was a smashing success. I know I was too dumb at that age to appreciate something like this.

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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by joe8d » Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:48 pm

:thumbsup
All the Best, | Joe

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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by Mel Lindauer » Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:48 am

Well done, Michael.

Now forum members might understand why Taylor and I were thrilled when Michael agreed to join us as a co-author on our first book, The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing.
Best Regards - Mel | | Semper Fi

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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by The Wizard » Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:35 am

A very good outline for a presentation, yes.
Some might quibble with the 20x annual spending and 5% withdrawal rate...
Also, I'm not sure that Most renters reach retirement with little or no net worth is correct...
Attempted new signature...

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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by Ignis » Sun Mar 15, 2015 4:23 am

Thanks for posting this. Forwarded it to my younger siblings who I am hoping will take it to heart so that we can all enjoy early retirement together one day.

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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by J295 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:26 am

Good information.

Next time you use this you may consider altering the personal choices heading to frame these in terms of financial impacts rather than suggestions. Personally, I'm not comfortable suggesting to someone that they "have a moderate number of children" or decline to live in a HCOLA (starting a career in Silicon Valley and living in SF is very expensive, but also can result in significant financial benefits for some people). Perhaps it's self evident that the students are responsible to filter your information .... just some food for thought.

Thanks for posting.

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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by Swampy » Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:01 am

The wisdom of experience is frequently lost on the young, falling more often than not on deaf ears.

It's mind boggling how each and every generation literally has to re-invent the wheel.

Precious few take advantage of this sage advice at a young age and go forward by implementing it.

Those that do will be so far ahead of the rest, they won't even be in the same state.
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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by JLJL » Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:13 am

These students are fortunate to have you lecture... this is great!

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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by Howard Donnelly » Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:19 am

GoldenFinch wrote:Bravo!

A+++ :happy
+1

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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by Lynette » Sun Mar 15, 2015 2:53 pm

Great. I would expand on the choices that financial independence brings. A 20 year old is just starting on a career and may not realize that they may feel burned out at 50. If they are financially independent they can start a second career of which they may always have dreamed. They can do volunteer work etc.

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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by mlebuf » Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:01 pm

The Wizard wrote:A very good outline for a presentation, yes.
Some might quibble with the 20x annual spending and 5% withdrawal rate...
Also, I'm not sure that Most renters reach retirement with little or no net worth is correct...
First, I want to thank all of you for your very kind comments and suggestions. I just hope it helps young people think long-term about their future and make wise choices. My guess is that most of the ones I spoke to in October have long since forgotten what I had to say.

As to the 20x annual spending and 5% withdrawal rate, if one is not making increases for inflation when taking withdrawals, it should hold up. I had less than 50 minutes to present a lot of information and could not be too precise. Truth be told, nobody knows what withdrawal rate will work in the future because nobody knows the future. Financial planners love to advise taking no more than 4 percent and adjusting for inflation. However, it's my opinion that those who stick to this dogmatic rule are highly likely to leave a lot of money on the table for someone else to enjoy when they pass on. This article by Scott Burns provides another, more realistic perspective:
http://assetbuilder.com/scott_burns/the_hedonic_clock

As to the net worth of homeowners vs. renters here are the facts: http://economistsoutlook.blogs.realtor. ... s-renters/

It's certainly possible to be a lifelong renter and become financially independent. But the odds favor home ownership for most people. The majority of the net worth of most retirees is in their homes.
Best wishes, | Michael | | Invest your time actively and your money passively.

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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by TravelforFun » Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:05 pm

Mlelbuf, I posted your speech verbatim on my Facebook page and it has been shared or reposted several times. Great job!

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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:13 pm

Very good post. I've done a similar thing for low-income, first-generation freshmen at a state university. One thing I focused a little more on was how to spend wisely and avoid unnecessary debt. It was a bit of a variation on the quote Nisiprius has in the signature line here ("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."), but in a more modern context.

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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by mlebuf » Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:22 pm

J295 wrote:Good information.

Next time you use this you may consider altering the personal choices heading to frame these in terms of financial impacts rather than suggestions. Personally, I'm not comfortable suggesting to someone that they "have a moderate number of children" or decline to live in a HCOLA (starting a career in Silicon Valley and living in SF is very expensive, but also can result in significant financial benefits for some people). Perhaps it's self evident that the students are responsible to filter your information .... just some food for thought.

Thanks for posting.
Good suggestion. I simply tried to tell young people how to increase their odds of becoming financially independent at an early age. It's possible for someone to live in Silicon Valley, have 4 spouses, 12 children, drop out of college, be lifelong renters and become multimillionaires, but it's not the way to bet. The arithmetic will win in the end. At the same time, it's also possible for someone to do everything I suggest and end up broke. Life doesn't come with a warranty.
Best wishes, | Michael | | Invest your time actively and your money passively.

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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by fsrph » Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:41 pm

Thanks for posting this. Really enjoyed reading your thoughts.

Francis
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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by Fallible » Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:44 pm

If I struggle to remember when I was 20, I know I wouldn't forget this speech, especially your opening: "Let’s begin by taking an imaginary trip into the distant future. Imagine you are 50 years of age. I picked 50 because if you have reached your 20th birthday, odds are the majority of your remaining life will be spent after 50."

I'm certain few 20-year-olds are thinking about being 50, let alone that most of their lives will be spent after that age, yet this is just what they need to begin thinking about at 20. Overall, I think this wonderful speech will be quite memorable. (Also loved the Jason Zweig quote.)
Bogleheads® wiki | Investing Advice Inspired by Jack Bogle

RosieQ
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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by RosieQ » Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:57 pm

Excellent content, I totally agree with your points. I recently made a similar presentation to a number of peers and while I think that some gained valuable information that they will implement in the future, it was amazing the number who totally tuned out and showed minimal interest. I suppose you can't help everybody, but at least you can give give them a chance with information that a select few will run with.

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mlebuf
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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by mlebuf » Sun Mar 15, 2015 4:36 pm

TravelforFun wrote:Mlelbuf, I posted your speech verbatim on my Facebook page and it has been shared or reposted several times. Great job!
Thank you for doing that. I would encourage everyone to post my remarks anywhere they can be seen by those who may benefit from the message. Better yet, post a link to this thread. That will increase the viewership at bogleheads.org where those who are interested can learn more.
Best wishes, | Michael | | Invest your time actively and your money passively.

js2012
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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by js2012 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 6:52 pm

Thank you!

ddurrett896
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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by ddurrett896 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:16 pm

:sharebeer

ShiftF5
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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by ShiftF5 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:28 pm

Mel Lindauer wrote:Well done, Michael.

Now forum members might understand why Taylor and I were thrilled when Michael agreed to join us as a co-author on our first book, The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing.
Another outstanding Michael LeBoeuf book is "The Millionaire in You".

Truly life changing information.

peterantone
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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by peterantone » Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:33 pm

Excellent advice. I wish I heard it when I was 20. My only observation is about the quote " –
Major in a field that will increase your value in the job market. "
. I happen to think it is difficult to know which field will have more value looking 50 years ahead. Worse, even if one knows, he/she might not like the field and might get in it for its financial reward as opposed to self fulfillment . I suggest they should major in the field they love and will be willing to work at tirelessly and with devotion, and the ability to make money will often flow automatically.

ShiftF5
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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by ShiftF5 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:40 pm

RosieQ wrote:Excellent content, I totally agree with your points. I recently made a similar presentation to a number of peers and while I think that some gained valuable information that they will implement in the future, it was amazing the number who totally tuned out and showed minimal interest. I suppose you can't help everybody, but at least you can give give them a chance with information that a select few will run with.
I don't doubt what you are saying for a minute. In fact, I've witnessed some of that myself.

Why that is so I can't begin to understand.

All you can do is present the information and hope some use it.

"When the day is over and you have done your best...wait the results in peace"
-- Anonymous

Allan
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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by Allan » Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:42 pm

Excellent advice. Thank you so very much. This does in my "advice" file for children and grandchildren.

Allan

Norris
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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by Norris » Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:46 pm

mlebuf wrote:
TravelforFun wrote:Mlelbuf, I posted your speech verbatim on my Facebook page and it has been shared or reposted several times. Great job!
Thank you for doing that. I would encourage everyone to post my remarks anywhere they can be seen by those who may benefit from the message. Better yet, post a link to this thread. That will increase the viewership at bogleheads.org where those who are interested can learn more.
Great stuff and thank you, Michael. I sent the link to my daughter.

Norris
Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. Confucius

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mlebuf
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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by mlebuf » Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:37 pm

ShiftF5 wrote:
RosieQ wrote:Excellent content, I totally agree with your points. I recently made a similar presentation to a number of peers and while I think that some gained valuable information that they will implement in the future, it was amazing the number who totally tuned out and showed minimal interest. I suppose you can't help everybody, but at least you can give give them a chance with information that a select few will run with.
I don't doubt what you are saying for a minute. In fact, I've witnessed some of that myself.

Why that is so I can't begin to understand.

All you can do is present the information and hope some use it.

"When the day is over and you have done your best...wait the results in peace"
-- Anonymous
Excellent points by both of you. Many believe the solution to making people more financially responsible is through courses in financial literacy. While I wish it were true, I doubt that it would be of much help. The principles of effective investing are so simple that they can be written on the back of an envelope. Anyone who can do 7th grade arithmetic can implement them. I liken the problems of personal finance and investing to the problem of being overweight. Both problems have solutions that are much easier to understand than to do. Most people who want to lose weight need to consume fewer calories and exercise more. People who want to build wealth need to save more. But how many are willing to do what it takes in either case? During my teaching years I learned that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Teaching is possible. Learning and applying the information is optional.
Best wishes, | Michael | | Invest your time actively and your money passively.

robertalpert
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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by robertalpert » Sun Mar 15, 2015 10:55 pm

Thanks for your very interesting post. Here is an article about your topic. -- may provide an additional way(s) to organize the discussion.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012 ... me-machine

FredL
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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by FredL » Mon Mar 16, 2015 12:00 am

Wow! Can I distribute your material? I always find something to add. I don't know the level of your audiences. If they are freshman, I think the bar is too high. For the people on this forum, the material is excellent. If they are the people who are planning for the weekend, it may be too difficult for them. I would give them more concrete suggestions. Such as, investing 15% of the income in broad based low cost mutual funds and never touch the investment before retirement. Don't buy anything expensive until look it at least for three times and wait for one month. By that time you may not want it anymore. Don't listen to someone who said by investing something you can make a lot of money without risk even they are your trusted friends. Forget about instant gratification. If you cannot pay off the credit card due at the end of the month, you are spending too much. Everyone makes mistakes. Don't make the same mistake twice. Eat healthy food. If you have a bad health, the money doesn't mean anything. Make sure stay away with people who always in high debts, over spending, brag something expensive.

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Will do good
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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by Will do good » Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:37 pm

What a wonderful road map, I could have used this when I was younger. I have passed this link to some friends and my adult children's.

Cheers :beer

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baw703916
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Re: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

Post by baw703916 » Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:12 pm

This advice contains a lot of good points, and I'm sure it will serve the majority of the audience members well (assuming they listen and follow it).

It isn't, however, the advice I would give my own 20 year old self (I just turned 50 a couple years ago). By that I mean no disrespect for Michael or the advice. It's simply that I seem to be in the minority, Most of the time when I've gotten off track, it has been in the opposite direction from the typical tendencies that most advice attempts to steer people away from. I personally am much more likely to forget to enjoy today than to forget to plan for the future. I also sometimes forget that investment and buying necessities aren't the only things one can do with money.
Most of my posts assume no behavioral errors.

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