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Old 10-19-2012, 07:12 AM   #21
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I was 2 years into my mega corp "career" ... had some low 4 figure number in the market via a 401k. So, being young and naive, I ran to a Charles Schwab office with a 10k cash advance from a CC and plopped it into IBM stock. Watched it run up almost 20% then cashed it out to pay off the CC. Don't ask about the CC fees (young, naive).
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:35 AM   #22
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Like the OP, I had just begun investing in my (former) company's 401(k) a year earlier after waiting one year after the beginning of my employment to become eligible for the plan. The plan back then consisted of two funds, a Stable Value fund and an S&P500 fund. I had only a few hundred dollars in the S&P500 fund (I had been investing 75% in the Stable Value fund which was paying 9% back then) and the only time I knew my account balance was from the quarterly statements we got from the plan administrator, so I would not get a new statement until early January. By that time, the market had recovered a bit and by the end of the next quarter I had more than made up all my meager losses.

Around that time I was helping my mother out with a small, side business she had selling oversized hand-painted T-shirts and other related trinkets at local fairs and flea markets. I went to one of these fairs with her shortly after the crash and wondered if the depressed attendance was due in part to the crash and nobody having any extra money to spend there.
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:48 AM   #23
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I wish I had been in a position to have some angst at the crash. I was just getting started in accumulation and had little to lose. I remember not feeling any sympathy for the people who were upset about it. I was young and ignorant. Now I am much older and still ignorant.
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:56 AM   #24
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I was young and ignorant. Now I am much older and still ignorant.
Older, still ignorant, but with more money. Oui? So what's wrong?

Works for me!
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:03 AM   #25
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Life is good! I do believe I am the luckiest man on earth.
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Old 10-19-2012, 11:30 AM   #26
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I find it amazing how many people remember what it did to their portfolio...


I do remember the day as my best friend at the time was off that day... he kept calling me with updates on what was happening... IIRC, the big crash was very late in the day... he called and just stayed on the line giving me the ticker updates... (we could not look at anything online then)....

The only thing I remember is that my mom was not happy that at the end of the year she had a cap gain distribution from Fidelity Magellan which she had bought around March or April.... she could not believe she had to pay taxes when she had 'lost'... it took me a long time to explain why... and I think she never really got it.... but, she was happy she stayed invested... and still has money in there to this day....
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Old 10-19-2012, 05:14 PM   #27
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I was a sales rep (clinical laboratory equipment) with a territory of east Texas and southwest Louisiana. I was in the Lake Charles area that day visiting customers and remember some of them talking about it. I remember also listening to the analysis on NPR in the evening as I was driving back to Houston and wondering if the financial world as we knew it was going to end. But I didn't pull any money out of my tiny mutual fund investments as my dad had beat long-term investing into my brain over the years. He was right.

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... Our computers were HP 3000 mini-computers, which were necessary for trading and back-office functions like settlement. Just after I arrived the main system crashed with a hardware problem. I called HP support with whom we had a contract that provided for 4 hour response time, but no commitment on actual time to repair, naturally.... He arrived in time to fix the problem before the market opening. HP was a great company then and I was pretty glad we had chosen them. ...
Thanks for these memories, Khufu - my previous job before the sales position was as data processing supervisor (as they called it then) at a chemical plant where we used HP3000s to run the maintenance system. Great computers, and you are right that HP was a top notch company back then. Very sad to see what has happened to it over the years.
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:23 PM   #28
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At that time in my life I wasn't even paying attention to what was going on. I didn't wake up until much later.
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:11 PM   #29
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I find it amazing how many people remember what it did to their portfolio...

I can guarantee if it happens again in your lifetime, YOU will remember it.
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:17 PM   #30
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We were in the closing for the house that I now live in and got the news when we came out of the meeting. I had previously sold my stocks to have a larger down payment.
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Old 10-20-2012, 08:25 AM   #31
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I can guarantee if it happens again in your lifetime, YOU will remember it.
No... because I was invested back then.... and I do not remember what happened to my portfolio except that it went down.... I did not make any changes in how much I was investing or where I was invested...

Don't get me wrong, I remember the day well... I can picture myself in my cube talking to my friend.... I can remember talking to my mom about it... but what happened to my portfolio.... no... (heck, I might not have even calculated what happened as it did not change my mind about anything)...


Now, this last one I will probably remember since it is a round number.... "I lost almost HALF my portfolio".... but in reality I did not.... it just sounds 'better' if you say so....
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:53 AM   #32
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I can guarantee if it happens again in your lifetime, YOU will remember it.
Amen!

For DW/me, it was a case that we were both 39 years of age, and had been in the market since '82. Remember, for us (who had a pension at the time - even though taken away at a later date), 1982 was the first year that we could contribute to our personal TIRA's. 401(k) programs did not come about until a few years later when our respective defined benefit plans - e.g. pensions, were eliminated.

Even though we only had a fraction of the equity value we had today, it was certainly a "teachable moment" in time.

I remembered the day well, since I was still going to night school for my BA (yes, at the age of 39, but that's another story).

The prof/instructor did take time at the beginning of the class to discuss the day's situation. Unlike today, there was no instant info, as far as the net provides today.

Being a couple of decades older than me (an old phart, but younger than me - today ), he just had the advice of don't worry about it. Markets go up, markets go down. Concentrate on the long term - as long as you are investing for the long term.

DW/me did nothing during that time. We also did nothing in 2000-02, nor 2008.

I know it is of little value to those that are much younger and have only been in the market for a decade (or less). However, you (and me) don't know what tomorrow will bring.

As for us? We learned a valuable lesson that period of time, and are "richer" (emotionally, and financially) for it.

Just our story...
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Old 10-20-2012, 02:00 PM   #33
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By sheer dumb luck , just having bought first house in Feb. , I had nothing in the market . I suspect I would have been in a major panic if invested at the time. I was 5 years at megacorp , and a great number of the "Old Guys" (those over 30) were in the " Hair on fire " mode. I do remember the pre " Circuit Breaker " trade and settlement problems.
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Old 10-20-2012, 02:05 PM   #34
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DH had a small retirement account with his employer that lost some but we didn't panic over it. When he left that job a few years later it was just about back to it's earlier value.

OTOH, my sister's husband was on a business trip to Japan and was FRANTIC over the market drop. He had borrowed money to invest and had some major losses. This was the first time I heard the term "buy on margin". My sister says that she didn't know that he had borrowed the money, or maybe she just didn't pay attention. Whatever, it was quite a loss for them at a time when they didn't have money to spare.
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Old 10-20-2012, 02:20 PM   #35
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I remember two things about that time. One, we had little savings in the bank but I had signed up for the employee stock purchase plan, get a 15% discount on up to 10% of salary. We enrolled up at my first raise to the 10% max. So we probably had 6 months or so of salary equivalent in company stock. The sudden drop was painful but in an abstract sort of way because it was not money we had any intention of spending anytime soon and we didn't look at it very often.

The second - the following saturday my son went to a scouts meeting, and the fathers were all standing around while the boys were doing their thing. One by one, each man discussed his thoughts on the market, but each one ended saying he had been lucky or prescient or something, had lots of money in the market but didn't lose any, saw it coming, or made money. Every single guy with the same story. So, when it was my turn I said something along the lines of "either I'm the dumbest guy here or the only honest one in the group, because the only stock we own went down a whole lot". Everyone laughed - then most walked away.
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Old 10-20-2012, 05:04 PM   #36
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At that time in my life I wasn't even paying attention to what was going on. I didn't wake up until much later.
At the time, I had just turned 22, started my new professional job less than three months earlier and didn't have any investments yet. Plus, this job had a pension (later frozen). So in reality it really didn't hit me much. But it did, in retrospect, give me things to think about in terms of my investing decisions and asset allocation. It never really tested my risk tolerance like 2000-02 or 2007-09 did because I didn't have skin in the game.
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Old 10-21-2012, 03:31 PM   #37
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At that time in my life I wasn't even paying attention to what was going on. I didn't wake up until much later.
Me too, wasn't on my radar back in those days.
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Old 10-21-2012, 04:20 PM   #38
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My wife (then fiance) was a portfolio manager (small cap stocks) at the time. I remember meeting her after work for dinner. We walked in the street for a block just to make doubly sure we didn't get hit by a falling investor.
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Old 10-21-2012, 05:33 PM   #39
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I was only 8 years old back then, but I knew a little about the stock market because my grandma used to watch it all the time. I knew it was bad news, but didn't have the full understanding of how much money was lost by everyone that invested back then.
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Old 10-21-2012, 05:54 PM   #40
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1987....hmmmmm

I was married for 3 years and living in the starter home I still occupy.

I was helping my husband pay back a $10K loan (downpayment on house) with interest from my FIL. It took us newlyweds 3 looong years to pay that loan back. I couldn't even afford to buy proper drapes for the house until 1988.

I was still w*rking for small time DoD contractors because there was still a federal hiring freeze in place. My salary was a joke but at least I had a j*b.

Stock market? Wasn't that something that people with a lot of money played with?
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