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Old 05-08-2009, 07:25 PM   #21
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I too finally hit the green today.
I started buying stock funds when the S&P was at a little over 1300.
I just kept buying on the way down hoping and praying it would eventually pay off.
Well not sure how long the market will allow me to rejoice but I'm in the green for now.
Hopefully catching those falling knives will create a decent position in the market for years to come.
Steve
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Old 05-08-2009, 07:57 PM   #22
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Congrats Steve! It is a good feeling to see green again. Keep on the tinfoil helmet and kevlar vest!
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:23 PM   #23
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Congrats Steve! It is a good feeling to see green again. Keep on the tinfoil helmet and kevlar vest!
When I saw this thread I was thinking maybe some day soon I'll be able to reply.
The market teased me for a few days but I finally hit pay dirt.
It does indeed have a nice feel to it for now !!!
Steve
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:37 PM   #24
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It has been a perplexing period of roller coaster riding in the markets. My basic all time high came in Oct of 2007.
Interesting question, "when are you back in the green". My all time high was June of 08 and I'm still a member of a club mentioned in another thread. By Oct. 07 standards, I'm up about 20%.

What does "green" mean?
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:58 PM   #25
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Interesting question, "when are you back in the green". My all time high was June of 08 and I'm still a member of a club mentioned in another thread. By Oct. 07 standards, I'm up about 20%.

What does "green" mean?
I like the way that Connie put it ("in the green"). To me it implies that each of us can define that for ourselves. I am thinking that it is more of a feeling than anything else.

I am not quite back "in the green", but it is nice to be able to breathe a little these days!
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:13 PM   #26
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My retirement fund all time high was also in Oct 2007, although I came very, very close to it again in May 2008. In early March 2009 the portfolio was down 40% from that all time high.

As of now it is down only 25% from that all time high.

Even though I am nowhere near that peak (which at the end of 2007 was 62% above what I retired with in 1999), I'm feeling pretty cheery about the recovery so far!

Probably because now at least the portfolio is also 25% ahead of when I retired in 1999, ( feeling green!) whereas in early March 2009 it was slightly under the initial (1999) portfolio value!

Audrey
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:54 PM   #27
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W2R nailed it as individual perception. I am happy to have more now than when I retired and got a lump sum. I am also happy that it is higher now than my all time high. The part that pleases me the most is the recovery from where it has been in the first quarter of this year.

We can do analysis paralysis and sit on our pity pots or get on with fighting back via education and good purchasing/selling decisions. To some extent we all roll the dice and being in the money feels Grrrrrrrrrrrrrreat! Being greener than you were in March Audrey, I am sure this feels better!
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:03 PM   #28
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Here is a chart showing our monthly portfolio value since I retired four years ago (the gridlines are oddball for those of you who might be trying to decipher actual amounts ). Investment gains/losses are muddy since we've lived entirely off the portfolio prior to starting SS in February.

In March of 09 we were down 29% from where we started, 37% from the high in June of 07. As of today we are down 20% from when I retired - an amount roughly equal to our expenses over the past four years.

I can't claim to feel "Grrrrrrrrrrrrrreat!", but at least I no longer feet "Baaaaaaaaaad"!
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:18 PM   #29
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Glad to hear that REWahoo!
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Old 05-08-2009, 11:21 PM   #30
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Here is a chart showing our monthly portfolio value since I retired four years ago (the gridlines are oddball for those of you who might be trying to decipher actual amounts ). Investment gains/losses are muddy since we've lived entirely off the portfolio prior to starting SS in February.

In March of 09 we were down 29% from where we started, 37% from the high in June of 07. As of today we are down 20% from when I retired - an amount roughly equal to our expenses over the past four years.

I can't claim to feel "Grrrrrrrrrrrrrreat!", but at least I no longer feet "Baaaaaaaaaad"!
That's great! Also, I see from the chart that you already know what the returns will be in June and July of 09 - Could I please have a copy of that program? I really would like to be able to peek a couple of months into the future...
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Old 05-09-2009, 01:01 AM   #31
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That's great! Also, I see from the chart that you already know what the returns will be in June and July of 09 - Could I please have a copy of that program? I really would like to be able to peek a couple of months into the future...
Hey, Careful now.
You do realize your fooling with a man of tha Cloth don't you?
Steve
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Old 05-09-2009, 06:00 AM   #32
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... I see from the chart that you already know what the returns will be in June and July of 09 - Could I please have a copy of that program?
Sorry, the program is proprietary. However, subscriptions to my newsletter are available here if you are interested.
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Old 05-09-2009, 07:08 AM   #33
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My retirement fund all time high was also in Oct 2007, although I came very, very close to it again in May 2008. In early March 2009 the portfolio was down 40% from that all time high.

As of now it is down only 25% from that all time high.


Audrey
Pretty much the same here. Hard for me to 'feel' in the green.
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Old 05-09-2009, 07:10 AM   #34
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I computed my monthly portfolio averages since July and tried to display in a similar way to REWahoo's graph.

You can see similar shapes in the ups and downs during that period. But look at what a difference the income from working (no withdrawals from my portfolio), and adding to my TSP (the only additions to my portfolio during this time) made. It softened the declines, and is a visual reminder of how much tougher this recession has been for retirees than for us wannabes. I think our asset allocation is roughly the same - - mine is 45:55 with 30% Wellesley, and I think his is not much different.

The top graph is REWahoo's, and the bottom graph is mine. I tried to make the "pseudo-units" on the vertical axis about the same for the present.
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File Type: jpg portfolio2.jpg (16.0 KB, 85 views)
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Old 05-09-2009, 07:11 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Here is a chart showing our monthly portfolio value since I retired four years ago (the gridlines are oddball for those of you who might be trying to decipher actual amounts ). Investment gains/losses are muddy since we've lived entirely off the portfolio prior to starting SS in February.

In March of 09 we were down 29% from where we started, 37% from the high in June of 07. As of today we are down 20% from when I retired - an amount roughly equal to our expenses over the past four years.

I can't claim to feel "Grrrrrrrrrrrrrreat!", but at least I no longer feet "Baaaaaaaaaad"!
We need some $ numbers along the side of that chart.
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Old 05-09-2009, 07:43 AM   #36
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It softened the declines, and is a visual reminder of how much tougher this recession has been for retirees than for us wannabes.
Watching the trend line from the Fall of 2007 through March of 2009 was an "interesting" experience - one I'd prefer to forgo for the next two or three decades...
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Old 05-09-2009, 07:53 AM   #37
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Watching the trend line from the Fall of 2007 through March of 2009 was an "interesting" experience - one I'd prefer to forgo for the next two or three decades...
I sincerely and fervently hope that you don't ever have that "interesting" experience again! Especially since I would have to experience it as a retiree as well, if it is after November 9th.
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Old 05-09-2009, 08:13 AM   #38
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Pretty much the same here. Hard for me to 'feel' in the green.
In Oct 20007 when the portfolio was 62% above where we started in 1999, I was feeling very, very flush. So it's hard to feel that bad now that we're only 25% from that number, especially as we were below where we started retirement only two months ago!

I guess I have been psychologically prepared for it to take many years to return to that all-time-high peak of Oct 2007. In the mean time I've got lots of living to do.

Audrey
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Old 05-09-2009, 02:25 PM   #39
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Gee! RW and W2R, your graphs are so flat I would think you have been making mountains out of molehills. When I get a chance to graph it, will show you mine.

Basically, from March 2000 to March 2003, I lost 50% due to a tech-heavy portfolio. Then, from March 2003 to Oct 2007, triple my portfolio by abandoning tech stocks to get into utilities, healthcare, mining, fertilizer, energy related stocks, etc... Currently, at 24% below that Oct 07 high, due to going from 70% equities to 30%, then back to 50% currently. Would have lost much more if I kept the same stocks I did in Oct 07.

Now, that's a white-knuckle roller coaster ride that I hope to learn to smooth out, or better yet to convert to a climbing staircase shape.


PS. I never buy stocks on margin. In fact, I am never more than 70% in equities. Having little bonds, the rest I keep in Cash + MM + CD + I-bonds.
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Old 05-09-2009, 03:06 PM   #40
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Gee! RW and W2R, your graphs are so flat I would think you have been making mountains out of molehills.
From about 2004-2006 my asset allocation was 100% equities, so I know what you mean. I did pretty well in that bull market but couldn't handle that level of risk any more.

I have to admit that the last year has been a wonderful test of risk tolerance. I guess my asset allocation worked out OK for now since I was scared to death but didn't sell low. But then, my risk with this AA is less while I am still working than it will be next year, after ER.
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