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Best and worst investment decisions
Old 07-27-2005, 04:46 PM   #1
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Best and worst investment decisions

Over the years most of our equity investments have been boring well diversified affairs. However there were some memorable bumps along the way.

Worst: I actually got suckered in by a friend to invest some money through Stratton Oakmont sometime around 94. They were the infamous Long Island boiler room IPO operation. loss => $45k. Completely my fault and plenty of stress on the marriage since the wife wasn't paying much attention to the investments at the time. I will never forget that lesson in greed and gullibility

Best: Peak of the tech bubble early 2000. I begged the wife to dump her vested Telcom company stock (sitting in her 401k) and switch to a balanced fund. Stock experienced a 10X gain in something like 2 years and her co-workers were convinced it was headed higher (those really were crazy times). I can still remember telling her it wasn't any more real than those make believe companies Stratton promoted. She finally gave in and dumped it all. Two years later the stock was under 2. Gain (even with the the SP500 drop since 2000) => $350k

Today: much stronger marriage and still invested in those boring diversified affairs. We review every boring decision together, and with an advisor.

Glad to be on the site. Cheers, TargaDave

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Re: Best and worst investment decisions
Old 07-27-2005, 05:22 PM   #2
 
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Re: Best and worst investment decisions

Quote:
We review every boring decision together, and with an advisor.
Dave,

Dump the advisor. It sounds like you are doing fine on your own. I am quessing that the Advisor cares more about his portfolio than yours.
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Re: Best and worst investment decisions
Old 07-27-2005, 06:03 PM   #3
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Re: Best and worst investment decisions

Worst - welllll - let me say this about that - started in 1966 - I could fill pages and pages - on RE - rental and raw land, PM coins, stocks, timberland, mutual funds, the now once again popular multi-asset class investing.(missed commodities somehow) - interspersed with with a few - legend in my own mind(now I got it figured out periods) - complete with a little penthouse living, a couple sports cars, etc - and finally a reasonably long frugal period of DCA.

All in all 80 -90% of our ER portfolio came from DCA into broad based, low expense balanced index funds over a long period. The rental duplex was second(sold and consumed early in ER).

As for the best - heh, heh, heh - have 15% in individual stocks.

Any day now - any day - after all I been practicing since 1966 - 2004.

Here's to male hormones - and hope springs eternal - unclemick hits a ten bagger and* the SAINTS in the Superbowl.

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Re: Best and worst investment decisions
Old 07-27-2005, 07:16 PM   #4
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Re: Best and worst investment decisions

Well, the best is easy......buying my own company. The worst?
Honestly, I can't think of a really bad one, certainly not in real
estate which is my fav. venue. Any losses in common stock were
minimal. Nope, my timing may have been bad, but I can't recall
getting creamed on anything.

JG
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Re: Best and worst investment decisions
Old 07-27-2005, 09:20 PM   #5
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Re: Best and worst investment decisions

Quote:
Originally Posted by unclemick2

Here's to male hormones - and hope springs eternal - unclemick hits a ten bagger and the SAINTS in the Superbowl.
Cold day in hell, UM. The AINTS have been going downhill since Junior Gilliam ran that kickoff back in 1967. I remember it well. First play ever, and he ran it back. I was on my way to Barksdale AFB, listening to a.m. radio. I thought, this is gonna be grrrrreat (a little Tony the tiger lingo) but I was wrong. If you invested like the Saints play, you'd be broke.

Of course, you could hit a ten bagger!
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Re: Best and worst investment decisions
Old 07-28-2005, 01:56 AM   #6
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Re: Best and worst investment decisions

Worst; buying into IPO www.letsbuyit.com in April 2000. Loss: $12000. Also around same time went into an IT fund taking a loss of about $5000. Ah; 2000 was a very expensive education in investing form me!

Best: well the diversified portfolio I have now - but also a couple of my bets (with dedicated gambling money) such as TLM, SSRI and the penny stock SOYL. They have more than covered my above dummies I hope but have never bothered(dared?) calculating!

Cheers!
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Re: Best and worst investment decisions
Old 07-28-2005, 02:32 AM   #7
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Re: Best and worst investment decisions

Best: on large scale (big bucks)=> real estate (80% of my net worth so far). Greatest picks like HYSQ, CYTO, DTSX and many others I made more than 1000% each...

Worse: getting mad and overtrading short the Big Bear. Then Greenspan lowering rates suddendly (and brutally), NDX making +16% overnight and having my account exploding the morning after when I woke up in europe ! Then Big Bear resumed and left me behind and my account devastated... Then I started developing expert-systems not to overtrade. Still mad, but not mad trading.

Still trading. still investing (in funds, ETFs, indexes) and RE, RE, RE but it's getting hard as the smallest property here (cote d'azur) is more than a million now....

Patrice.
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Re: Best and worst investment decisions
Old 07-28-2005, 02:41 AM   #8
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Re: Best and worst investment decisions

Poyet; yes EU certainly have been seeing some solid increases! Naturally the French Cote is going through the roof but even my Scandinavien little condo has added 25% in 6 months!

Wanna do some house swapping!? I could use a few weeks in a 1M Euro house in France!
Or come to Thailand?

Cheers!
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Re: Best and worst investment decisions
Old 07-28-2005, 06:15 AM   #9
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Re: Best and worst investment decisions

C-T Yep, still kinda wimpy about managing investments on my own (impulsive type-a). Maybe after some more training. Right now I reserve my take-control swagger for my startup company and my "what have you done for me this month" VC's.

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Re: Best and worst investment decisions
Old 07-28-2005, 01:50 PM   #10
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Re: Best and worst investment decisions

Ben, house swapping would make me a bit nervous (as there are many details to be taken care for, the green, the pool, etc.). But you're welcome whenever you wish, I've plenty of room. Could be good to visit you in a scandinavian country or tailand as well. So we have to think more about it.
Cheers,
Patrice.
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Re: Best and worst investment decisions
Old 07-28-2005, 02:15 PM   #11
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Re: Best and worst investment decisions

Worst : Fresh out of college in 1980, decided options were how to make real
money. Unfortunately, made $900 on first trade. 2 years later, decided I had lost
enough money (maybe $3K, real money at the time) in the too-dangerous stock
market and started putting savings into long term muni bonds. The first of these
matures next year. It turns out 1982 would have been a good time to invest in
stocks. I did not go back into individual stocks until 1993.

Best / lucky : Decided the market was too high Feb 7, 2000, and moved entire
401K balance from small-cap growth and SP500 to cash for 3 years. Fortunately,
I did not let the result fool me into thinking I could time the market.

Best : Decided in mid/late 1998 that REITs were more attractively priced than
regular stocks, moved most of my non-401K assets into them. While this made for
a miserable 1999 (although I was still had confidence in my decision), it made
for a very nice 2000-2004.
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Re: Best and worst investment decisions
Old 07-28-2005, 02:26 PM   #12
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Re: Best and worst investment decisions

Worst: not moving out of company stock and index funds fast enough in 2001. Lost 30% overnight.

Best: Dell; up 5000% since I bought in early 1990's

After tax portfolio has 10 stocks, an index spyder, tax free munis and a few other goodies.

Sitting on some cash from a realestate sale that is my expenses fund for RE. I am only in jumbo CDs on this so far. Still looking for short term, safe but decent yeild investment.
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Re: Best and worst investment decisions
Old 07-28-2005, 02:49 PM   #13
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Re: Best and worst investment decisions

Best - sold most of stock fund 1998 to buy 2.5 acres for mobile home, plus septic, gravel, etc.
Worst - that $800 death trap of a pickup I have as a spare car (my wife hasn't driven it yet). Of course, at $800 it is almost disposable.
This is generally a low budget operation around here.
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Re: Best and worst investment decisions
Old 07-28-2005, 03:29 PM   #14
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Re: Best and worst investment decisions

Best: a tie, actually. First is figuring out that what the shorts were doing was nonsense and buying PLMD at split-adjusted $8. Second is figuring out the cash flows from PPD's business were grossly undervalued and buying several times with an average price of 19.

Worst: Not jumping into the pool several times when all systems were flashing GO and my analytic efforts were screaming BUY. There is nothing more frustrating than wanting to wait a little bit and seeing that you were right, as what you hesitated on skyrockets.
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Re: Best and worst investment decisions
Old 07-28-2005, 03:35 PM   #15
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Re: Best and worst investment decisions

Worst... buying Fidelity Magellan back in 1984 with my IRA money.... I almost bought COMPAQ, but it had dropped from $8 per share to $4 per share in the last couple of weeks.... the decision "cost" me over $500,000 and I would be retired now
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Re: Best and worst investment decisions
Old 07-28-2005, 06:43 PM   #16
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Re: Best and worst investment decisions

My worst experience was listening to a freind who was an investment advisor who sold me a single premium life insurance policy. The insurance company went into bankrupcty and the state took over. I still get upset over all the fees that so called friend made off me. My best experience was finding Vanguard and John Bogle's books.
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Re: Best and worst investment decisions
Old 07-29-2005, 06:40 AM   #17
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Re: Best and worst investment decisions

Worst: church bonds defaulted after 2 years - net loss of $16K back in 1990.

Best/worst: a penny stock bought at .23 and sold at $4 while all others went to $0.
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Re: Best and worst investment decisions
Old 07-29-2005, 07:50 AM   #18
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Re: Best and worst investment decisions


WORST of the Worst... SCMR at $110 sold at about $5


Best... Seaside condo, up 4X in 4 years
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Re: Best and worst investment decisions
Old 07-29-2005, 10:26 AM   #19
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Re: Best and worst investment decisions

Worst: relying on a salesman finacial advisor. Didn't lose any money but didn't make any after fees.

Best: believing in myself, educating myself, and taking some responsibility for myself. Either that or marrying the cheapest woman in the world.
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Re: Best and worst investment decisions
Old 07-29-2005, 01:27 PM   #20
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Re: Best and worst investment decisions

Before 1999, my excellent salary and treasuries were building my investments.
I got "smart" and decided to invest in the stock market and have lost so far 1/2 of my principal investments.

Just some of my great stock choices , Exodus (-$36k), Etoys (-$18k), Agency (-$11k), and CommerceOne (-$13k), all bankrupt. And I thought I didn't gamble. Sometimes it felt like I was playing with monopoly money so that it wouldn't hurt quite so bad.

The one great investment was buying my 2 fam house.
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