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View Poll Results: How does your level of concern now compare with the previous drop?
I am more concerned now than I was then. 119 76.28%
My level of concern is about the same. 23 14.74%
I am not as concerned now as I was then. 9 5.77%
I just can't answer a poll such as this, or I don't understand the poll, or I have issues with the definition of "concern", or my situation is too complex and doesn't fit into these three choices for some reason. 1 0.64%
I just don't remember. 4 2.56%
Voters: 156. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-13-2008, 11:00 AM   #21
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Less concerned for me. I was laid off back then, but now am pretty stable working for the fed gov't.
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Old 11-13-2008, 11:25 AM   #22
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I wasn't sure how to answer this one. On the one hand I am more concerned. I think this time may be much worse and last much longer than the earlier bubble bursting. On the other hand, I had worked and planned for years to be able to survive a worst case scenario like what may be coming. We are retired, with no debt of any kind (no mortgage, car payment or credit card debt), have a Cola'd gov't pensions that covers all basic living costs, excellent gov't subsidized health insurance, and investments in high dividend paying stocks that throw off a nice income stream to supplement pensions. DW will start collecting social security in one year. So from that perspective its as Alfred E. Newman used to say - "What, me worry"? I do worry for my children, however. My son will be getting married in two weeks and hopefully starting a family soon. So far his job with a software company is secure, but who knows what will happen? My daughter works in a Broadway theater. The show she works on is closing in January. Will the downturn cause the theater business to seriously contract?

For most people I think the next few years will not be pretty
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Old 11-13-2008, 11:35 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post

BTW our portfolio has hit -40% off its all-time high and may reach -45%.

Ironically both spouse and I were offered full-time jobs last week.
Well I guess if we hear that either you or Mrs Nords has accepted said position will be a clear indication that there is no hope for this market and we should all be looking for jobs. If the Nords capitulate it must be really bad.

That said I am probably more anxious this time around because we are closer to FIRE. I am still consulting for my former employer and funnily enough, it is in the workplace that I am most anxious about this economy. When I am at home I just ignore it, I am too busy enjoying life, don't have time to think about what is going on. As soon as I am in the office looking at the numbers all I can think about is when will the next round of layoffs be which immediately leads me to the internet and my job search starts.
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Old 11-13-2008, 11:40 AM   #24
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I was out of the market in 2000-2002. Just got out of residency and was paying off CC debt, student loans etc. The whole dot com bust was barely noticeable noise in my world at that time.

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Old 11-13-2008, 11:48 AM   #25
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I retired in 2000 but was mostly out of the market and invested in MM. I went into this downturn 50/50 so I'm more concerned now than then. Adding to my concern, former Mega-Corp employer is looking shaky so health care may go bye bye and pension may be taken over by the Govmint.

I will take SS next year so I can now envision (worst case) being totally dependent on the Govmint, even though it was never my intent.
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Old 11-13-2008, 11:54 AM   #26
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I was just wondering about this very question. I wonder if our present sense that things are worse is real or just a recency phenomena, where we've forgotten how bad it was back then.

I'm deeply in the market now (much to my short-term detriment), while I was out of it during the 2000-2002 debacle. This is both good and bad. Of course, it's bad because I've lost a lot on paper. It's good because, unless things are really different this time, I'll do better in the long run.

Folks, an evil mastermind could not have set up better terms to buy entire markets. First real estate, then banks, then global downturns, then consumers stop spending (what!?!). Wave after wave of bad news. The end of the world has been priced in. Nothing has been spared.

Have heart, people. Sure, things are bad, but by almost any measure, valuations are at reasonable levels. We'll come out of this o.k. in the end. Rebalance or buy more, and a few years from now things will look much better. In the mean time, dividends are at reasonable rates, paying you to stay the course.

Cheers.
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Old 11-13-2008, 11:57 AM   #27
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Much less concerned back then; I was in my late 40's and in my prime earning years. Now that I am only 8 months away from my planned FIRE date I am concerned that it will take a long time before this market recovers fully. It was easy to understand how the dot.com era spiraled out of control. The problems this time are much more complex and far reaching.
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Old 11-13-2008, 12:10 PM   #28
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I assume your asking in reference to the financial situation. Even the effect of 9-11 on markets and the economy. (not the terrorism act itself... that threat).


I am more concerned now. Back then I saw it is a bubble that was deflated but had little concern the general economy and overall market would return to past levels.

Right now I am concerned that there are too many problems for a normal recovery like we have seen during typical business cycle downturns.
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Old 11-13-2008, 12:12 PM   #29
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I am more concerned now. I was more or less concerned back then. I was working then, am ERed now.

I seemed like it took forever for the market to turn around back then. It already feels like that now and it hasn't been that long!

I think the thing that bothers me the most is that I have a dim understanding of why the market (and coming soon, the economy) is going down SO hard.

Working on my resume today. I hate j*b searching. ER was good while it lasted.

Glad I found this forum!

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Old 11-13-2008, 12:34 PM   #30
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I was more concerned in '02, even though this situation is much more dangerous and my aggregate portfolio decline is slightly greater - so far.

The difference is then I focused excessively on my portfolio decline. Now I focus much more on market opportunities and manage to portfolio sustainability vs absolute value.

Michael
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Old 11-13-2008, 12:36 PM   #31
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present company excluded, of course, but not so glad i found this forum. not so glad i ever thought i had the money i thought i had. rather i think i was better off before i even had a concept of retirement.

in 2000-2002 i had a secure job and i had my mother. now i have neither. it's different this time.
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Old 11-13-2008, 12:45 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DangerMouse View Post
Well I guess if we hear that either you or Mrs Nords has accepted said position will be a clear indication that there is no hope for this market and we should all be looking for jobs. If the Nords capitulate it must be really bad.
Yikes, my apologies, I didn't mean to give the wrong impression. I edited my previous post.

We turned down the job offer. Didn't even research it. Essentially my spouse laughed heartily politely thanked the shipmate for thinking of us and promised to pass the word. It's a sweet job and it probably pays well but the dissatisfiers are always the show-stopper.

BTW the assets which used to be in our ER portfolio were only there as a volatility buffer, not to enhance our lifestyle. We're only about 10-20% below the portfolio's long-term average. Those dwindled shares gave their value to maximize the portfolio's success rate/survival and they won't be needed for years, if ever. We certainly weren't going to consume more or pass them on to our heir...
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Old 11-13-2008, 01:32 PM   #33
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It's very difficult to recall levels of emotion like concern. From a distance of a few years, I think our recollections are softened by time. My gut reaction was to vote more concerned now, mainly becasuse I was working and accumulating then, and now I'm not.

But then I started remembering some flashes of looking at my finances and wondering if I was even going to be able to retire when I planned to.

Rick
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Old 11-13-2008, 02:13 PM   #34
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Much, MUCH worse now. Not even remotely close. Not only because of the different circumstances, but because those with diversified portfolios did "okay" in 2000-2002 because some equity classes (small caps, REITs, gold miners, et cetera) were quite strongly positive (as was my holding in Berkshire Hathaway) and kept losses to a minimum. There is NO refuge among equity asset classes this time around -- none.

Note that if I was way overweight in tech and U.S. large caps back then, my answer might be different.
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Old 11-13-2008, 02:18 PM   #35
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In 2000-2002 everyone rushed into real estate. What can we rush into now? Nada.
You are thinking what the next bubble is going to be.

Well, given that the stock market has been decimated, I am only planning on making money betting that things return to normalcy. It may be a while before I can see my old high of Oct07, but I am only looking to make a bit of money from this ridiculous market low right now.

In a way, it is a bit easier to invest now. Every stock has been taken out and shot, or caned to near death. I have been buying slowly. A bit of mining stocks, not precious metals but coal and commodity metals, a bit of consumer staples, a bit of chemical industry, a bit of utility stocks. Everything is on sale, I have a heck of a time making up my mind. I let Buffet keeps some too. I kept having to tell myself to take it slow. It may take a bit longer than 2001-2003 recession, but we will overcome this.

Remember that every asset class is down, except for paper money. Paper money! Countries around the world are firing up their printing machines! Oh, all that precious paper money. There's more where that comes from.

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I'm less concerned. Back then I had a j*b I could loose, not now. Back then I would require a 10% WR, not now. Back then I had many years to live, 6 fewer now. Back then I couldn't get CPP (Cdn SS), not now.
How's the planning for your trip down under? For a man who professed to have lost a 7-figure sum (big money whether in US or Canadian dollars), you still have an upbeat spirit. You da man!
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Old 11-13-2008, 02:30 PM   #36
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I voted 'more concerned' based on being employed then and retired, living solely on my investments now. Big difference.
Me too!
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Old 11-13-2008, 03:11 PM   #37
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I am less concerned, but perhaps I just don't understand the situation. We have medical insurance, a COLA'd pension and zero debt so all the basics are paid. While I did choose to get a job, I'm working 30-38 hours a week so it's not quite full time and it's almost all play money.

However, the deferred compensation account (similar to 401k) is down 10%. Since others have mentioned being down 40+%, I guess that's not so bad.
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Old 11-13-2008, 03:20 PM   #38
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i do not (and have not) had the same sense of dispair and foreboding ... but i'm not too sharp.
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Old 11-13-2008, 03:30 PM   #39
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Way more concerned this time around. After 9/11 we sold the heck out of new Chevys and Dodges and made lots of money. Plus, most of my portfolio was in Berkshire back then, and it did nicely while most other stuff tanked.

Now the car business is horrible-- our sales are down 2/3 and for the first time I'm just trying to figure out how to break even, and I'm a really small dealership with only 14 employees and I own my own building, so I can imagine what the bigger stores are going through. Most customers are just totally tapped out now, and I'm afraid it could last a year or two.

Also, I diworsified out of some of my Berkshire last year and put it into things that have done much worse. Plus, this time Berkshire stock is really taking a dive.
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Old 11-13-2008, 03:31 PM   #40
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I am less concerned, but perhaps I just don't understand the situation. We have medical insurance, a COLA'd pension and zero debt so all the basics are paid. While I did choose to get a job, I'm working 30-38 hours a week so it's not quite full time and it's almost all play money.
I suspect you're right -- the "maximum fear" situation doesn't seem to apply to you, based on what you described in this paragraph. I suspect I wouldn't be very worried if I were in this situation, either.
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