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Diary of an investing madman...
Old 01-11-2013, 03:54 PM   #1
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Diary of an investing madman...

Not sure why in retrospect, but I took a much closer look at my longer investing history today and found that I was not as aggressive as I recalled (old brain cells) and haven't been as disciplined as long re: rebalancing as I thought. However, the fluctuations would make more sense if you knew the $ accumulations (which I have not shared) and the tax implications each year. Avoiding taxes was always a higher priority to me than rebalancing. More often than not I "rebalanced" with new contributions to avoid buy/sells which takes a while, especially after a big market move up/down.

Cash allocation was somewhat of a surprise, though an emergency fund naturally accounts for a lower % of assets with age/portfolio size (partial explanation). And I did consciously move $ on/off the sidelines when I was trading individual equities.

Anyway, it's not pretty when I see it like this. No real lesson that I can see, just purty colors. Too soon old, too late smart.
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:35 PM   #2
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Well, if a madman gets to ER, he can't be doing too bad. I don't even keep that good a record to reconstruct such a graph. I must be a psychopath with no memory. And I also retire early.
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:17 PM   #3
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I think it could be that the size of investments just eclipses your cash over time. Could that be the answer?

Cash on my graph is Checking + MMF...

Thanks for the picture idea.
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:27 PM   #4
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I think it could be that the size of investments just eclipses your cash over time. Could that be the answer?

Cash on my graph is Checking + MMF...

Thanks for the picture idea.
What software produced that chart? I thought I was doing great with excel spreadsheets. You are putting me to shame!
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:12 PM   #5
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What software produced that chart? I thought I was doing great with excel spreadsheets. You are putting me to shame!
Looks like Excel Area > 100% Stacked Area to me...available in 3D too.
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:26 PM   #6
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What software produced that chart? I thought I was doing great with excel spreadsheets. You are putting me to shame!
Midpack is correct - 'tis a stacked column. I took off the legend and put text boxes on it - helps explain things better.

Since my data is saved month to month as totals in an investing space, I couldn't include percentages.

Oh yeah, I had to demote those cash series to the bottom of the chart and change the color.
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:32 PM   #7
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Oh boy!

Don't you all feel like the good ole days at work, preparing graphs to show data in the best light, and carefully selecting the caption and descriptions to put the best spin on the results, explaining why the outcome was the way it turned out, despite your best and valiant efforts?

In the end, all the brass wants to know is the bottom line. Was the operation a profitable one, or the project a successful one? Did it fly and land, or crash and burn?
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:13 PM   #8
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I still work.

The Bottom Line
...
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:22 PM   #9
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Well, that you are still working should be obvious from your screen name, but as you were comparing battle scars notes with Midpack, I thought you were free.

Anyway, your bottom line looks good! That's all that matters. Thumbs up!

PS. Your portfolio barely got dented in the Great Recession. Wow! I am impressed. Wish mine were that good.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:05 PM   #10
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Well, that you are still working should be obvious from your screen name, but as you were comparing battle scars notes with Midpack, I thought you were free.

Anyway, your bottom line looks good! That's all that matters. Thumbs up!

PS. Your portfolio barely got dented in the Great Recession. Wow! I am impressed. Wish mine were that good.
I thought we were comparing medals?

It looks like a dent, but felt like a kick in the groin. I just kept pumping the max into 401(k) and it was like a miracle.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:58 PM   #11
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Now, looking at the first two graphs supposedly showing wild gyrations in AA, I do not really know if these are acts of mad man like the OP said, or brilliant market moves. However, I do suspect if I plot mine out, it may look somewhat like the OP's chart.

But at this point, seems like everybody here survives the Great Recession. That's all that matter. One buys or sells this or that stock, the other this or that MF. Some have a rebalance band, the others exactly on the 1st trading day of the year or something like that. Does not seem to matter, as we all have battle scars.

About your kick in the groin, heck, some of us got chopped right at the knees. Miraculously, we managed to grow new legs, myself included. Wow, how that happened? I dunno, but when I have the time, might make some charts to amuse myself and share here too.
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Old 01-12-2013, 06:08 AM   #12
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Not sure why in retrospect, but I took a much closer look at my longer investing history today and found that I was not as aggressive as I recalled (old brain cells) and haven't been as disciplined as long re: rebalancing as I thought. However, the fluctuations would make more sense if you knew the $ accumulations (which I have not shared) and the tax implications each year. Avoiding taxes was always a higher priority to me than rebalancing. More often than not I "rebalanced" with new contributions to avoid buy/sells which takes a while, especially after a big market move up/down.

Cash allocation was somewhat of a surprise, though an emergency fund naturally accounts for a lower % of assets with age/portfolio size (partial explanation). And I did consciously move $ on/off the sidelines when I was trading individual equities.

Anyway, it's not pretty when I see it like this. No real lesson that I can see, just purty colors. Too soon old, too late smart.

omg i was going to comment on the colors. as those of you who have seen my photography know ,i love colors.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:00 AM   #13
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Loved those colored percentage charts above!!!

Here is my entry in the color contest:


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Old 01-12-2013, 01:18 PM   #14
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I am so jealous,i do not have any charts with those pretty colors.

Damn,i was never good with peer pressure.


In fact every visit i had to an emergency room started with the words " WATCH THIS!"
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:18 PM   #15
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...(snip)...

Anyway, it's not pretty when I see it like this. No real lesson that I can see, just purty colors. Too soon old, too late smart.
Midpack, thanks for showing this view of your investments. I never thought to do such a graph for myself (now it's done, see above). My data was there, just not in a nice quick picture.

It does show that you started discovering bonds around the time I did. And you were into international equities for many years, good diversification. And you got smart and started deemphasizing individual stocks. So I do think it shows an interesting progression -- not unlike my own wanderings.
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:09 PM   #16
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I am so jealous,i do not have any charts with those pretty colors.

Damn,i was never good with peer pressure.


In fact every visit i had to an emergency room started with the words " WATCH THIS!"
Dilbert comic strip for 03/07/2009 from the official Dilbert comic strips archive.
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Old 01-12-2013, 06:03 PM   #17
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And you got smart and started deemphasizing individual stocks. So I do think it shows an interesting progression -- not unlike my own wanderings.
What the OP chart doesn't show is when I started investing about 7 years before the chart starts, I was 100% individual stocks with a full service broker for a few years. I did very, very well then, but it was mostly luck in my young & stupid years. Now I'm old & stupid...
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Old 01-12-2013, 06:19 PM   #18
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What the OP chart doesn't show is when I started investing about 7 years before the chart starts, I was 100% individual stocks with a full service broker for a few years. I did very, very well then, but it was mostly luck in my young & stupid years. Now I'm old & stupid...
Many of us thought we were pretty hot in the 1980's and 1990's. It turns out it was a huge bull market, not our smarts.

Likewise we shouldn't mistake the last miserable decade in equities as evidence of our dumb investment methods. Well at least not in a general way.
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:58 PM   #19
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Many of us thought we were pretty hot in the 1980's and 1990's. It turns out it was a huge bull market, not our smarts.
In the 80s and 90s, I was truly too busy with work to follow the market, or to study investment methods and historical data.

It was only in 2000 when the market went crazy that I noticed that something unusual was happening. I bought some hot tech MFs, and they rose like a rocket. So, I looked into their holdings, and saw companies like Vitesse, Nortel, etc... Well, if these MF managers bought them, I could buy these stocks directly too. Wow! I made good money. So much that it started to scare me.

Sadly, it did not scare me enough to cash out and run for the hills. But even when I was sitting on that much money, I knew I was not really smart. Indeed I was not, because I gave it all back.

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Likewise we shouldn't mistake the last miserable decade in equities as evidence of our dumb investment methods. Well at least not in a general way.
I dunno. If I were smarter, I would have seen that the so obvious housing bubble would cause a major disruption to the banking system, then to the economy. There were people talking about it, but I dismissed these prognosticators. My portfolio was setting new high in 2007, same as it did in early 2000. So, I thought why fix it if it wasn't broke, and I stood still.
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:57 AM   #20
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nice graphs, but ...
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