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Old 07-21-2010, 07:03 PM   #21
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I'll be 55 next month also. I quit college and got a job in 1975 when I ran down my savings down below $50. My investing during the 70's was just getting enough money for beer, bowling, car payment, rent and utilities
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Old 07-21-2010, 07:09 PM   #22
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Yupper. I was a Led Zepplin lovin', disco hatin' person too back in the day. Except for this by Donna Summer. Hypnotic, funky, and ground breaking. Brian Eno and David Bowie were blown away by Ms. Summer. Me too.

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Old 07-21-2010, 07:17 PM   #23
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Yeah, I remember Donna and the (untrue) rumors she was really a Donald!
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Old 07-21-2010, 07:18 PM   #24
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My investing during the 70's was just getting enough money for beer, bowling, car payment, rent and utilities
Same here, only sub golf for the bowling. And beer was beer back then, not med's. Oh yes, this was my band back in the 70's.

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Old 07-21-2010, 07:32 PM   #25
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Your fault Onward. We're on a 70s kick now

I also fell victim to the Mac Attack Dawg. Here's a more recent version of one of their gems. "I'm getting older too".

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Old 07-21-2010, 08:17 PM   #26
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The decade of the 1970's was probably the least appealing decade in my memory.
I'm the same age of you and will agree with your assessment (except for 68-69, when I was in Nam ).

I left the military in early 1971. Went in by myself in 1967 when I turned 19. In 1971 at the age of 23 I was discharged, and I also had responsibility for a young family (DW & DS).

Unemployed, no degree, and no family support (from my parents or in-laws) meant I had to hit the ground running and take whatever I could to put food on the table and a roof over our head.

My first job (after being unemployed a few months) paid $120/week. I left that job after a few months to reduce commute time (50 miles, one way) and get a "raise" to $125/week ....

Times were tough. As you said, interest rates (for homes) were high. We could not afford a "regular" home, so we purchased a single-wide trailer (18% interest on the loan, since it fell under vehicle financing). We stayed there four years (till 1975) till we purchased our first "stick built" home - an old center-city home built in 1906. For the age, it was a nice home since it was originally built in an area that was "wealthy" in the prior century. For that 25-year fixed note/mortgage, we paid 10%.

In 1979 we purchased our next home (a small 2-BR ranch), again on a 10% fixed rate.

1979 was the end of the decade and the start of a new j*b which turned out quite well. I was there till I retired, a bit over 28 years later.

Anyway, that's the story of my 70's as related to financial "stuff" for us. And no, we did not have a penny to save in that decade...
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Old 07-21-2010, 08:38 PM   #27
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I was working at my grandfathers printing company, and listening to him talk about his CD's. I think times were good for us, because everybody needed printing in those days. I played a lot of golf and got my handicap down to a one. My wake up came in the late 80's and 90's when desktop publishing got started. Since then there has been a slow attrition of demand for print and design.

For me this is a much worse time. Low interest rates, stock market in a cyclical bear market, housing equity down, high unemployment, and a general malaise. I think if you are young it is a great time to invest, if you have cash and a lot of time that is.
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:04 PM   #28
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I turn 63 in 30 days so I remember those high interest days. My Dad sold me his business in late 1979. I was paying him $500 a month, he had $100,000 in CD's and he was getting SS. If I remember correct he get around 15% on the CD's in 1980. I am sure glad I am no longer in business. Times are bad here. So many people have lost jobs in this small town. I think we are already in depression. I know many parts on the US are in good shape but others are not. I think it will take 10 to 20 years to get out of this mess. Oh how I would like to see those 15% CD's now. oldtrig
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:25 PM   #29
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I have different memories of the 1970s. I got married at age 21 in 1969, went into the Army and spent the next 6 years dressed in green. Missed what happened from 70-73 in the states completely as we were stationed overseas. Other than Stars and Stripes which carried home news, we didn't get much info from the US - no internet and only military radio in English. Our kids were both born during those years and we spent 73-76 on military posts in the US. You're very insulated when you live and work on post. Plus there are a lot less money worries. We did succumb to one of the pitchment selling mutual funds (with a 6% load) early on and made a big monthly contribution of $50 for several years.

Finally bought our first home in 78 and the interest rate was 9%, if I remember corectly. The really high rates didn't start until about 1980. For us, the 1970s were a good time - got to travel a lot and experience life. Those of you in your early 50's were really young for most of the 70s and going to school. I spent all the the 60s in junior high school, high school and college, so I never really had much responsibility.

I'd rather have low interest rates and low inflation - the 80s were really screwy money wise.
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:28 PM   #30
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Without 24/7 news, especially financial news, and the easy access to the markets we have today, earlier hard times went right by without us noticing them--and refinancing/taking equity out of a house? Unheard of back then.
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Old 07-21-2010, 11:31 PM   #31
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After the army, graduated in '74. Started contributing to company savings plans (later to be called 401k's), 100% stack mutual funds. Could not get permission from DW to max out the contribution.

I have not worried about the economy, ever. I only worry about my ability to stay employed.

I can live with a little inflation. I cannot live with a little unemployment. (Well, I have, but I much prefer inflation.)
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Old 07-22-2010, 12:19 AM   #32
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As for the stock market, in my view few in my age group at that time had any investments at all.
I guess my thread title should have been "For those of you 75+."

My main interest in the 70s was losing my virginity, and investing was a (sadly) foreign concept. But I have to believe the sentiment among investors (in stocks, anyway) was worse than today, what with a prominent national magazine proclaiming the death of equities.

Investors in hard assets were probably feeling better. Wasn't there an antiques craze also?

BTW, these days I am much more interested in investing than in losing my virginity.
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Old 07-22-2010, 12:49 AM   #33
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....

Was the ... investor sentiment worse in the 70s, or today?

...
I opened an account with a stockbroker friend in 1972, bought into a managed mutual fund and kept it a secret from friends and family because they were so opposed to investing. The mantra I remember was, "investors will lose their shirts." I expected nothing from my funds and still am surprised they did well 35 years along the way. In my small circle the investment sentiment was worse in the '70s. One of the people I knew then is now a wealthy hedge fund manager.
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Old 07-22-2010, 12:56 AM   #34
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BTW, these days I am much more interested in investing than in losing my virginity.
Hope you don't lose your shirt. nm, one thing leads to another.
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Old 07-22-2010, 05:28 AM   #35
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I was young in the 70's (12-22), but already reading the paper everyday and interested in the stock market.

Overall, I think the mood was much worse then.

-Worse then

We were facing a much bigger army than ours and Western Europe combined (more troops, tanks, and planes) in Europe, another huge 'horde' in China, and were suffering our embarassment in Vietnam. Now we have the most powerful military by far.

We were facing 000s of Russian nukes that could be launched any day. Now we are worried that someday Iran or North Korea may develop a nuke and delivery/smuggling system that might deliver 1 here.

We has major market crashes in 70 and 73-74. While Japan's market tripled in the seventies, ours had gone nowhere in 15 years (1965-1980). Inflation and interest rates were ramping way up.

The oil price shocks of the 70s were much worse than recent ones. US oil production peaked in 1970, and import levels skyrocketed. Prices increased about 1000% in the decade, with the biggest shock in 1973.

-Better then

Our deficit was under control (national debt as a % of GDP flat in the 70s). Much worse now.
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Old 07-22-2010, 07:20 AM   #36
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Remember Carter's Crisis in Confidence speech - pretty sad really ...
+1 Yeah, in the late 70s we were in a malaise, now we have fears of a long term recession and possible deflation. The big fear in the 70s was inflation. It seemed to me that those of us with a job adjusted pretty well to low double digit inflation. The current situation feels a bit worse but I had a lot less to lose back then. But, later in the 80s, the specter of hyper inflation as experienced in Brazil was truly frightening.
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Old 07-22-2010, 08:13 AM   #37
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Stagflation, WIN (wip inflation now) buttons, and Warren Buffet became rich. Not real sure when Warren became rich, but it seems like most of his wealth accumulation would have been through the 70's. I did not get interested in the market until the 80's.
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:52 AM   #38
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Nobody has mentioned the Business Week cover "The Death of Equities" from August '79. It made a lot of sense given the horrible performance of the stock market over the prior 14 years.

But fixed income investments also looked lousy because of inflation.

Remember the "Misery Index"? We struggled with stagflation for most of the decade.

The smart people said that we didn't have the political will to do the things that we needed to do to get out of the trap.

That said, the great majority of Americans would have said they were consuming more and better stuff than their parents or grandparents did at similar ages. I think there was still a feeling that somewhere American ingenuity would find a fix to our problems. We weren't resigned to becoming the world's second biggest economy. Unemployment was mostly a blue-collar phenomenon, if you had a management job you assumed you would ride out a recession.
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Old 07-22-2010, 11:29 AM   #39
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I bought my first car in 1982, and because I had "excellent credit" I got a "super rate" of only 15%...........
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Old 07-22-2010, 09:01 PM   #40
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I bought my first car in 1982, and because I had "excellent credit" I got a "super rate" of only 15%...........
Yeah, I bought a new 81 Honda Civic to beat high gas prices and paid 16% interest.

Average gasoline price nears 1981 record - USATODAY.com
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