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Good Investor
Old 04-23-2015, 06:12 PM   #1
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Good Investor

What do you think it takes to be a successful Investor.

In my opinion all it takes is discipline. Having plan and sticking with it. For example plan 50% VTI 30% VXUS 20% BND rebalanced on each Jan 1st. That is it. No brain... One can be a monkey but it requires iron discipline to execute.

It looks to me it is as simple as that yet for 95% of people this is impossible to do. Right now for example there is big idea to have more international exposure .... so plan 50% 30% 20% would have to be abandoned .... People loose the believe in their plan make new plan chase latest big thing and there lies a failure to do well
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Old 04-23-2015, 06:22 PM   #2
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Is the market even open on January 1?
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Old 04-23-2015, 06:30 PM   #3
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I agree. But you do need to have some idea of what is a good stock/fund to begin with.

There's a lot of clueless folk out there who would apply their "plan and sticking with it" using CD's.

I think the most important two words in investing are "over time"; you need to take a very long view. If you do, you can succeed (almost) regardless of which funds you choose.
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Old 04-23-2015, 06:40 PM   #4
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What do you think it takes to be a successful Investor...........
I think the key is knowing exactly how to time the market.
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Old 04-23-2015, 06:54 PM   #5
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Buy low, sell high! That's all you need to do.
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Old 04-23-2015, 07:18 PM   #6
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I think having a sensible AA and rebalancing annually would probably put someone in the in the top decile of investors in terms of total return for investors with similar AA profiles.
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:01 PM   #7
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Fundamental knowledge of the markets, a long term strategy and discipline.
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Old 04-23-2015, 08:25 PM   #8
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There's a lot of clueless folk out there who would apply their "plan and sticking with it" using CD's.
My mom was doing even worse. She was putting her 457b contributions to FDIC insured savings with 0.4% interest because she was too afraid to take a risk. I finally convinced her to contribute to at least the Plan's Conservative Portfolio (15% Stable Value, 50% Bond, 35% Stock).

Thankfully, at least she'll receive COLA'd pension (around 30-50% of final salary depending on how long she stays working) and full medical.
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Old 04-23-2015, 09:20 PM   #9
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Plodding discipline mixed with the ability to make fast decisions and back them up has worked ok for us. At some point I think having money safe is better than having it work as hard as possible. Just checked and at this moment we have 40% of our net worth less homes in paid off rentals, 22.5% in cash (thanks to a number of hard money loans paying off) and one PenFed CD, 20.3% in loans and property contracts, and 17% in stocks (have 3% of that amount in actual gold mixed in there).

The idea of counting on something I have no control over to support me in my dotage requires a leap of faith I just can't muster. More power to y'all.
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Old 04-23-2015, 09:27 PM   #10
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Buy low, sell high! That's all you need to do.
I follow the advice of the great Will Rogers:

"Don't gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it."
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Old 04-23-2015, 09:50 PM   #11
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Seems like most people don't get the first step right: save some of your income.
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Old 04-24-2015, 04:57 AM   #12
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What do you think it takes to be a successful Investor.
Buy, hold and rebalance index funds like VOO and AGG. Simple.
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:19 AM   #13
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My mom was doing even worse. She was putting her 457b contributions to FDIC insured savings with 0.4% interest because she was too afraid to take a risk. I finally convinced her to contribute to at least the Plan's Conservative Portfolio (15% Stable Value, 50% Bond, 35% Stock).

Thankfully, at least she'll receive COLA'd pension (around 30-50% of final salary depending on how long she stays working) and full medical.
My mother only "invested" in CDs and would never have thought of buying equities. But she had the advantage of doing so during the high inflation/high interest days of the 70's and 80's. As I found out when she passed away and I was untangling her estate, she was living just fine off of her teacher's pension and SS, so she rarely tapped the CDs. Consequently, they compounded quite nicely. Although I would have recommended a more aggressive approach to
her, with her income streams she had "won the game" and there was no need for her to do any more.
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:21 AM   #14
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"What do you think it takes to be a successful Investor."
Stay the course and tune out the noise from the media and also this forum.! The consensus has been to get out of the intermediate or long term bond market and shift it to CD, stable value, or short-term bond for the last few years. This approach has produced very low return.
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:31 AM   #15
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My mother only "invested" in CDs and would never have thought of buying equities. But she had the advantage of doing so during the high inflation/high interest days of the 70's and 80's. As I found out when she passed away and I was untangling her estate, she was living just fine off of her teacher's pension and SS, so she rarely tapped the CDs. Consequently, they compounded quite nicely. Although I would have recommended a more aggressive approach to
her, with her income streams she had "won the game" and there was no need for her to do any more.
For those with a generous pension that covers most or all their expenses could afford not to take risk with their investments. A friend of mine, also a retired teacher, has been living off her pension quite comfortably. She lives in a luxurious apartment and drives a 2012 Lexus SUV. However, taking more risk may leave more for the heirs.
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:40 AM   #16
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:18 AM   #17
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What do you think it takes to be a successful Investor.

In my opinion all it takes is discipline. Having plan and sticking with it. For example plan 50% VTI 30% VXUS 20% BND rebalanced on each Jan 1st. That is it. No brain... One can be a monkey but it requires iron discipline to execute.

It looks to me it is as simple as that yet for 95% of people this is impossible to do. Right now for example there is big idea to have more international exposure .... so plan 50% 30% 20% would have to be abandoned .... People loose the believe in their plan make new plan chase latest big thing and there lies a failure to do well
I agree with your nod to discipline being a key factor. To that I would add the amount you plan to invest each period.

In the following Invesco pdf the author refers to a study that showed for a $10K investment each year for 20 years, and 6% earned each year, about half of the return comes from the contributions. If you are not in the game, you can't win.

https://www.invesco.com/static/us/in...00c2f1bf0aRCRD

So you need discipline to hold to the plan, and discipline to maintain regular contributions.
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Old 04-24-2015, 10:22 AM   #18
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My stock answer is "know your risk tolerance, set your asset allocation using low-cost funds, rebalance periodically, and stay the course". But that's the easy part. Investing is simple, but understanding that it's simple is far from simple.

Most of us who adhere to a boglehead-like philosophy learned the hard way, from our mistakes. And then something happened to pique our interest and make us want to learn enough about investing to get past the sound bites, media hype, and sales pitches. Then a light bulb went off, and we understood that the market is smarter than we are, and we invested accordingly.
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Old 04-24-2015, 11:03 AM   #19
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A good investor learns from their mistakes. Bad investors try to make up for their mistakes. One example is buying a stock that tanks. One sells and learns what to look out for next time. The other tries to recoup the loss by day trading the same stock.


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Old 04-24-2015, 11:13 AM   #20
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My mother only "invested" in CDs and would never have thought of buying equities. But she had the advantage of doing so during the high inflation/high interest days of the 70's and 80's. As I found out when she passed away and I was untangling her estate, she was living just fine off of her teacher's pension and SS, so she rarely tapped the CDs. Consequently, they compounded quite nicely. Although I would have recommended a more aggressive approach to
her, with her income streams she had "won the game" and there was no need for her to do any more.
And there are a lot (well some) folks on this board still doing that today even with rates (and inflation) as low as they are today. Maybe she knew she didn't need to make higher returns (and maybe take on more risk) to live in the lifestyle she wanted.
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