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Old 09-22-2009, 09:13 AM   #61
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Way to go FUEGO!
I guess I should add that I'm still in my 20's (for now), and have managed to acquire a larger than average portfolio given my age. So I have the capacity to take on a lot more risk and accept failure or adverse results and let time heal any resulting wounds.

Our portfolio has officially more than doubled since the bottom reached in the last year. Partially due to new contributions but mainly due to amazing recovery of the risky asset classes I own. I just wish the recovery would have happened at a much slower pace so I could dump more money in the markets.
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Old 09-22-2009, 09:13 AM   #62
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Between December 2008 and March 2009, we booked and went on a week long cruise to the Caribbean, two weeklong trips to Vegas, and booked a beach house rental for a week (the beach trip is next week).

Prices probably averaged half of what they usually are. The cost was so low that it just came out of our normal monthly cashflow without really changing how much we save or spend. I'm glad we did all that stuff. It was really fun and inexpensive to boot ($2600 total??).

...we bought REITS, small cap intl, and intl REITS. These investments are up in the 65-80% range today from where I bought them.
OK, I am officially jealous now. A savvy investor with nerves of steel who also knows how to enjoy life. My smilie is green for a reason.
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Old 09-22-2009, 09:20 AM   #63
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OK, I am officially jealous now. A savvy investor with nerves of steel who also knows how to enjoy life. My smilie is green for a reason.
Well, I could have lost my ass(ets). It turned out ok. Green is what I'm finally seeing on the portfolio page. After buying a little early in November, I didn't look as smart as the market dropped in February and early March.

What's the point of having all this money and purchasing power if you don't spend a little to have some fun?
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Old 09-22-2009, 09:21 AM   #64
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OK, I am officially jealous now. A savvy investor with nerves of steel who also knows how to enjoy life. My smilie is green for a reason.
Don't be too envious. I'm thinking FUEGO probably has difficulty walking with a pair of obstacles that large hanging in his way.
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Old 09-22-2009, 09:31 AM   #65
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Don't be too envious. I'm thinking FUEGO probably has difficulty walking with a pair of obstacles that large hanging in his way.
Brass ones at that.
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:15 AM   #66
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What's the point of having all this money and purchasing power if you don't spend a little to have some fun?
As Auntie Mame told Angnes Gooch:

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Old 09-22-2009, 02:24 PM   #67
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I too moved quite a bit of money into stocks around April in both taxable and 401k accounts.

In addition, I've been finishing updating the house. It's been a great time to hire contractors - they will actually show up.

I've also been taking advantage of the tax credits this year. I bought a fireplace insert and insulated the house. That will get me close to the max of the $3500 tax credit.

I also hit the 7.5% of AGI for medical expenses so I had the rest of my molars crowned this year. I think I got one of the crowns for free after the tax deduction.
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:10 PM   #68
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I tend to tune-out most of the media chatter as a routine, and I pretty much stuck to that (although I couldn't help but follow some of the news, sort of like gawking at a car wreck ...)

In terms of my investments, I didn't touch my existing investments (although my target retirement funds were automatically rebalancing) but I did switch my new 401k contributions to 100% stocks in order to help keep my asset allocation in line.

I didn't make any other big financial moves. I skipped my non-deductible IRA contribution in 2008 (don't qualify for a Roth or a deductible IRA) but and instead used that money to pay down some student loan debt and beef up my emergency fund.
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Old 09-24-2009, 03:44 PM   #69
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It was a terrifying time from fall 2008 until a couple of months ago. I had such huge losses in my portfolio and my dividends from financials went kaput. I was positive I would have to find a job and even applied for one, only to be told the position was cancelled. I got letters of recommendation in order, updated my resume, and then... nothing. I'm still here. I resisted the urge to sell and I'm not in as bad a shape as I was. I've lowered my expenses tremendously and I don't think I would ever go back to my free-wheel spending. It feels much safer this way. I was so upset and could hardly concentrate that I actually starting painting, after an absence of 20 years, just to take my mind off things. So I discovered a new (old) hobby that I really love.
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Old 09-24-2009, 07:09 PM   #70
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Great to hear your doing OK Sparky! What percentage of your portfolio have you regained?
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Old 09-24-2009, 07:25 PM   #71
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Great to hear your doing OK Sparky! What percentage of your portfolio have you regained?
Well, my portfolio was down about 70% and I've regained about 30%, so I guess I'm only down 40% or so. I paid off my house in 2001 when doing so was considered "unsophisticated" (remember those days?). So, by reducing my expenses to the bone, I'm okay for now, and none the worse for it, BTW. I went over every expense line by line and am saving (well, not spending) about $1,000 per month.
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Old 09-24-2009, 07:51 PM   #72
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We had all the rental real estate paid off and were ready to start divesting and maybe getting into more of that there lucerative stock markety stuff. Thing was, nobody decided to be buying at what we felt good for a selling price. Hrmph! OK, so we just kept on a renting them out - bumped the rents a bit, though probably not enough to keep up with the increased garbage and utility bills. Did notice when a rock solid dividend payer went on sale - three times - my gal is happy to ask me how that BofA stock is doing... Much better now, thankyou - if it doubles from here I'm Diamond Jim Brady, and quite a bit better than the GM stock her loyal heart prompted her to buy as they were busily going under. We did sell some big losers for the tax write off, and I only screwed up one of the sales. Boy, that stock stuff is fun! Did make a number of property loans - might have made enough interest to cover an unsecured loan that's looking bad and may end up with a property or two we hadn't planned on owning. Not running around freaking out, very happy to have rentals as our primary income source, and trying out having a property manager so we can try out that retirement stuff some of you talk about. Would think that my micro-manager self would be all weirded out after 11 days away from hands on rental managment, but I've resisted calling to check in - figure I can hold out till we get back on Sunday to make sure absolutely everything was done exactly the way i would have done it. Heh.
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Old 09-25-2009, 08:23 AM   #73
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More reacting ... DW was offered a position with bennies at the middle school where DS is. A no brainer for us (given that BC/BS plan jumps to over a grand/mo).

Position is only for a year (someone dropped out on medical leave) but this will help bandage some of the wounds.

Calmloki - good luck with the "professional" management. Dropped mine when I RE. Keep a keen eye on the maintenance tab. Mine was taking a kick-back (20%) from the contractors they hired. I guess paying 12% - then 15% - on rents collected wasn't enough for them! Also was hard to pay a plumber for a tiolet clog or a pilot re-lite. Couldn't make any $$$. Hopefully your experience will be better!
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Old 09-25-2009, 08:48 AM   #74
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Keep a keen eye on the maintenance tab. Mine was taking a kick-back (20%) from the contractors they hired.
Now there is one excellent peice of advice.

I once bought a building (8 apartments) from an older couple who had been using a management company. They owned the building outright but were only breaking even on it after taking into account all of the management fees and expenses.

Shortly after taking over ownership and management I had some of the tenants calling about changing light bulbs in their apartments. "Are you crazy? Why would you even begin to think I would come over and change burnt out light bulbs for you?" Because the management company that ran the building before me encouraged them to do so. Seems said management company was more than happy to send out a maintenance man to change light bulbs for the tenants, and prior records revealed that in doing so they would bill the in-house minimum wage maintenance man at an hourly rate of about $35.00 per hour (and making sure to include travel time), charged a hefty premium for the bulb itself, as well as a 20% maintenance override fee on top of everything. Unbelievable.
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Old 09-25-2009, 09:36 AM   #75
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More reacting ... Calmloki - good luck with the "professional" management. Dropped mine when I RE. Keep a keen eye on the maintenance tab. Mine was taking a kick-back (20%) from the contractors they hired. I guess paying 12% - then 15% - on rents collected wasn't enough for them! Also was hard to pay a plumber for a tiolet clog or a pilot re-lite. Couldn't make any $$$. Hopefully your experience will be better!
Have my fingers crossed - am paying 10% to a 35YO I trust. The gal carried him on her hip when he was about 6 months old, he lived with us for a year or so when he was in his early 20s, helped him sell his house and he bought one of ours - and he's not a relative, which helps. He does renting and collection and maybe 20% of the bill paying, also does much of the niggling stuff that eats at the bottom line. Have taught him to re-key and master locks, some rudimentary electrical and plumbing. The plan is that down the road he ends up owning some or all of them.
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