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Old 04-02-2010, 08:45 AM   #41
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I was down about 25% in 3/09 and then took a gamble and moved about 20,000 from my fixed account into VTSMX. I just thought it was the buying opportunity of a lifetime. I was lucky. I am up substantially from then and have since then rebalanced to 50/50.
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:48 AM   #42
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I was down about 25% in 3/09 and then took a gamble and moved about 20,000 from my fixed account into VTSMX. I just thought it was the buying opportunity of a lifetime.
Perhaps the final chapter isn't in, but perhaps in retrospect it was that opportunity, something like this generation's 1982. Time will tell.

I didn't get too brave. I did rebalance my equities up once during the crash, in January 2009, and that helped me recover a bit more.
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:50 AM   #43
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It should come as no surprise those not yet retired, not living off their nest egg and usually still contribution to the pot are more likely to have recovered than those of us withdrawing from our stash...
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:57 AM   #44
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As I do not really care about RE values, I quoted only my liquid portfolio, both before and after-tax accounts. I suspect many other posters did the same.
Agreed. My portfolio is what I live on. My home is what I live in. Never confuse the two ...
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Old 04-02-2010, 09:22 AM   #45
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It should come as no surprise those not yet retired, not living off their nest egg and usually still contribution to the pot are more likely to have recovered than those of us withdrawing from our stash...

That was a sobering lesson for what can go wrong in retirement . I'm glad my portfolio recovered as well as it has .I'm not totally back but I'm a lot closer to the high than the lows .
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Old 04-02-2010, 09:43 AM   #46
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I too made an aggressive move and bought more equities during the downturn. I promised myself that if I was able to get within 5% of my previous high I would adjust my allocation and get more conservative. I got antsy back in September and when I reached the 5% mark I went all cash....now I'm waiting for that double dip
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Old 04-02-2010, 09:46 AM   #47
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I got antsy back in September and when I reached the 5% mark I went all cash....now I'm waiting for that double dip
What if it never comes (i.e. what if the next dip comes many years from now)?
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Old 04-02-2010, 09:49 AM   #48
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What if it never comes (i.e. what if the next dip comes many years from now)?
err yeah- that could be a problem for me. I've thought about slowly getting back in but don't see any good reason for why the market is climbing right now......but hey, I know I know, its impossible to time the market
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Old 04-02-2010, 09:51 AM   #49
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I too made an aggressive move and bought more equities during the downturn. I promised myself that if I was able to get within 5% of my previous high I would adjust my allocation and get more conservative. I got antsy back in September and when I reached the 5% mark I went all cash....now I'm waiting for that double dip
Timing is tough, ain't it? Believe me, I understand. You got in right but out early. Whenever I try to do a little timing, it seems like there is only one way to do it right and a seemingly infinite number of ways to do it wrong!

This time I chose to do nothing. Already retired, there was no source of new funds to invest so I would have had to rebalance towards equities to try to take advantage of the dip. I compromised and didn't rebalance but also didn't panic and sell, just held.

I'm still down from the peak in 10/07 (details above) but ahead of the level where I RE'd in 7/06 so no complaints at this point. I've enjoyed almost 4 great years of retirement, withdrawing from the portfolio each year, and still have a little more than the day I walked out of MegaCorp. But, I'm still below my peak.

Different ways of lookin' at it...... Just saying.....
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:10 AM   #50
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Prior to the crash, all-time high was May 2008. DW and I are still working, so we are still contributing the max to our retirement accounts and did so through out the recent bear market. Today we are about 14% above the 2008 high. Now we are discussing our exit strategy. She'll probably RE about this time next year with me following suit a few years later. We could RE now, but the last two years has us thinking we should have a larger margin of safety.
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:44 AM   #51
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The results are probably depend a lot upon whether one is in the accumulation phase or decumulation phase.
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Old 04-02-2010, 11:29 AM   #52
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This time I chose to do nothing. Already retired, there was no source of new funds to invest so I would have had to rebalance towards equities to try to take advantage of the dip. I compromised and didn't rebalance but also didn't panic and sell, just held.
As much as people think rebalancing improves returns there is no good evidence it does so. It does manage the level of risk in your portfolio so is, therefore, worth doing. Standing still and doing nothing is frequently a very good strategy in investing - assuming your underlying plan is sound

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Old 04-02-2010, 12:31 PM   #53
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Now for us as well, investment performance and additional savings (still working-accumulating, for now)...
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Old 04-02-2010, 12:55 PM   #54
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It should come as no surprise those not yet retired, not living off their nest egg and usually still contribution to the pot are more likely to have recovered than those of us withdrawing from our stash...
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The results are probably depend a lot upon whether one is in the accumulation phase or decumulation phase.
This was my case. Savings went down 11.5% over 5 quarters, then up 28% over this last 4 quarters. I just kept pumping in savings at my normal, high rate and re-balancing to keep the AA at my target.

Now I'm RE'ed things will be different next time around.
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Old 04-02-2010, 01:41 PM   #55
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I am almost back to even on my investment return. As of yesterday my 5 year investment return was down -.3%.

Today was a big up day for my portfolio, so I may have a positive return now.
My retirement savings are at an all time high, but I think that's because I'm still in the accumulation phase. I'm not sure how to calculate what my return has been over the last several years, because my contributions have varied over that time. Is there a plug-in-the-numbers spreadsheet somewhere that I can use to figure this out?

Anyway, I'm just glad my balance isn't dropping faster than the contributions come in as it was a little over a year ago. That was scary!

Also, this is my retirement accounts only. If I count my house, I might still be going backwards. I'm pretty sure housing prices here haven't recovered anywhere near as much as the market has. There are five brand-new townhouses just down the street from me. They were finished some months ago but last time I checked, only one had sold. It went for about as much as the high appraisal I got on my residence in 2006, but is larger and newer, suggesting that my home would now sell for many thousands of dollars less.
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Old 04-02-2010, 01:46 PM   #56
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A hair short of the high but some of it was moved into real estate (paid off a $165K mortgage).

Edit: But we were adding to the pot until this year and still are not all the way back. Bottom line we took a hit!
If you paid off a $165 liability with $165 of assets, the net effect on your net worth should be zero. This makes me wonder how many people on the Board are calculating NW without accounting for liabilities.

My NW (assets minus liabilties) is at an all time high.

My assets look even better!
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Old 04-02-2010, 01:47 PM   #57
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Pre-crisis high: May 2008
Crisis bottom: November 2008 (down almost 18% from the pre-crisis high)
Back to pre-crisis high: May 2009
Currently: all time high, 82% higher than pre-crisis high.

Still working, and still adding money to our portfolio.

Net worth since March 2001:
Wow. I'd like to know how you got that last bit of almost vertical slope going!
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Old 04-02-2010, 02:03 PM   #58
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This makes me wonder how many people on the Board are calculating NW without accounting for liabilities.
I think we are getting a lot of apples, oranges, bananas, and grapefruits reported here. Hard to compare apples to apples.

My numbers above were based on net worth (assets minus liabilities). Assets being anything valuable enough to care about (cars, house, investments, accounts receivable, loans to family), liabilities being anything I owe (college loans, mortgage, credit card debt, an I O U to my daughter's piggy bank for $70).

I think there was a lengthy debate here a couple years ago about what should be included in net worth, and some suggested houses and mortgages have no place. If that were the case though, then I would call it something besides net worth.
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Old 04-02-2010, 02:21 PM   #59
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I think we are getting a lot of apples, oranges, bananas, and grapefruits reported here. Hard to compare apples to apples.

My numbers above were based on net worth (assets minus liabilities). Assets being anything valuable enough to care about (cars, house, investments, accounts receivable, loans to family), liabilities being anything I owe (college loans, mortgage, credit card debt, an I O U to my daughter's piggy bank for $70).
I include liabilities (all of which mortgages on revenue properties and therefore good debt). I don't bother with personal property since I drive a 15 year old car and don't have any valuable antiques or artwork.

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I think there was a lengthy debate here a couple years ago about what should be included in net worth, and some suggested houses and mortgages have no place. If that were the case though, then I would call it something besides net worth.
I agree. The definition of Net Worth is very clear in the accounting textbooks. If we are excluding real estate assets and liabilities, perhaps we could all it "investable assets".
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Old 04-02-2010, 02:38 PM   #60
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I include liabilities (all of which mortgages on revenue properties and therefore good debt). I don't bother with personal property since I drive a 15 year old car and don't have any valuable antiques or artwork.



I agree. The definition of Net Worth is very clear in the accounting textbooks. If we are excluding real estate assets and liabilities, perhaps we could all it "investable assets".
I don't own a house, so no house value, and I have no liabilities. I didn't include any assets which is why I said "savings" in my post - "investable assets" is a better term I think.
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