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View Poll Results: If you are FI and thinking ER, how did it happen
Careful planning, frugal lifestyle 164 71.93%
Windfall Inheritance 6 2.63%
Just plain lucky 22 9.65%
Other 36 15.79%
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Re: How many are simply lucky?
Old 04-24-2006, 03:13 AM   #61
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Re: How many are simply lucky?

To get a good job (so that you have a good income), get a good education.* Then pay yourself first (i.e., fund the maximum allowed into tax-advantaged accounts, along with systematically investing 10% of your gross paycheck into taxable accounts) and live well below your means (i.e., invest your raises rather than spend them).* Invest in minimally-correlated asset classes (i.e., large cap, medium and small cap, international, and REITs).* Accumulate credit card debt only in emergencies (otherwise, pay them off in full each month) and then pay off that high-interest debt as quickly as possible.

Prepare a long-term spreadsheet on yourself so that you can see how an additional $100 a month of investing today translates into thousands of dollars of wealth a couple of decades from now.* This becomes a great motivator because thousands of dollars a couple of decades from now is worth a lot more than $100 a month right now that you would otherwise spend on things you will eventually sell for $1 each at a garage sale.

How do I know this works?* It took me a couple of decades to figure it out (I wised up at age 40).* I'm glad I went through the struggle to buy a house when I was in my early 30s because that has paid off well also.* I believe all it really takes is will power and discipline to become financially independent and retire early and that "secret formula" is available for only $25 in a good book on wealth building.
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Re: How many are simply lucky?
Old 04-24-2006, 12:56 PM   #62
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Re: How many are simply lucky?

I like this quote :

What helps luck is a habit of watching for opportunities, of having a patient, but restless mind, of sacrificing one's ease or vanity, of uniting a love of detail to foresight, and of passing through hard times bravely and cheerfully

by Charles Victor Cherbuliez

On a personal note, I think I'm lucky to find this website!
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Re: How many are simply lucky?
Old 04-24-2006, 02:28 PM   #63
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Re: How many are simply lucky?

Quote:
Originally Posted by planning101
I like this quote :

What helps luck is a habit of watching for opportunities, of having a patient, but restless mind, of sacrificing one's ease or vanity, of uniting a love of detail to foresight, and of passing through hard times bravely and cheerfully

by Charles Victor Cherbuliez

On a personal note, I think I'm lucky to find this website!
you were lucky to have the motivation to luckily find this forum.
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Re: How many are simply lucky?
Old 04-24-2006, 02:49 PM   #64
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Re: How many are simply lucky?

Sometimes it is 90% luck and 10% motivation/sweat.
The 1st apartment I got many moon years ago was just that.
I had given up on finding an affordable apartment through the newspapers and that Sunday, I did not plan to get the Times (saved 50 cents). Late in the morning, I took the subway to meet a friend by 12PM. I went to the last car as usual and scattered on the floor were a bunch of discarted NY times sections (litter bugs), one being the real estate section (thank the lord). I found 1 apartment for $57/month. Turned out to be rent-controlled. Finding the RE section at that moment in time was 90% luck, getting that apartment was a whole other story.
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Re: How many are simply lucky?
Old 04-24-2006, 03:53 PM   #65
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Re: How many are simply lucky?

Well, I won't vote because I'm not ER'd (28, still too young without a lot of luck )

However, I thought I'd make the point that often you have to put yourself out there in order to let luck happen. Specifically, I won't win the lottery because I never buy tickets.

So you're buying tickets for life's cash lottery when you join startups, when you invest in stocks, when you decide to purchase a house. Any of these actions have potential to generate you a windfall.

I'd be curious to know how many people narrowly missed "being lucky" as well. For example (just one of a few I have already): My wife and I were buying stocks through her company for a few years, and the stock hovered at around $7-8 for awhile. We had obtained a few thousand shares. Then due to some circumstances, we sold the shares to pay off debts (got around $25k or so) and stopped contributing for a couple years. Not too bright. During this time, the stock price rocketed up to the mid 20's. I've calculated that if we'd kept those shares, and contributed for those years, we'd have somewhere in the order of 7k shares, valued at around $180k or so. Not a bad chunk of change for someone as young as us. Anyway, it was certainly a valuable lesson, and we no longer stop contributing to retirement accounts simply because we're having financial issues. I know it hurts too much to miss a good opportunity.
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Re: How many are simply lucky?
Old 04-24-2006, 04:56 PM   #66
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Re: How many are simply lucky?

I guess many if not most of us have been lucky, over and over. I know I have been.* But still, we had the maturity not to piss it away. We might have easily been like so many lottery winners whose net worth goes from $0->$5Million->$0, in the space of a few short years. I haven't earned very much money in my life, but it has had a high coefficient of stickiness.* It seems that many here have a similar story.

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Re: How many are simply lucky?
Old 04-24-2006, 04:57 PM   #67
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Re: How many are simply lucky?

>>I'd be curious to know how many people narrowly missed "being lucky" as well.

I once sold a bunch of stock that had I held it for *ONE* more day would have made me an extra million dollars...does that count?
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Re: How many are simply lucky?
Old 04-24-2006, 05:05 PM   #68
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Re: How many are simply lucky?

I knew a girl who inherited 5 million from grandparents, but parents were even richer. She wasted the whole 5 milllion on god knows what and then her parents company went under a few years later. So, you need luck AND brains.
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Re: How many are simply lucky?
Old 04-24-2006, 08:42 PM   #69
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Re: How many are simply lucky?

My professor in college told us in the class room once

"LUCK USUALLY COMES TO HARD WORKING PEOPLE, THE LAZY PEOPLE NEVER SEEMS TO HAVE ANY LUCK..."

Now that i am an old man, such statement makes alot of sense.* Here is one example, my friends and i studied together in college (group of five), when the the final exam came, all of us know the answer for 4 out of 6 questions and we all guessed for the answer on the last two question.*

For some miracle reasons, the guy that study the hardest always seems to get the 5th and sometime the 6th answer correct and he sincerely told us that he guessed at the answer.* and he does it several time over.

Amazing. that's all i can say.

For me and TW, all our life "luck" seems to be the case. We worked hard but luck is the major factor for us to be where we are.


life is 60% luck and 40% hard work, that's a 100% true. i know thousands of people work hard everyday and still don't have much to show for.


enuff
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Re: How many are simply lucky?
Old 04-25-2006, 01:31 AM   #70
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Re: How many are simply lucky?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceberon
I'd be curious to know how many people narrowly missed "being lucky" as well.
That's a good question, but I assume most of those people aren't posting here.* * For example, I've known people who ER'd around 2000, but had to go back to work by 2001.* *They don't post here.

I turned down a job with Microsoft in 1987.* * Bad move.

I turned down a job with AOL in 1996.* *Another bad move.

Decided to start my own little software company instead.* Turned out to be a pretty good move, but I know the net worth of some of those guys who interviewed me at Microsoft in 1987.* *Ouch!* *It still hurts....
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Re: How many are simply lucky?
Old 04-25-2006, 04:22 AM   #71
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Re: How many are simply lucky?

remember we rarely regret the things we do,,,its usually the things we didnt do....................
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Re: How many are simply lucky?
Old 04-25-2006, 04:43 AM   #72
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Re: How many are simply lucky?

Life isn't fair.* Exactly half of the population gets above-median returns on their efforts, and exactly half get below-median returns.* *

I'm definitely in the half that have gotten better financial returns on my efforts than most.* In some other areas of life besides finances I've gotten worse returns on my efforts than most.* *I'm not lucky or unlucky, just human.

EDIT: changed mean to median... that'll teach me to post late at night way after the median and mean hour for most go to sleep*

Anyway, my point is that there is no such thing as "getting exactly what you deserve". If "what you deserve" was the median return on effort, then half of the world gets more than they deserve and half gets less. I suppose we could call those who get more than median "lucky" and those who get less than median "unlucky", as long as we realize that everyone is both lucky and unlucky in different areas of life and at different times.
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Re: How many are simply lucky?
Old 04-25-2006, 04:54 AM   #73
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Re: How many are simply lucky?

I'm lucky that we realized how much easier it is to save money with no debt and we started living way below our means. We profited from the stock market run-up, but you have to have something in there in the first place. We had put the max in 401K for a number of years by then.

Also, marrying a frugal spouse greatly tipped the scales in my favor.
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Re: How many are simply lucky?
Old 04-25-2006, 08:07 AM   #74
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Re: How many are simply lucky?

Quote:
Originally Posted by free4now
Exactly half of the population gets above-mean returns on their efforts, and exactly half get below-mean returns.
Actually, that should be median: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Median
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Re: How many are simply lucky?
Old 04-25-2006, 10:24 AM   #75
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Re: How many are simply lucky?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert the Red
Actually, that should be median: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Median
Maybe he's assuming a symmetrical distribution of returns where the mean equals the median.

At least that's what I was thinking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
I turned down a job with Microsoft in 1987. Bad move.
I turned down a job with AOL in 1996. Another bad move.
Decided to start my own little software company instead. Turned out to be a pretty good move, but I know the net worth of some of those guys who interviewed me at Microsoft in 1987. Ouch! It still hurts....
Yes, but you can bask in the warm fuzzy glow of knowing that you still have ethics, let along knowing that your ethics are intact. Heck, people still talk to you at parties. You don't have the world simultaneously loathing & hating you for buggy software. You didn't single-handedly destroy billions of value of one of the biggest ole-time media companies in existence. I bet Gates & Case go to bed every night wishing they could be more like you...

Besides, Steve & his cousin Ed are starting to get into trouble over some of their recent investments, overseen by the previous generation. http://starbulletin.com/2006/04/24/b...s/story01.html And Ed made the mistake of deciding to challenge Hawaii's "junior" senator in the upcoming election without clearing the idea with the senior senator. At least you don't have to go around begging for contributions to pay the bills for your failed election campaign! Right?
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Re: How many are simply lucky?
Old 04-27-2006, 11:42 AM   #76
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Re: How many are simply lucky?

Good questions here.

In my case I would have to say it has been mostly hard work and the gonads to say No to speding and take some risks while living enough below my income to save enough to start investing.

Luck is a relative thing. It comes in both Good and Bad flavors and each has a profound effect on your life.

+Good luck...parents were Depression Era poor folks that gave me the insight into that era.
+Bad luck...they were not well off and I will inherit nothing.

+Good luck...managed to get myself though college and get a decent job.

+ Good luck.......granted ISO options every year.
- Bad luck.....stock price tanked after I bought and held. (AMT sucks )
- Bad luck...strike price is still so far underwater even Nords could not go deep enough to find it.
- Bad luck...these options were granted in place of a larger pay increase.

+ Good luck...divorced my first wife who spent 10X what we made and then charged more.
- Bad luck...net worth was a very negative number until 15 years ago.
- Bad luck....divorce cost me alimony, child support and I was "given" all her debt to pay off.
+ Good luck....this made me save more, pay down all the debt, live below my income and start educating myself on investing.
++ Better luck....I made some decent choices in some investments and made some money.

- Bad luck....waited too long to sell off some tech stocks and lost over 30% of value.
- Bad luck..still working to get back to my "number" so I can retire.

+ Good luck...married a professional woman who made about the same salary as mine.
- Bad luck...she never got a chance to enjoy much of her retirement.

+ Good luck...remarried and now have someone to share retirement with.

+ Good luck...most of my investments are doing OK and I am on track to retirement.

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Re: How many are simply lucky?
Old 04-27-2006, 01:55 PM   #77
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Re: How many are simply lucky?

I suppose one could consider this guy lucky......



http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...MPLATE=DEFAULT
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Re: How many are simply lucky?
Old 04-27-2006, 04:26 PM   #78
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Re: How many are simply lucky?

Quote:
Originally Posted by roadkill
I suppose one could consider this guy lucky......
No, that would be the plumbing crew that was called to the scene.* I bet they were "unable to recover" quite a bit of it...
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Re: How many are simply lucky?
Old 04-27-2006, 04:32 PM   #79
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Re: How many are simply lucky?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
No, that would be the plumbing crew that was called to the scene.* I bet they were "unable to recover" quite a bit of it...
Sort of like when I was a Fireman (no pun intended) and we all dreamed of a fire in a liquor store. I am sure a lot of the inventory would have been "lost" to the fire.
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Re: How many are simply lucky?
Old 04-27-2006, 04:54 PM   #80
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Re: How many are simply lucky?

No luck here. Got where I am through brainpower and willpower.* That, and Hosucanomics.

Ha
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