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Old 01-08-2012, 04:15 PM   #21
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Well, I have lost plenty in land deals, forfeited income in start-ups, tech stocks, companies that eventually went bankrupt. I have not added them all up (do I want to?), but none of mine were as much as the OP's condo in a single bad deal (assuming it was paid with cash). Man, that hurts.

One expensive lesson, or numerous little less expensive ones? I am happy with the latter, I think. That gives me more stories to tell.
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Old 01-08-2012, 04:26 PM   #22
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Bought Evergreen Core Bond fund in my 401k as a core fixed income holding. In 2008 this Evergreen Core Bond fund declined from 10.48/share at the beginning of 2008 to 7.05 at the end of 2008; compared to Vanguard Total Bond being unchanged for the year. After checking it out I found that the bozos running the fund had overloaded on MBS and ended up with their pant's around their ankles and about 1/3 of my money flushed down the drain.
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Old 01-08-2012, 04:54 PM   #23
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Like NW-Bound, I've had only small modest losses. I guess I remember too well my father talking about losing a lot (for him) in the WPPSS bond default in the '80s: details here for those not old enough to remember it
HistoryLink.org- the Free Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History
We talked a lot about how going after very high returns was risky no matter what anyone told you. That's definitely influenced our investments - although until I saw this thread I hadn't thought of WPPSS in years.
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Old 01-08-2012, 05:12 PM   #24
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...We talked a lot about how going after very high returns was risky no matter what anyone told you. That's definitely influenced our investments - although until I saw this thread I hadn't thought of WPPSS in years.
Oh yes, I remember reading about how some unfortunate retirees lost their entire life savings in this bond.

I do not know what kind of return WPPSS bond gave, but a deal does not have to be perceived to be risky or high-yield for it to become a total loss. Sh*t happens! I remember reading about WPPSS, and telling myself "diversify, diversify, diversify...".
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Old 01-08-2012, 07:33 PM   #25
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Nortel...enough said.
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:37 PM   #26
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The worst fund I invested in was the Dreyfus Short-term Income fund. I bought shares in 2001 and 2002 but in the next few years all the NAV and monthly yield did was drop. Not even the NAV runup in bond fund NAVs in mid-2003 did much. It completely defied any perceived inverse relationship between NAV and monthly yield. I sold it all out in 2005.
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:51 PM   #27
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:12 PM   #28
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My first home we bought from a developer who went bust before even starting our home.
Another builder took over the project and we were offered a similar home for $10k more and had to wait about 3 years.
We took the deal we only broke even when we sold in a time that others really cashed out on their first home.
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Old 01-08-2012, 11:05 PM   #29
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Nortel...enough said.
Yeah, do we have to limit ourselves to just one?

In my case, it was when a retired admiral with a great professional/ethical reputation took over as Nortel's CEO. I was sure things were going to turn around.

Turns out he was good at cleaning out the stables, but once that was finished there was nothing left...
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Old 01-09-2012, 10:09 AM   #30
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Great place to live. Just don't invest here if you don't live here. Playa del Carmen I presume? We have lived here a few months now and see what you mentioned...
Yes, that is exactly where it is. I still love going down there despite my condo disaster. It's still one of the prettiest and fun towns to vacation ever!
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Old 01-09-2012, 10:11 AM   #31
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Old 01-09-2012, 10:41 AM   #32
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Fidelity Magellen....

It does not seem like a bad investment, but when I made it I was going to invest in Compaq... which was a new company in Houston... but opening up an IRA brokerage account back in the early 80s had a few more hoops than I wanted to do and Fidelity was easy....

A few years later the difference in value was in the 100s of thousands....
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:26 AM   #33
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I was a MCI-WorldCom investor.

I also had a REIT that I owned decline 75%. That was actually more money lost than the MCI-WorldCom investment, because the REIT was a relatively large position.
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:31 AM   #34
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I was a MCI-WorldCom investor.
One of my son-in-laws was also a MCI-WorldCom investor...and an employee.
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Old 01-09-2012, 12:19 PM   #35
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BKMP ! Which cured my penny stock ventures . Luckily only a $1900 lesson !
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Old 01-09-2012, 12:44 PM   #36
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The highlight reel:
  • Spent $40,000 on a VW Jetta that didn't even have leather seats. Learned why brand-new cars are a ripoff.
  • "Invested" $11,000 in a dodgy charitable-donation/tax refund scheme. Money's gone, plus $3k in penalties to the tax man.
  • "Invested" $80,000 in a land banking deal in 2006 that was supposed to double our money in 5 years. Still waiting. I'd be glad to break even, at this point.
The good news is, at age 36, I'm much more jaded financially now, and know better than to trust any financial "experts."
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Old 01-09-2012, 01:13 PM   #37
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Thinking about it, I've probably lost more money on my house than all of my other investments combined.

Quote:
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I was a MCI-WorldCom investor.

I also had a REIT that I owned decline 75%. That was actually more money lost than the MCI-WorldCom investment, because the REIT was a relatively large position.
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Old 01-09-2012, 01:41 PM   #38
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Ugh. Who started this ugly thread? I've had way too many. I once had a friend at work who asked me to let him know whenever I invested money so he could go short with it. Here are a few: CNXT ( 10K to 110K to zero; so much for buy and hold); WaMu 5K; soybean futures (several thousand lost by my broker's man in Chicago while I was out at sea, this after he talked me into it as a sure thing, plus his commission of course). Lessons learned. Don't buy any individual stock thinking it will all work out "long-term". Don't take a tip from a friend who knows about investing. Never, ever deal in a margin account, especially in commodities, and double especially using a full service broker. (do they still make these guys ?)
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:42 PM   #39
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Enron bonds -- my broker/advisor said they were a sure bet. My $5000 went to $0. But it was small price to pay to learn not to trust brokers/advisors...

I had some Enron stock. Looks like in this case stocks and bonds returned exactly the same.
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:44 PM   #40
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Looks like I have a lot of company with WCOM stock...bought 500 shares at $15 and rode it all the way down to zero...
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