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Re: our worst investments
Old 04-23-2006, 12:11 PM   #21
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Re: our worst investments

never had a bad $ investment (knock wood). even as 9/11 hit, i had coincidentally already moved mostly to cash. i think i lost under $2k total when many of my friends lost about 40% of what they had if i remember right.

my worst investments were in relationships, not cash. i had a 10-year partner and then a 10-year best friend who both died. frankly, i would rather have kept them and lost the cash.
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Re: our worst investments
Old 04-23-2006, 12:23 PM   #22
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Re: our worst investments

I made a couple of six-figure investments in the IRS during the tech bubble days. Worst investment ever.
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Re: our worst investments
Old 04-23-2006, 12:54 PM   #23
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Re: our worst investments

I remember being too scared to buy into the market in 1992, and again in 1994 - all those gloom and doomers and people declaring things "overvalued". I just kept waiting, and waiting, and getting further and further behind.

Fortunately I came to my senses by 1995 and started dollar cost averaging in no matter what.

I am constantly amazed how EVERY YEAR someone is screaming that the markets are about to collapse - no matter what the market conditions. In fact the worse the market conditions, the louder the bears.

This has given me a contrarian outlook - when the bears are screaming the loudest is probably the best time to inveset.

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Re: our worst investments
Old 04-23-2006, 12:58 PM   #24
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Re: our worst investments

Ah, let's see, I have two that come readily to mind:

- MOVI equity. Didn't foresee the whole business turning to **** just as the company took on a ton of debt to buy a larger competitor. Painful, but not crippling.
- JAKK equity. I bought because it looked cheap and I was a lot less experienced than I am now. I didn't end up losing money on it, but the CEO looting the company, the nasty dynamics of the toy industry, and the perils of a roll-up play taught me a lot about doing proper due diligence.
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Re: our worst investments
Old 04-23-2006, 02:00 PM   #25
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Re: our worst investments

A tech mutual fund that each of my spouse and I bought into that we did not have the good sense to get out of in 1999 when even I knew it was way too good to continue. Actually wanted to move them to a value type S&P500 type fund about that time, but our financial advisor, err broker, challenged our sanity and we stuck with the tech funds and rode them pretty much all the way down to bottom in 2002. Just about broke even overall (less than $10k loss), but down about $100k from peak value. Needless to say, no longer with that advisor.
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Re: our worst investments
Old 04-23-2006, 02:12 PM   #26
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Re: our worst investments

That would be about $15k lost in a year 2000 .com period IPO (www.letsbuyit.com) was supposed to be a reverse auction thing with people buying stuff together and getting volume discounts.... all I invested lost and cost me more in broker fees to clear the thing from account than what I had left...

Live and learn!

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Re: our worst investments
Old 04-23-2006, 03:43 PM   #27
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Re: our worst investments

My verty FIRST stock I purchased in my life was through a tip. I didn't know a thing. (about 30 years ago) I bought $2,000 of some "oil something" company. It was good at first. Paid good dividends too. I left it alone for years. Then when I contacted brokerage house where I bought it, I was told it was sold, and there were only a couple of shares left. I asked "What do you mean it is sold. I never instructed you to sell it." They replied well, it wasn't doing anything, and "their policy" stated you couldn't just let a stock sit indefinately without trading it." I asked where the money went, and they told me it was just enough to pay commissions, and there wasn't any.

This is a true story. Needless to say, that left a very bitter taste in my mouth for stocks, and never touched them from that day on. (Got involved with real estate instead where I was in total control)
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Re: our worst investments
Old 04-23-2006, 03:52 PM   #28
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Re: our worst investments

As I mentioned in another thread my nestegg in the late 90's grew out of my generous salary that I frugally socked away and put into CDs. I stupidly got the urge to get into the stock market in late 98. Some people complain about losing big gains. I lost principal money, big time. C'est la vie.
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Re: our worst investments
Old 04-23-2006, 04:24 PM   #29
 
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Re: our worst investments

Quote:
This is a true story. Needless to say, that left a very bitter taste in my mouth for stocks, and never touched them from that day on. (Got involved with real estate instead where I was in total control)
The problem was with the Brokers not the Stock. I wonder what that stock would have been worth today?
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Re: our worst investments
Old 04-23-2006, 06:18 PM   #30
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Re: our worst investments

I almost forgot this one... my husband went to a startup, paid $12k upfront to exercise his stock options, company went bust a year or so later. So the next startup, he didn't exercise the options upfront (he needed over $50k and I flat refused!). This place made it big, and when he sold his stock, he had to pay nearly 50% in taxes (Fed and Calf). Ouch.
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Re: our worst investments
Old 04-23-2006, 06:22 PM   #31
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Re: our worst investments

Worst Investment Decision I made was when ny old boss came up with this idea for a container to replace Glass Bottles in the OR, for collecting Blood etc.

I was 25, he wanted me to take the Eastern US, I was to get a share of the company, I was in lust so I turned it down.
(sales now in the 10's of millions).

Second, 1969, a little company called Velcro.
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Re: our worst investments
Old 04-23-2006, 06:25 PM   #32
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Re: our worst investments

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tadpole
One of the biggest and worst investments I have made was in a financial advisor.
I hear you loud and clear on this one. That was my biggest mistake in my 25 years of investing. I only made it once, but it was fairly recently, and I still kick myself for getting fooled by those scam artists.
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Re: our worst investments
Old 04-23-2006, 06:28 PM   #33
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Re: our worst investments

We're professionals... Don't try this at home... :P

CSCO at $80...
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Re: our worst investments
Old 04-23-2006, 07:02 PM   #34
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Re: our worst investments

I think my worst investment was an almost-new vehicle, but that's for another thread I guess.

As told by an ex-United coworker: Apparently United Airlines had stock in a pension (or somesuch) plan for employees, but you couldn't cash out until you retire. Unless you divorced. Several (lots of?) United employees divorced, cashed the stock and then remarried. My coworker wanted to do it, but his wife wouldn't go for it. They subsequently lost $100k - $200k in value.
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Re: our worst investments
Old 04-23-2006, 07:59 PM   #35
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Re: our worst investments

Bought property in eastern PA in 1990. Then I had to Switch jobs and moved to the mid-west 9 months later. I didn't sell the property for 3 years and tried to hold out by renting it since I'd lose >$7k in broker fees alone. My realtor managed the property for me. After renters trashed the placed and had to be evicted at the end of the 3 years I spent $4k fixing it up and then lost $10k selling it. I didn't touch real estate again until recently.
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Re: our worst investments
Old 04-23-2006, 10:17 PM   #36
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Re: our worst investments

I have learned a couple of lessons from financial mistakes but looking back they have actually been fairly insignificant in the long run:

(1) Bought a Whole Life policy at age 21.* I didn't need life insurance!* They sold it to me as an investment but it wasn't until two years later that I realized what a lousy investment it was and cancelled.

(2) Worked with a stock broker in the early 80s that seemed to be really good at generating commisions but not very good at putting me in good stocks.* I think that his basic thought process went something like this "Maybe we can generate another commision from ol' what's his name.* Let's see what can we sell him this time?"* I'm sure that there are some brokers out there that earn their commisions.* This one didn't.

(3)* Rode DW's company stock in her employee stock purchase plan through a 70% loss.* It was 15-20% of net worth at the time.* Won't let that happen again because of a single stock.

Like a lot of people I also lost a fair amount of money in the market decline following the dot com bust but I wasn't over weighted in tech when it started to go down so I don't consider that to be a mistake, just one of the things that you need to go through if you invest in the market.

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Re: our worst investments
Old 04-23-2006, 11:09 PM   #37
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Re: our worst investments

Worst investment, the first house I bought. DW wanted something new, so we bought in the exurbs (beyond the suburbs) thinking that when the growth came our way, we would do pretty good. Bought for 210K in 1994 and sold for 245K in 2003. I probably had 250K invested in the house. I look back at the houses I could have bought close to the city and I would say that first house cost me at least 100K in opportunity cost. Oh well, live and learn. I moved and now live within walking distance of the University campus. There hasn't been a "For Sale" sign in my neighborhood for almost two years.

Any young people looking to buy your first house, remember the old Real Estate saying, Location, Location, Location.
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Re: our worst investments
Old 04-24-2006, 03:53 AM   #38
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Re: our worst investments

worst investment? my tall man shop in tokyo
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Re: our worst investments
Old 04-24-2006, 10:07 AM   #39
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Re: our worst investments

Worst stock - Lucent. Lost about $5k on it. That amounts to a 95% loss. I'm still holding it, waiting to sell it for a capital loss writeoff. That was back when I was 19 or 20 (a lot of money for a college student). Luckily it was all money from scholarships I received (play money at the time).

In the grand scheme of things, the $10,000-$20000 I lost in the 2000-2001 crash was a relatively cheap tuition to the "school of investing principles".

Having a financial advisor also cost me big time with the up front sales load on American Funds. I switched to Vanguard and mostly index funds less than a year ago.

I guess it's better to learn these lessons at 25 instead of 35 or 45 or 55.

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Old 04-24-2006, 11:30 AM   #40
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Re: our worst investments

A re-insurance company stock.

A few months before Katrina hit...
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