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Old 07-08-2009, 01:05 PM   #41
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If we're being paranoid here, let me ask you this? How do you know that your broker really purchased and is holding all those shares of individual company stock you think you own? Have you ever seen the stock certificates? Me neither.

It takes a certain amount of trust for a modern economic system to function. If you don't have that, you might as well stock up on ammunition and canned goods.
well, thats exactly what Bernie did, didn't he.

I think the sweet spot is to develop the habit of constantly asking yourself, how am I being conned.

One thing I am certain, at any time, smarter people than you or I are probing for ways to steal/skim in small or large ways, legally or illegally.

They lie awake thinking thinking thinking.

Owning stock direct cuts out a whole layer of such potential crooks. Then you are left with only worrying about the thieves that run the corporations.

Thats part of what I like about real estate or direct lending, and being able to drive over and look at your money....check land registry records.

Of course, then your primary worry is your own incompetence, but you make mistakes and learn.

This reminds me of the story...

"A father tells his son to climb to the third step of a stairway and jump. Says "I will catch you". The son says he is scared. The father says, dont' worry, I will catch you. Then the son jumps. The father steps out of the way, letting the son fall. He crys, and asks, why didn't you catch me! The father replies "to teach you an important lesson...Never trust anyone".

This may sound dark and cynical, or you may think I am unhappy. Not so.

My money, my wifes money, my mothers money, my (smart) brother in laws money is all in government guaranteed fixed income, low LTV private lending or in properties we expect to personally use indefinitely, mortgage free.

The financial crisis was merely an opportunity for us to pick up some florida vacation property cheap, with great scepticism.

Another relative left his kids education fund (from granddad) in the market in spite of me speaking to him with as strong words as I dared last summer. I think the one daughter is now looking at community college instead of university.
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Old 07-08-2009, 01:20 PM   #42
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I think the sweet spot is to develop the habit of constantly asking yourself, how am I being conned.

One thing I am certain, at any time, smarter people than you or I are probing for ways to steal/skim in small or large ways, legally or illegally.

They lie awake thinking thinking thinking.
Sure. Do your due diligence. If it is too good to be true it is. Somewhere beyond due diligence is "paranoia". Do you ever fear that you have crossed the line between due diligence and paranoia?

If I can't trust Vanguard, can FDIC insured deposits be trusted? Can the US government be trusted? Paranoia vs. due diligence.

Also, tell us more about "government guaranteed fixed income, low LTV private lending". I'm always up for considering better ways to get guaranteed income with high rates of return. I just always come up short after doing due diligence.
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Old 07-08-2009, 02:07 PM   #43
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I guess it would be paranoia if it was not based on direct experience.

I am warming to the Vanguard concept after learning more about it.

By government guaranteed I just mean FDIC insured CDs (I am in Canada, so we call them CDIC insured). There is a nice transparent market for these up here (Rice Financial, for example) where banks and trusts compete with each other through a broker network. The "advisors" HATE these products.

LTV is loan to value. A 50% LTV first mortgage investment means the loan is 50% of the appraised value, for example. You can even have one of these inside a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) up here. You can even have your own mortgage, or the mortage of a kid inside what we call a RRSP, which cuts out the middle man, which I like.

When I was younger and dad was still around, he had the mortage on our house, though this can get tricky.
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Old 07-08-2009, 02:30 PM   #44
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I guess it would be paranoia if it was not based on direct experience.

I am warming to the Vanguard concept after learning more about it.

By government guaranteed I just mean FDIC insured CDs (I am in Canada, so we call them CDIC insured). There is a nice transparent market for these up here (Rice Financial, for example) where banks and trusts compete with each other through a broker network. The "advisors" HATE these products.

LTV is loan to value. A 50% LTV first mortgage investment means the loan is 50% of the appraised value, for example. You can even have one of these inside a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) up here. You can even have your own mortgage, or the mortage of a kid inside what we call a RRSP, which cuts out the middle man, which I like.
Gotcha. I thought the government guaranteed part was referring to the low LTV private loans. Now I see you are talking about fixed income CD's with FDIC (or CDIC) protection in one case, and low LTV private loans (hence less risk) in the second case.

Many here successfully employ CD's as significant parts of their investment portfolio. Heck, I may do so one day as well if/when I decide to go to less than 100% equities. They are certainly yielding more right now than treasury bonds (3+% for 3-4 yr CD's vs 2-ish% for similar treasuries). Some folks undoubtedly locked in 6%+ yields on longer term CDs and will continue to enjoy those nice coupons for a couple more years.

I have thought about secured private mortgage lending. Even at low LTV amounts, there is still some risk involved. And it is a business. I like passive investments. Right now I can get over 5% yield from a diversified corporate bond fund at Vanguard and it doesn't require me to do any real day to day mangement or oversight. I may lose a percent or two of potential return vs. private lending, but the risk and simplicity compensate for that.

And right now, if I wanted a 5% guaranteed tax free return, I could just prepay my 5% mortgage. But I'm seeking returns greater than 5% in the equities market since my time horizon is decades.
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Old 07-08-2009, 03:18 PM   #45
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I am not American and have been completely out of stocks/funds for many decades, so I am genuinely as ignorant of this as you suspect.
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I guess it would be paranoia if it was not based on direct experience.
These statements don't really match.
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Old 07-08-2009, 06:39 PM   #46
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I am not American and have been completely out of stocks/funds for many decades, so I am genuinely as ignorant of this as you suspect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kroeran
I guess it would be paranoia if it was not based on direct experience.

These statements don't really match.

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These statements don't really match.
well, smart people learn from their mistakes, wise people learn from the mistakes of others

My views draw on family stories going back to my grandfather losing his farms in Russia, then landing in the prairies in the 30s, then watching my dad struggle with various investments throughout his life, then my youthful experiences with various things from financial futures trading and a list to long to mention of entrepreneurial adventures, and then all the experiences of extended family, collegues, not to mention an MA in economics.

My basic observation is that very few people have the discipline to ride out the downturns and then not overmanage thier portfolios. Then there remains the problem of always having the anxiety of the markets heading into a 10 year slump, at any point in the process. And thats if you don't get abused by an advisor of some kind.

The only formula that I have seen work for a salaryman, is kill debt in all its forms. Never carry credit card debt, then dump everything against the mortgage. This should be knocked off as young as possible. Well, maybe its different up here, cus we don't have mortgage deductability. Then start saving and dumping it into CDs. No worries and you know where you will be at any point in time.

If CD returns won't get you there, you are not saving enough.

Question...have you actually met anyone who actually built up enough money through the market so that they could retire on it?
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Old 07-08-2009, 06:51 PM   #47
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My basic observation is that very few people have the discipline to ride out the downturns and then not overmanage thier portfolios. Then there remains the problem of always having the anxiety of the markets heading into a 10 year slump, at any point in the process. And thats if you don't get abused by an advisor of some kind.

The only formula that I have seen work for a salaryman, is kill debt in all its forms. Never carry credit card debt, then dump everything against the mortgage. This should be knocked off as young as possible. Well, maybe its different up here, cus we don't have mortgage deductability. Then start saving and dumping it into CDs. No worries and you know where you will be at any point in time.

Another part of our formula is to have federal government jobs that work toward bullet proof indexed pensions. Pops did two careers of this and now mom has 4 survivor pensions, counting his two carreers and our versions of social security.
Hey, it's funny how a little communism, government taking of property, and genocide will inform family opinions. We had a little of that on DW's side.

Your comments on debt and financial management have described a large swath of the community here on the forum. Most pay down debt, some pay down mortgage (that is a continuing debate), virtually none carry interest bearing credit card debt. Many also have inflation indexed government pensions.

But you may not have a good picture of the investment strategies here. Many posters are rather savvy about market investments and have a long term approach. Most also manage their own money in large part.

Many Americans don't actually get to deduct mortgage interest, especially middle-class and lower class people due to high standard deduction.
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Old 07-08-2009, 06:55 PM   #48
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Question...have you actually met anyone who actually built up enough money through the market so that they could retire on it?
?? I think there are a lot of folks here that derive a significant portion or all of their income from portfolio investments at least a portion of which are/were invested in equities.

Here's a recent thread on sources of retirement income that shows what people are actually depending on for retirement income. Some rely primarily on pensions, and some rely primarily on portfolio investments (which may include CD's and bonds or bond funds). Social security figures in to many's income streams as well.

Today's 20- and 30-somethings will probably have a different experience in early retirement since large pensions are much much rarer today even in government employment. You can either save it up in CD's and hope inflation doesn't eat you alive, or risk it in the market and hope Mr. Market doesn't eat you alive. There is no real "risk free" way to build up a big portfolio.
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Old 07-08-2009, 07:04 PM   #49
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I just can't believe that after the downdraft, there are sane people who still believe in buy and hold for their serious money, especially not having paid off the mortgage.

Market timers are completely insane.

I am open to being convinced otherwise.

Is there anyone out there that can tell me with a straight face that they are up more than 5% yield compounded on the last 20 years?

I think for many the markets are a gambling addiction.

Better to lock the serious money up safe and take up poker.
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Old 07-08-2009, 07:08 PM   #50
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Question...have you actually met anyone who actually built up enough money through the market so that they could retire on it?
Hi. I'm one of those.
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Old 07-08-2009, 07:17 PM   #51
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I am open to being convinced otherwise.
I don't think so and I wouldn't dream of even attempting to dissuade you from your strongly held opinions.

There are many ways for people to get to where they want to be financially. What works for you might not work for me. The nice thing about it is we all get to choose which path we take.
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Old 07-08-2009, 07:28 PM   #52
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?? I think there are a lot of folks here that derive a significant portion or all of their income from portfolio investments at least a portion of which are/were invested in equities.

Here's a recent thread on sources of retirement income that shows what people are actually depending on for retirement income. Some rely primarily on pensions, and some rely primarily on portfolio investments (which may include CD's and bonds or bond funds). Social security figures in to many's income streams as well.

Today's 20- and 30-somethings will probably have a different experience in early retirement since large pensions are much much rarer today even in government employment. You can either save it up in CD's and hope inflation doesn't eat you alive, or risk it in the market and hope Mr. Market doesn't eat you alive. There is no real "risk free" way to build up a big portfolio.
have you personally ever met an old fart who said, "you know, I spent my whole life putting money into the markets, did'nt have a pension, didn't pay down my mortgage, but all that money I put in the markets built up real nice because I held on during the bad years, and now I have a comfortable retirement" ....I have never met such a person myself.

I am just saying, if you are not working toward a pension, and corporate pensions arn't too reliable these days, I think you are on very thin ice thinking you are going to get 8% or more yield out of the market, when you are going to need it. The required action is downsizing the house, getting the mortgage paid off by age 40, then a heroic effort to save, at rates few can currently conceive of.

For the very young, I beg them to buy student housing and rent out rooms. (In my twenties, I had 2 houses near each other, and lived in a dank corner of the basement to increase yield). You also meet tons of members of the opposite sex in that business...as a bonus!

For young couples, I beg them to buy triplexes and live in one unit, pay down the mortgage...sure thing...sure thing. Owner in the store. Move on to a 6 plex and so on. Minimize leverage. Slow but sure. And in this day and age, if you are not in healthcare, join the military or CIA or something to get that basic security, and experiment on the side with money.
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Old 07-08-2009, 07:33 PM   #53
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Hi. I'm one of those.
did you make your money from the market, or was that where you stashed money from a lucrative profession/business?

were you in the financial industry?

did you beat 5% consistently in your market activities?
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Old 07-08-2009, 07:42 PM   #54
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I don't think so and I wouldn't dream of even attempting to dissuade you from your strongly held opinions.

There are many ways for people to get to where they want to be financially. What works for you might not work for me. The nice thing about it is we all get to choose which path we take.
If you change your mind and overlook my arrogance, I am ready and willing to be educated.

I dont mean any disrespect...I find sometimes by stirring the pot I get to the lesson in an issue faster.

I see from your earlier link that perhaps its not so black and white, and that
"successfull" retirees have several sources of income, and there should be a lesson there for the young.

I do need to explore the nude modeling angle you mention as a source of income! ; - ) [maybe that was fuego]
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:06 PM   #55
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have you personally ever met an old fart who said, "you know, I spent my whole life putting money into the markets, did'nt have a pension, didn't pay down my mortgage, but all that money I put in the markets built up real nice because I held on during the bad years, and now I have a comfortable retirement" ....I have never met such a person myself.

I am just saying, if you are not working toward a pension, and corporate pensions arn't too reliable these days, I think you are on very thin ice thinking you are going to get 8% or more yield out of the market, when you are going to need it. The required action is downsizing the house, getting the mortgage paid off by age 40, then a heroic effort to save, at rates few can currently conceive of.

For the very young, I beg them to buy student housing and rent out rooms. (In my twenties, I had 2 houses near each other, and lived in a dank corner of the basement to increase yield). You also meet tons of members of the opposite sex in that business...as a bonus!

For young couples, I beg them to buy triplexes and live in one unit, pay down the mortgage...sure thing...sure thing. Owner in the store. Move on to a 6 plex and so on. Minimize leverage. Slow but sure. And in this day and age, if you are not in healthcare, join the military or CIA or something to get that basic security, and experiment on the side with money.
I honestly don't know many old farts in real life. So I can't really comment on what has led to successful retirements other than from the statistics I have seen on sources of income for retired folks in the aggregate. Most get by on small pensions and social security. Some get a small amount of money from interest and dividends from their portfolios. I would suggest that the early retirees on here are atypical versus standard retirees. Investing in the stock market is probably not a good idea for you, since you don't seem to have the mindset to buy and hold. It's not for everyone and there are many other ways to make insane amounts of money, including real estate as you have suggested. I've been there and done that to a limited extent and made some money.

I am planning to have the mortgage paid off by age 40 (actually age 37), we never upsized the house, so no downsizing is required. We already save around 60% of gross income, so I guess we are also "heroically saving" as well. Our net worth is at an all time high primarily due to recent performance in the market and continuing to invest in a 100% equities portfolio. +26% last quarter (after many quarters of ugly losses).

So do these facts together convince you of the feasibility of my plans?
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:25 PM   #56
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I am planning to have the mortgage paid off by age 40 (actually age 37), we never upsized the house, so no downsizing is required. We already save around 60% of gross income, so I guess we are also "heroically saving" as well. Our net worth is at an all time high primarily due to recent performance in the market and continuing to invest in a 100% equities portfolio. +26% last quarter (after many quarters of ugly losses).

So do these facts together convince you of the feasibility of my plans?
wow!

lets say you want to be free at 50...does this mean you will shift 10% of your stake to fixed income each year?

will you be 100% dependent on your investment income at that point?

why do you want to retire early? what would you do with your retirement?

are there kids in the pipeline?

are you confident you will not face divorce?
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:35 PM   #57
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If you change your mind and overlook my arrogance, I am ready and willing to be educated.
I dont mean any disrespect...I find sometimes by stirring the pot I get to the lesson in an issue faster.
Yeah, your "stirring the pot" must be why you're getting so many eager responses.

There are many paths to ER. In addition to the financial aspect, there has to be emotional comfort with the chosen method so that people can "sleep at night". If you've found a method that works for you then great. Run with it. But that does not make your way the only way, and using words like "insane" is not a convincing argument for your position.

If you're convinced that a certain method doesn't work, then you don't have to use it. But perhaps its effectiveness should be assessed on its entire record, not just its flaws or its personalities. (I think that using words like "insane" would also tend to make posters reluctant to engage in a discussion.) Even the flawed systems have their exceptions who have managed to make them work. For every aficionado of the efficient market hypothesis, there's a Warren Buffett. For people who claim buy & hold is dead, there's the Vanguard Diehards and "The Boglehead's Guide". For those who claim buy & hold is the only way, there's Gary Smith (author of "How I Trade For A Living") and Nicolas Darvas ("How I Made Two Million in the Stock Market").

You've clearly made up your mind. Long-time posters here have found that in this situation it's rarely worth their effort to try to change it for you. But you're welcome to keep reading and see if you run across something that may cause you to change your mind.
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:39 PM   #58
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did you make your money from the market, or was that where you stashed money from a lucrative profession/business?
35% came from savings 65% from market growth.
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were you in the financial industry?
No
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did you beat 5% consistently in your market activities?
I'm not sure how you'd define "consistently", but I averaged 7.7% annual growth over a period of 26 years - excluding contributions.
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:34 PM   #59
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Yeah, your "stirring the pot" must be why you're getting so many eager responses.

There are many paths to ER. In addition to the financial aspect, there has to be emotional comfort with the chosen method so that people can "sleep at night". If you've found a method that works for you then great. Run with it. But that does not make your way the only way, and using words like "insane" is not a convincing argument for your position.

If you're convinced that a certain method doesn't work, then you don't have to use it. But perhaps its effectiveness should be assessed on its entire record, not just its flaws or its personalities. (I think that using words like "insane" would also tend to make posters reluctant to engage in a discussion.) Even the flawed systems have their exceptions who have managed to make them work. For every aficionado of the efficient market hypothesis, there's a Warren Buffett. For people who claim buy & hold is dead, there's the Vanguard Diehards and "The Boglehead's Guide". For those who claim buy & hold is the only way, there's Gary Smith (author of "How I Trade For A Living") and Nicolas Darvas ("How I Made Two Million in the Stock Market").

You've clearly made up your mind. Long-time posters here have found that in this situation it's rarely worth their effort to try to change it for you. But you're welcome to keep reading and see if you run across something that may cause you to change your mind.
One of the things I remember from my trading period was the idea that its one thing to come up with a valid trading idea, its a totally different thing to execute it....pull the trigger when the system says to. Thats the problem with buy and hold....technically possible, but very few have the stomach to actually do it, and i just never met anyone who has.

I have met a handful of real estate millionaires, business owners, dot com cash outs, and CD saving maniacs, just never ran across a stock market millionaire in my limited travels, but I am in a government town.

I was thinking along the lines of trying to time the overall market as being delusional. That is not a consensus view in these here parts?

I guess very short term or day trading is a different animal altogether. I spent a decade of my life buried in supercharts programming searching for a tradable pattern. Very very addictive....and I guess I am still an addict.

I am thinking of getting back into it as a retirement hobby. A friend has convinced me he has come up with a very reliable tradable phenomena...I am looking into verifying this.

Speaking of pattern recognition...in my little world, I have come to see reliance on the stock market as a source of great pain for everyone involved in it. The seventies meltdown, the futures related collapse in the 80s I think it was? The dot com meltdown and now the latest bear market. Each round of this comes with changed retirement plans and most often selling out close to the bottom, embarassment, strained marriages. Trying to warn people from what I percieve to be a classic trap is part of my schtick.
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:41 PM   #60
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I'm not sure how you'd define "consistently", but I averaged 7.7% annual growth over a period of 26 years - excluding contributions.
did you have any dark moments during that span where you were tempted to bail?
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