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A Bad Economy is A Terrible Thing to Waste
Old 04-25-2012, 10:40 AM   #1
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A Bad Economy is A Terrible Thing to Waste

Curious if anyone else out there is finding themselves doing really well in this mess of an economy.

My company has been on fire the past few years and my income has been at an all time high. I was making anywhere from 100k - 125k and then more than doubled my income over the past few years due to bonuses and company stock performance.

Just did some quick calculations and I think I am going to make over $300k this year for the first time. I grew up VERY blue collar and my first job out of college paid about 20k in the early 1990s so I am kind of stunned by all this. It has allowed us to pour money into the college fund for the kids and really beef up retirement savings which is just awesome.

I apologize if this sounds like I am bragging but where else can you talk about this stuff?
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Old 04-25-2012, 12:42 PM   #2
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No need to apologize for your success. We too have experienced amazing growth in both income and net worth since 2008.
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Old 04-25-2012, 01:17 PM   #3
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The economic crash of late 2008 was a huge benefit for the Early Retirement I took that November. This was because I was able to buy shares of a bond fund at rock-bottom prices using the proceeds of my company's stock (ESOP) sale at prices which had not yet fallen significantly. The bund fund's share value has recovered nicely and subsequenet cap gains distributions, while taxable, resulted in many more shares than I originally thought I would get.

I drive very little so the high gas prices have had little impact compared to the overall upside I have experienced from the overall bad economy. The recovered stock market has improved my stock fund holdings and dividends, too.
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Old 04-25-2012, 02:13 PM   #4
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+1 I sometimes feel guilty that we have prospered while so many have suffered but a lot was right place/right time and being well positioned to begin with.
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Old 04-25-2012, 02:15 PM   #5
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The bad economy cut down on tourism and development in our area, which is a good thing for us. The best was that a local pulp mill went out of business permanently, meaning a big improvement in air quality.
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Old 04-25-2012, 03:10 PM   #6
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+1 I sometimes feel guilty that we have prospered while so many have suffered but a lot was right place/right time and being well positioned to begin with.
Yes. It makes for some weird conversations with neighbors and family. Many people freaked out and just trying to weather the storm while we are doing really well.
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Old 04-25-2012, 06:49 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by CorporateSoldier View Post
Curious if anyone else out there is finding themselves doing really well in this mess of an economy.

My company has been on fire the past few years and my income has been at an all time high. I was making anywhere from 100k - 125k and then more than doubled my income over the past few years due to bonuses and company stock performance.

Just did some quick calculations and I think I am going to make over $300k this year for the first time. I grew up VERY blue collar and my first job out of college paid about 20k in the early 1990s so I am kind of stunned by all this. It has allowed us to pour money into the college fund for the kids and really beef up retirement savings which is just awesome.

I apologize if this sounds like I am bragging but where else can you talk about this stuff?
Shhssss! Good news is not allowed... The proper tenor of the times is doom and gloom.

But may you continue to prosper and may many more join you
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Old 04-25-2012, 06:52 PM   #8
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Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.

You succeeded because you prepared yourself. That is good. Spread some of the dollars around helping those less fortunate. Spread a few more around enjoying life - it's shorter than you think. And, of course, invest a bunch of the dollars for the future.

I also made a few dollars from the unfortunate economy. Having saved and invested for years, I had a nice pot of $'s sitting in a money market account. When the market nose dived, I took a chunk out and bought more shares in a Total Stock Market fund. Had I spent this money on foolish things I would not have had it.

Of course, if my time machine had not been broken, I would have bought even more of the fund. But, even the best prepared can't have everything.
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:56 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by CorporateSoldier View Post
Curious if anyone else out there is finding themselves doing really well in this mess of an economy.

My company has been on fire the past few years and my income has been at an all time high. I was making anywhere from 100k - 125k and then more than doubled my income over the past few years due to bonuses and company stock performance.

Just did some quick calculations and I think I am going to make over $300k this year for the first time. I grew up VERY blue collar and my first job out of college paid about 20k in the early 1990s so I am kind of stunned by all this. It has allowed us to pour money into the college fund for the kids and really beef up retirement savings which is just awesome.

I apologize if this sounds like I am bragging but where else can you talk about this stuff?
WARNING: Whatever you don't say <Wheee!)
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:04 PM   #10
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We did two major home-improvement projects in 2008 and 2011 that would have cost a lot more if not for the recession's impact on the construction industry.

I don't know how much they "should" have cost, and both were quality jobs, but both times there was grumbling from the contractor's bean-counters over the hours of labor required to finish the jobs.

This year we finally used up all the capital losses from all our 2008 tax-loss swap selling.
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:30 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl
The bad economy cut down on tourism and development in our area, which is a good thing for us. The best was that a local pulp mill went out of business permanently, meaning a big improvement in air quality.
I'm sure the mill workers were thrilled also.
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:26 PM   #12
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I did get swept up in a massive lay off in 2009 (with a huge grin on my face).

I took the opportunity to start rehabbing cheap foreclosures. Fortunately, I had plenty socked away to pay cash for a few places. But yeah, I try to keep mum about profiting off of other people losing their homes.
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:33 PM   #13
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Golly, so glad to hear you folks are thriving! If it's not too much to ask, what fields are you in? Some of us may be faced with a career/field change before long and want to pick a winner.
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:43 PM   #14
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I'm on the far other end of the spectrum. I've been unemployed for the last 9 months. Dozens of interviews with no offers. It looks like I may get an offer finally. The job pays a whopping $10.20/hr and i'll be lucky to get it. If I don't get this job my portfolio will drop back down to 5 figures. On the bright side i'm 33 and have over $100K in my portfolio. A lot of people would love to have that...none are on this forum
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Old 04-25-2012, 10:11 PM   #15
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I'm on the far other end of the spectrum. I've been unemployed for the last 9 months. Dozens of interviews with no offers. It looks like I may get an offer finally. The job pays a whopping $10.20/hr and i'll be lucky to get it. If I don't get this job my portfolio will drop back down to 5 figures. On the bright side i'm 33 and have over $100K in my portfolio. A lot of people would love to have that...none are on this forum
Good luck Aaronc879. I think it's awesome you've built a good safety net and I hope your job prospects perk up soon! The fact that you get so many interviews says you have a good resume. The fact that you haven't gotten many offers means that competition is super intense, or you need an interview skills brushup. It could certainly be the former. (I was a headhunter in a former life)

Like many other commenters, we've had some of our best earning years during the downturn. Of course a lot of that has been DH's luck/hard work in hanging onto his megacorp job while they laid others off, but even my small biz did well last year. Because of our past savings, we were able to buy a home at a discount and invest in the market during the 2008 crash, so we've gotten some good returns.

I have a few thoughts about our economy:
1. High paying jobs exist, but they are by no means certain. Appreciate it while you've got it and save like mad. We're always one layoff away from a 60% drop in income.
2. The US workforce is marvelously productive. This hasn't been the best thing for workers, as companies learned they can thrive with fewer employees.
3. If you have a job and savings when a recession hits it can mean great opportunities. We're not "rich" but I can see why the rich get richer.
4. I wonder how much of the current unemployment is structural. Some sectors are hiring, others may never recover to previous levels. I don't know that we will "get back" our old economy, but we might see a positive new one.

SIS
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Old 04-25-2012, 10:28 PM   #16
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I guess I was lucky enough to be living in a place that was relatively unscathed, and working in an industry that was relatively unaffected ,by the financial crisis.

One thing I have gained from hanging out here (and a few other places) is an appreciation for the need to keep your skill set current and to network aggressively if you want to maximise your employability.
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Old 04-26-2012, 12:16 AM   #17
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Things have never been better. Could hang it up now, but like a little padding to make sure.
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:38 AM   #18
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Corporate soldier, there's nothing wrong with working hard and earning well. Just remember to save. Forum members and society will respect and congratulate your success but not easily forgive a missed opportunity to provide for your future needs.
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:30 AM   #19
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We have seen huge growth in net worth since the peak of the last economic boom in 2007. We were smart/ballsy enough to keep plowing money into our portfolio all throughout the downtown. On the income front, DW has done very well, and has seen ~ 50% growth in employment income since 2007. I on the other hand, have seen my wages stagnate since 2008 (barring a ~10% bump when I switched employers). My previous employer and current employer have frozen salaries since 2008. If the job wasn't so sweet and laid back, I would be looking harder for a replacement employment income source!

But the real wealth driver at this point is portfolio returns, not employment income. An economic downturn would be perfect for me at this point to assist us in buying more securities at fire sale prices (a la 2009).

I have seen so many crying about tough economic times that I usually keep my mouth shut (off the boards) about our financial successes.
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:51 AM   #20
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We've done well too, but like Fuego it had nothing to do with income. My salary has also been stagnat for a ridiculous number of years, but if I were to leave I couldn't replace my salary in this economy so all is good.
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