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Old 09-21-2010, 01:35 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
Oh, ok, I got it now!

You said "My question was how this happened:" in post #13. You were just quoting someone else's post and not recounting your own financial status. That makes sense now. I was curious why you would need explanation of how one can acquire 200-300k NW by their 30's if you had done it yourself.

Just for clarity's sake, you may want to put quoted text in quotes, or italicize it, or use the [ quote ] blah blah blah [ / quote ] tags to make it clear you are quoting someone.
Right =)
No problem man
I said before the post "this is from another poster". Since it was from another thread I didn't know if quoting it would tranfer to this thread, so I just used the old trusty crtl-c, crtl-v
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Old 09-21-2010, 01:51 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Todd-O View Post
Right =)
No problem man
I said before the post "this is from another poster". Since it was from another thread I didn't know if quoting it would tranfer to this thread, so I just used the old trusty crtl-c, crtl-v
I guess I was skimming and didn't pick up on those phrases or any other visual queue which led to the misunderstanding.

But anyway, to answer your question, many hundreds of thousands can be accumulated by the time someone is 30. But there has to be a plan and the plan must be followed. It doesn't happen overnight. It happens every two weeks when a part of someone's paycheck gets saved and invested. And it happens every day when someone decides they don't need to buy all the stuff that is out there.
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Old 09-21-2010, 08:06 PM   #63
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We got married while I was still in school. First job out of school in 1985 paid maybe 15k, same for DW. First kid came 3 years later, second kid 4 years after that. At 31 our NW was about 100k. Most of that was tied up in real estate (our home and a couple of rentals). At 37, we were up to about 220k, still mostly real estate. Several promotions later, and in an expat assignment, at nearly 49, we are in the multiple seven figures. The promotions came with lots more travel, lots more stress, lots of time away from home, but also with significant stock options (not all of which have ever been worth anything), a stock appreciation rights plan, a bigger salary, and most years really nice bonuses. The bigger income led to bigger tastes for certain luxuries, but we have always lived way below our means, which my DW hated at the beginning but is grateful for now. We are now FI but I continue working for a number of reasons, the biggest of which are an agreement to provide a smooth transition and other succession planning issues. We passed what would be considered by most (and what we used to consider FI) several years ago, but as I said, our tastes expanded a bit with the additional income. My goal had always been, from the time I was in college, to "be able" to retire by age 45. We achieved that, but now the target is to pull the plug by age 51, a tad over 2 years from now.

The moral of the story is to work and save hard, enjoy life along the way, but also realize that some sacrifices need to be made if you really intend to eject in your 40's. There are trade-offs...it all depends on which tradeoffs you are willing to make.

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Old 09-21-2010, 10:28 PM   #64
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Todd, I would suggest you stick with ETFs and the like except for a small portion of your portfolio. If you clearly outperform for a few years, then expand what you manage in individual securities. But its not an easy job and you are competing with a lot of talented, hard-boiled investment professionals plus your own demons.
Let me endorse Brewer's suggestion. I've spent most of the last decade working through the popular investing techniques (and a few not-so-popular ones). While it is possible to beat the market, and while it is possible to pick market-beating stocks, it's a job. It's a chore. It's not how I want to spend my time.

Todd, I hope you're picking up on all the subtle hints that the vast majority of ERs got that way by aggressive saving, not by brilliant investing. In fact many of us got here in spite of our brilliant investing.

If you must get in touch with your testosterone poisoning inner investor, I'd suggest sticking to 10% of your total portfolio for a length of five years or the next bear market... whichever blows you up sooner.
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:39 PM   #65
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In my early 30s I had about 200K in savings after paying off student loans for a few advanced degrees. Having a substantial nest-egg was largely due to living frugally, getting a substantial award for saving my employer millions, and investing in real estate. Frugal living meant only 3 cars in 30 adult years, few vacations, and not a lot of impulse spending. I made mistakes (like lending money to relatives and friends) but I quickly learned from them. I invested in mutual funds and company stock which split a couple of times.
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Old 09-25-2010, 06:03 PM   #66
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I'm 35 and around 650K NW including house. Well for myself I lived home until 26. This allowed me to make a nice downpayment on a house and that house has increased in value from 185 to about 385 as the economy where I live has been and continues to be strong during that time (Alberta Canada). My #1 priority when I bought the house was to pay it off ASAP and I sacrificed abit to do that in 6 years.

I've only owned one car in the last 10 years and I paid cash for it and it was a couple years old when I got it. I know a friend who recently spend 5k on rims for his truck - I just don't understand this mentality.

Overall I live pretty frugally and now with the house paid off I have lots of available funds to invest. The only expense I see increasing significantly for me is travel and home repairs as I've let maintenance slide abit on my house.

As for career I'm in a pretty stable profession. First year out of school made 24K but it quickly progressed to where I'm making a pretty good income but the main thing is I've kept my expenses low.

-----

Edit - Haha I notice now that the example OP used is actually me. I read it and thought, man that person has the same info as me as I forgot that I made that post a month or so ago.
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Old 09-28-2010, 11:59 PM   #67
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Consider a 30-year-old who has been in the workforce for 10 years earning only $25 000 on average per year. Many of them without credit card debt or student loans left to repay. Even if their net worth is zero, it means their spending has been pretty close to exactly what they earned -- right around $250 000. Which means if at 25, they somehow stumbled into a position that paid them $50 000 per year, it should actually be very easy to reach that savings of $200 to $300k by 35 or so

I understand tax brackets mess up the equation somewhat, but that's how I see things and it stuns me that so few people in that age range don't have assets around those numbers
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Old 09-29-2010, 08:35 AM   #68
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Consider a 30-year-old who has been in the workforce for 10 years earning only $25 000 on average per year. Many of them without credit card debt or student loans left to repay. Even if their net worth is zero, it means their spending has been pretty close to exactly what they earned -- right around $250 000. Which means if at 25, they somehow stumbled into a position that paid them $50 000 per year, it should actually be very easy to reach that savings of $200 to $300k by 35 or so

I understand tax brackets mess up the equation somewhat, but that's how I see things and it stuns me that so few people in that age range don't have assets around those numbers
I don't find it that surprising. The scenario you describe is very unrealistic. People don't earn exactly $25,000 for several years in a row, and then suddenly double their income. It rises gradually, and with it, their lifestyle rises too.

You're also ignoring a number of very expensive milestones in your hypothetical worker's life that typically occur during the window in question, such as getting married, going on a honeymoon, buying several vehicles, buying a home, having children, etc. Even without the burden of credit card or student loan debt, those items very rapidly consume any incidental increases in income. It takes a deliberate, conscious effort to set aside money for the future, it doesn't just happen by virtue of one's income rising. Very few 35 year olds are content to continue living the lifestyle they did when they were 20 (sleeping on a second-hand futon, eating ramen noodles in a bachelor apartment, taking the bus everywhere).
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Old 09-29-2010, 10:29 AM   #69
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kombat,
Whether earnings increase suddenly or gradually is completely immaterial

Those life events are immaterial, too. Have to believe there are people in their 30s who are married, have children, drive cars and earn less than $30 000. At that point, it is possible to live ok by picking up a new mattress and a few pots and pans over a 15-year period. If buying a used car and driving it for 10 years is the most extreme hardship, that seems like an acceptable enough lifestyle to me

And that means if your income ever reaches $50 000, it only takes 10 years to accumulate a $200 000 net worth. Earn a little more than that and cut back a little more and it's $300 000

Of course it takes a deliberate and conscious effort. Once again, though, that is completely immaterial. If people truly value the freedom from working less and the security from sufficient savings and investments they will make that deliberate and conscious effort. And a part of me is surprised that so few people value those things. As you said, they instead value the costliest cars, houses, honeymoons and restaurants
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:52 PM   #70
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Again, like I said that is not my net worth. The point of thread was to see how others accumulated such massive wealth is their 20's and 30's. I agree with you about work/life/happiness, but sometimes you are in a situation that is hard to get out of.
I didn't really know what I was doing in my early 20's. But looking back at it now some things made a difference...

Saving 20% in 401k at age 17 (no college for me)
Buying a cheap house at 22 (equity builder)
Getting married at 23 (dual incomes)
Keeping cars for 8+ years

It wasn't until my 30's that I found this forum and started getting serious about ER.

I think you are ahead of 90% of the peeps at your age!
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Old 10-06-2010, 01:27 AM   #71
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Within a year of getting my first mortgage at age 28, I was layed off for six weeks. From then on, I wanted to have both substantial savings and reduced debt.

In my early thirties, I decided that I liked my lifestyle with its LBMM expense level. From there forward, I saved and invested all of my raises and 90% of my bonuses. Drove the same reliable vehicle to work for twenty years. When a work transfer ended the mortgage, I spent the equity on the next house and pushed the former house payment amount into savings. My disposable income stayed the same.

I had to work many extra years to make up for my investing mistakes, all due to my greed. In retrospect, I'm now glad that I learned those hard lessons back then. The last ten years of market turmoil have not been enjoyable but that is just how the market can be. There is always risk there but not always reward.
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