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I guess that's a milestone...
Old 10-03-2014, 07:06 AM   #1
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I guess that's a milestone...

Been keep track of all my retirement accounts on a monthly basis since beginning my career after college and just closed out September. For the first time in 3 years the total value of my assets LOST money. Typically my contributions have always been more than enough to offset any market declines but not this month. On one hand I know its better in the long run to purchase cheaper assets, but on the other my balance physically went down. Also means my assets are large enough to start reacting to the market!

Moral of the story, your balance goes up and down on the path to retirement and I just had that first real down part. Onward and upward though eh?
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Old 10-03-2014, 07:09 AM   #2
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There are always short term fluctuations. Whenever I have a down month, I calculate my gain for the past 5, 10 and 20 year periods. This always puts things back in perspective.
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Old 10-03-2014, 07:26 AM   #3
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I cram a ton of money in the market. I, like yourself, have been generally able to keep up. A 5% decline on $100K is nothing. A 5% decline on $1M take another job to keep up with the bleeding.
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Old 10-03-2014, 08:18 AM   #4
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At your age, I'd be wishing for crash...why wouldn't you want to buy everything when it's "on sale"? Since you're on this board, you won't do the knee jerk "get out at the bottom" thing that too many people do.
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Old 10-03-2014, 08:32 AM   #5
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A 5% decline on $3M is painful on paper but nothing in real life. The 20% gain last year helps a lot. Watched a huge dip in my accounts in 2002 then lost my job. In 2008-9 decided not to stare at the monthly reports. Had to reassure dad whose health was failing that he had enough money for another 30 years despite the big drop. Dad never sold assets outside of his RMDs.

You can't do anything about stock market flunctuations, so don 't waste your time worrying about it. Go take a walk and enjoy the fall colors. That's what ER is about anyway, not fussing over your money.


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Old 10-03-2014, 12:41 PM   #6
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My ole man always reminds me to close the XLS spreadsheet when I see these 5% drops. I try to capture a cpl blurbs from the trading day, so I look back at my XLS to the last 5% drop to see what my blurbs read to get an idea of what was causing the big declines, and then I usually realize I am still in a better position today, then I was back then.
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Old 10-03-2014, 12:55 PM   #7
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I just enjoy making spreadsheets for everything I do. The curse of the accountant

As for the market, yes I realize a lower valued market is better for me now but it was one of those things where the total balance didn't go up. As it's just on paper it means nothing but it's the first time I "had less than before". I can only imagine how great it will be to see the market do more than my contribution though!
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Old 10-09-2014, 11:36 AM   #8
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When i see drops, i look for cash in cushions to buy a fee more shares this month before it heads back up. The stock market being higher than it is now in the future is about the closest thing to a guarantee i know of.




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Old 10-09-2014, 11:47 AM   #9
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Many people have commented on how many times they passed a major milestone--in both directions!
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Old 10-09-2014, 04:34 PM   #10
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Being ultra conservative, the ups and downs in the market are just a matter of general interest and curiosity. I miss all of the fun, watching stocks go up, as my few stocks don't make much of a change in my "portfolio". Dunno if IBonds and a fixed interest annuity can really be called a portfolio. Worst returns are over 4.5% or more, though, and so far it has worked for us.
Took a while to double our money... like 13 years, but we couldn't afford a loss.
Not sure I would change if I were starting over, but a scare like 2008 would have been as shock as we had already been retired for almost 10 years.

I watched CNBC today, after another 300pt change in the DJ. Fascinating to hear 4 supposed gurus of the financial world.. split on the subject of the coming years... two for a great opportunity, and the other two for a long period of retraction.

There a memory that I can't get out of my mind... A good buddy retired in 1997, with an 800K portfolio that dropped by half. He survived... but it was agonizing to watch the day by day market changes. A decent pension and a wife who was earning a good salary, carried him through, but the plans for travel took a hit. A tough situation as he had no way of going back at age 58, in a specialty job that was gone.

While I don't worry now, with a horizon that I can see, there were some periods, during the early year's that worries about inflation weighed heavily.
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Old 10-09-2014, 05:22 PM   #11
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Turn off CNBC, go to a local bar, and sit with guys drinking beer.

It's the same thing, but you get beer (and wings).
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Old 10-09-2014, 07:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greencheese View Post
I just enjoy making spreadsheets for everything I do.
Me too...but I only look at my balance sheet every six months. I update investment positions monthly, but only so that I'm putting new money in the right places to stay balanced.

When the market is up, I smile and think of my stocks.

When the market is down, I smile and think of my bonds and cash...and buy more of everything, every month
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Old 10-09-2014, 08:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greencheese View Post
Been keep track of all my retirement accounts on a monthly basis since beginning my career after college and just closed out September. For the first time in 3 years the total value of my assets LOST money. Typically my contributions have always been more than enough to offset any market declines but not this month. On one hand I know its better in the long run to purchase cheaper assets, but on the other my balance physically went down. Also means my assets are large enough to start reacting to the market!

Moral of the story, your balance goes up and down on the path to retirement and I just had that first real down part. Onward and upward though eh?
You should be hoping the market keeps going down, given you are early in the game. You will know when you are getting close to ER when a bad down week is more than your annual salary.
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Old 10-12-2014, 09:30 AM   #14
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You should be hoping the market keeps going down, given you are early in the game. You will know when you are getting close to ER when a bad down week is more than your annual salary.

Salary, or expenses? because i just had a year of expenses evaporate. I don't consider myself close though.




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Old 03-03-2015, 04:05 PM   #15
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Just felt like revisiting this thread. Just closed out my February statement and after a 20% increase in balance since September the market worked in my favor and for the first time ever my portfolio worked harder than I did for once.

Still a long way to go but it does feel kinda neat seeing compounding interest truly work with your own money that very first time. It may not happen again for awhile but I did enjoy seeing my little portfolio do some heavy lifting on its own.
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Old 03-03-2015, 04:31 PM   #16
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From your initial post - it also means that you are amassing enough assets so that the market fluctuations do more than the contributions. That's not a bad problem to have.

Wait until the market falls enough (and you have enough investments) so that a market drop means your investments fall more than you MAKE in a year. Happened to me in 2008. Keep buying!
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Old 03-03-2015, 05:01 PM   #17
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Wait until the market falls enough (and you have enough investments) so that a market drop means your investments fall more than you MAKE in a year. Happened to me in 2008. Keep buying!
+1. I think you learn a lot more about yourself as an investor when your investments fall.
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Old 04-11-2015, 12:33 PM   #18
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