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Old 07-11-2008, 05:46 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by popowich View Post
Ever want to go back and teach yourself a couple financial lessons?

You can't go back, but you can try to let a few other people learn from your mistakes.

Here are some of mine from biggest to smallest financial impact (I think)

Mistake #1 - I started investing in the early 2000's. I heard and knew that investing too much in your company stock was a bad idea, but I did it anyways. They even encouraged it by doing our 401K matches in company stock! Even worse that being just another loser story, I did make a good chuck of money when the price spiked. I sold it for about $40K, and no kidding, started reinvesting it and chased it all the way back down to $0.05 per share. D'oh! I should have used $20K to pay down my mortgage (doing the math I think I would be mortgage free now instead of 4 years form now...), put $3000 into my Roth (I think it was still $3K max then), paid off my first truck, put $8K into SPY, and at most put $2K back into the company and let a small % of the profits "ride". Not having that money now hurts. Not that I'm doing bad, but I'd be far better off. Add a new pool and deck to the house would have been chump change and now it's not even a financially responsible possibility.

Mistake #2 - Buying a brand new 2000 F-150. Not so bad when you are young and dumb (I'm still dumb BTW), they're fun, but then 5 years later I traded it in for another new 2005 F-150. The first one would have been fine, the second one was stupid. If I could do it over I'd have kept the first truck the full 8 years, still have been under 100,000 miles, and probably more happy than with my current truck that I view as a mistake.

Mistake #3 - Not paying extra principle on my mortgage from the start. Sure, it would tough then and I'm making more money now, but I was paying $100/month in principle when I first started. A night or two at home instead of going to the bar and adding an extra $100 in principle to my payments would not have killed me. I'm paying more on my payments now because I didn't pay less into them then.

Mistake #4 - Don't work for free. I have a second job for a while that paid nothing. Promises and promises and making riches when the place started making money. Yeah, it went bankrupt a little under two years from when they first came up with the plans. Don't waste your time working with shady salesman.

Mistake #5 - Bars. Drink Miller High Life Lite's at home, it's much cheaper.

At least you're paying for you own mistakes. I paid for my dad's dumb ass mistakes for ten years until I decided to cut him off. I was 13 when I started my own business. Ran it for ten years. Granted, even invested fully, all the profits would amount to about $100k all told, but imagine having $100k at 23 instead of $30k. I'd be on my way to my 2nd mil by now.

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Old 07-13-2008, 10:31 AM   #22
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One of my biggest mistakes in the realm of opportunity lost is not having a trailing stop loss automatically set up on my investments - heck I didn't even know what a trailing stop loss was at the time.

I missed out on some really huge gains by getting scared and taking my profits off the table early, when I could have rode them for at least another 2x.

Not having a trailing stop loss also killed me in the dot com bubble.

I learned about this in the Nicholas Darvas book titled 'how I made 2 million dollars on the stock market'



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Old 07-13-2008, 11:05 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by harley View Post
But I was broke, and I've always been cheap, so I would buy some beer, drink it in the parking lot, then go in and nurse a single all night long. If I got too sober I could always head back out to the parking lot to finish the 6er. Not recommending this course of action, and I doubt it would work in this era of heightened awareness of drunk in public. But it worked for me back in the day.
1981, Norfolk, "Rogues". During their weekly Ladies Nights, the local junior officers (most of them single...) would literally line up at the door and out into the parking lot. Bottles and cans from cases & cases of frosty beverages would be surreptitiously passed hand-to-hand among the groups waiting for 10 PM, when the "Chippendales" would be finished and the bouncers would start to let in the guys.

At 10 PM they'd open the doors to one guy per minute. The guys who were first in line usually struggled to survive the experience. I've often wondered how many future admiral's wives met their spouses that night... and how many of them actually remember it.

I always thought Rogues should have bought a license to erect (so to speak) awnings in the parking lot and sell their own frosty beverages to the patiently-waiting lads. I think a large percentage of the club's potential profits was (ahem) pissed away in that parking lot even before 10 PM rolled around...

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Old 07-14-2008, 10:20 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Bree View Post
One of my biggest mistakes in the realm of opportunity lost is not having a trailing stop loss automatically set up on my investments - heck I didn't even know what a trailing stop loss was at the time.


I don't think stop losses are any panacea. You can get stopped out on a blip, and then see the stock skyrocket without you. Oh joy.

I'll throw out the same 'acid test' that I do for all the investment methods - if it works so well, show me a mutual fund that uses that strategy that has a long track record of beating a risk-matched index in both up and down markets.

And if not - why not?

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Old 07-14-2008, 11:16 AM   #25
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First job was a paper route when I was 12, then baby sitting, then working at the grocery store the day I was old enough, and on and on. Sort of started saving when I was 25 but didn't get serious until I was 29. I wish I had started a lot younger.

I'm still learning a lot, but I wish I had started that education much sooner.

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