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Down market has had an upside for us
Old 01-28-2016, 03:46 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 300
Down market has had an upside for us

I am embarrassed to say that for years we used a financial planner that had put us in a number of expensive load funds. They performed ok but had an average expense ratio of over 1%. We didn't pay her a percentage on top of that but still it was a very expensive lesson as we were totally focused on our careers and raising our boys.

As we started in late 2014 we fired our planner and moved our funds to vanguard. The problem was that we still had these expensive funds and we wanted to be in low cost index funds per the bogglehead philosophy.

Fortunately we had a large loss carry forward from the 2008/2009 that allowed us to liquidate the worst of the non vanguard funds but we didn't want to take the big capital gains by liquidating the rest.

Because some of the newly acquired vanguard funds have gone down with this latest correction, we have been able to tax loss harvest the remaining outside funds.

So in a bit over a year our expense ratio has gone from over 1% to about .1% and be just as diversified as before.

Plugging in 1% vs .1% in firecalc over 35 years makes a big difference!

I am so glad that bad decision is behind us. Please don't remind me of the 5% loads we paid on the front end ;-)

Live and learn

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Old 01-28-2016, 04:22 PM   #2
Recycles dryer sheets
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Everett
Posts: 131
Thank you for sharing that! I've also made some bad decisions that I'm embarrassed about, such as buying overpriced stocks that were destined to drop and trying to time the market (it did work out well for me once!). I just try to remind myself that I'm still doing better than most with regards to FIRE.

Also, it's good experience to share with others, if they'll listen!
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