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Old 03-20-2018, 01:07 PM   #21
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Late 90s... too much high-tech Megacorp exposure when the dot-com disaster hit. I had a large amount of vested and unvested options, plus I maxed out my ESPP and held the stock. But then on top of that, I had 50% of my 401K in Megacorp stock. I was drinking some serious Kool-Aid and aiming to retire in my early 40s.

All the options went underwater and many expired. And much of the ESPP stock, which was purchased at a discount to FMV, was eventually sold at less-than the payroll deductions. Ugh.

After that I didn't do ESPP at all. No Megacorp in the 401K. And I exercised options and RSUs immediately and plowed the net proceeds into low-cost equity index funds. Retired 12 years later.
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Old 03-20-2018, 02:17 PM   #22
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While co-oping at a coal mine in Wyoming in 1977, I visited Steamboat Springs and Jackson Hole, neither had a stop light. I said I would save up and buy some land ASAP, I wanted a piece of those places. Last time I was at either place, I don't think I could afford to buy all the stoplights in town.

As far as stocks, I purchased 10,000 shares of my old employer, at split adjusted price of $7.50. Just before the Great recession, it was approaching $120.00, my target. It reached $118+, and crashed thereafter with everything else. I sold various chunks all the way back to $75, I made money but left some on the table.

In high school, we had to do a research paper in order to graduate, and soon US citizens were able to purchase physical gold. I researched, got an A+, but my conclusion was to purchase shares in gold mining stocks instead of owning the actual gold. IIRC, Englehard Mining and Manufacturing was trading at $20, and I was going to purchase some with my $320 tax refund. The day the sale was going to buy, the price went down to $16, and I got cold feet. No, I got frozen feet. The shares skyrocketed, since it owned Phibro, sold gold and got involved in with those catalytic converters. Parts were sold off over the years, but was acquired by BASF in 2006. I left a lot of moolah there.
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Old 03-20-2018, 02:19 PM   #23
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Held shares of a mutual fund in a taxable account for some years. Decided that another fund would be better somehow. Exchanged the entire balance of one fund for another, I don't remember the amount of money in the fund. POOF, a $7000 capital gains tax bill....

I'm sure there have been other mistakes. I choose not to remember them.
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Old 03-20-2018, 03:34 PM   #24
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The year I elected not to cash in those options for $90 a share. Didn't want the tax headache. Six months later they went underwater and stayed there till expired.
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Old 03-20-2018, 03:45 PM   #25
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Several years ago I merged my lifestyle choices and investment decisions and low and behold a waterfront lot in Florida sounded like a great idea. After losing around $200k, I learned to kept those decisions separate. The loss is actually much higher if I calculate the lost investment return from having that money out of the market.

So, when you see me advise posters to separate those two decisions, you will know why.
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Old 03-20-2018, 04:13 PM   #26
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This thread could use an emoticon that involves strong drink and tears.
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Old 03-20-2018, 04:41 PM   #27
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Hey all

In another thread I was mentioning a couple of mistakes I have made in investing. For instance, a couple stocks that I owned and managed to lose money on are:

1. Facebook (FB). Bought this on the IPO (at around $35) and managed to sell it mid twenties or so for tax loss harvesting. FB is $172 now (after yesterdays drubbing).

2. Netflix. (NFLX). Had 200 @ around $87, sold for a small loss. NFLX is now $313. $46K mistake.

So what big investing mistakes (single stock or otherwise) have you made that you would like to confess to your ER therapists?

I think that I was the one who bought those FB shares (for my parents.). 250 in a core and 250 in a Roth IRA.

I have quite a few mistakes to claim ownership of, though:

A. Selling Amazon three years ago in the 220's
B. Selling BABA last year at 104
C. Bought and sold Apple a couple of times (just liked my profit.)
D. Sold Aol/Time Warner 24 hours before the announced merger. Oops - that was my good decision as AOL/TWX only went up a couple of dollars after the announcement and spent the next three years falling into the abyss.

The above example justifies that it is okay to Sell when you absolutely feel it is the right decision.
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Old 03-20-2018, 05:10 PM   #28
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Now I don't feel so bad .
I have a friend that bought 1,000 shares Apple in 2001? at $19 a share. He's doing pretty good financially. (Sorry about that...)
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Old 03-20-2018, 05:25 PM   #29
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I was a computer tech back in the 80s when PCs were just starting to take off. The operating system was this thing called DOS sold by a local company called Microsoft. I worked on PCs every day, watched them become common in offices and they were starting to move into homes, but it never crossed my mind to buy stock. Of course I was just a silly 20-something kid at the time.
Sounds a lot like my experience. In 1983(?) I bought Data Power stock which was being hyped as the company that won the contract to furnish power supplies for the IBM PC Jr.

Do you really need to hear the rest of the story?
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Old 03-20-2018, 05:28 PM   #30
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Is this a mistake?

Bought Wendy's at $5.75. Thought it was plateauing and wanted to lock in some gains. Sold half of my shares at $9.25. Kept the other half.

Wendy's is now over $17.
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Old 03-20-2018, 05:34 PM   #31
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This thread could use an emoticon that involves strong drink and tears.
Yes because these posts keep bringing back memories of poor decisions I've made.

Sometimes our bad decisions turn out OK. Last year a couple of past decisions, I considered foolish, turned out to be very helpful.

Some of us pay a lot for education. Perhaps in different ways?
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Old 03-20-2018, 05:43 PM   #32
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In 1988 I decided to buy a Macintosh SE rather than investing the funds in Apple stock. If I had bought the stock instead, and held it all this time, I would have around a quarter million dollars...
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Old 03-20-2018, 05:46 PM   #33
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Not spending more time with my friend several years ago when he started talking about and mining Bitcoins. I could never get my head around what it was so I didn't go on the mining ride with him. I had the decency not to ask him for a dollar amount, but when it went over $15,000, he cashed in a lot. I'm sure more than a couple million dollars worth. I'm pretty sure he still has a lot too.

Pure investing - being too conservative with my 401K during working years.
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Old 03-20-2018, 06:36 PM   #34
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Sounds a lot like my experience. In 1983(?) I bought Data Power stock which was being hyped as the company that won the contract to furnish power supplies for the IBM PC Jr.

Do you really need to hear the rest of the story?
I need to add that to my list of mistakes. I owned a PC Jr.
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Old 03-20-2018, 07:12 PM   #35
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I owned a PC Jr.
So it was you.
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Old 03-20-2018, 07:29 PM   #36
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So it was you.
I had one, too. Pre-internet, when everyone knew they needed a computer but had no idea what for.
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Old 03-20-2018, 08:00 PM   #37
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I was a computer tech back in the 80s when PCs were just starting to take off. The operating system was this thing called DOS sold by a local company called Microsoft. I worked on PCs every day, watched them become common in offices and they were starting to move into homes, but it never crossed my mind to buy stock. Of course I was just a silly 20-something kid at the time.
Now that's the one I actually got right, in the same position. The part I got wrong was only buying $1900 worth, that year's IRA contribution. Another 10K invested and I'd have retired much earlier.

One of many that I got wrong - @Home broadband internet. I wasn't incorrect about cable internet being the access method of the future. But definitely got the wrong business with that one.
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Old 03-20-2018, 10:06 PM   #38
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I had one, too. Pre-internet, when everyone knew they needed a computer but had no idea what for.
I got an Atari 800 in 1981. It had 48K of RAM. I think the 5 1/4" floppy disks (and they were floppies) held 420K. It had ROM cartridges with software loaded on them that you would plug into a cartridge slot. I remember thinking the word processor, AtariWriter was the bomb. PFS: First Choice was the spreadsheet program.

The peripherals would "daisy chain", essentially connected serially. This was sold as being an advantage. My friend had an Apple II and we both thought the Atari was the better machine.
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Old 03-20-2018, 10:15 PM   #39
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Investment Confessions

During the depths of the Great Recession when the stock market dropped by half and, as far as anyone knew, the market might drop another half, I discovered the value of bonds. I only went from 100% stock index to 80/20 but, of course, thatís just about when the stock market turned upward.

Oh well, at least I didnít become one of those highfalutin hedge fund managers, only to be trounced by the S&P 500.
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Old 03-20-2018, 10:48 PM   #40
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Is this a mistake?

Bought Wendy's at $5.75. Thought it was plateauing and wanted to lock in some gains. Sold half of my shares at $9.25. Kept the other half.

Wendy's is now over $17.
No. that is not a mistake. It's a humble brag
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