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Investment Confessions
Old 03-20-2018, 06:11 AM   #1
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Investment Confessions

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?
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Old 03-20-2018, 06:32 AM   #2
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Using a full service broker too long. Took me 10 years to figure that one out.
Screwing up a couple wash sales here and there.
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Old 03-20-2018, 06:48 AM   #3
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Bought some variable annuities about 15 years ago.

It was thru one of my wife's patients who was a fairly-new financial adviser. While he got us on a good path of saving, investing, and retirement and estate planning, he steered us into what I later learned to be some high-commission products.

Now that the surrender periods are over and I've learned a lot more about personal finance, I'm undoing things.
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Old 03-20-2018, 07:23 AM   #4
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Should have shifted allocation of my 401k more in protection mode when I FIRE'd. This was in Jan 2008 as the great recession was starting to rumble.

But to give myself some benefit of the doubt, the initial plan was to FIRE, but developments is my w*rk situation happened that way.

Another is I shoulda, coulda but didn't buy Apple stock back in the day at about $13/share. But decided I'm really not a stock picker (which I'm not) so just observed and as they say, the rest is history.
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Old 03-20-2018, 07:27 AM   #5
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Bought some shares in 3D printing companies, DDD, XONE, and SSYS when they were on their way up in 2012-13. Figured 3D printing was the next big thing, judging from all the articles about exciting new applications. A couple people who manage the 3D printing processes at work warned me that it was being hyped. I laughed to myself as I watched the stock skyrocket...then cried. Haven't calculated my loss yet, but it's probably around $20-$30k. On paper of course.

Stuck to my buy-and-hold mentality with it so far. We'll see what happens.
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Old 03-20-2018, 07:36 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
Should have shifted allocation of my 401k more in protection mode when I FIRE'd. This was in Jan 2008 as the great recession was starting to rumble.

But to give myself some benefit of the doubt, the initial plan was to FIRE, but developments is my w*rk situation happened that way.

Another is I shoulda, coulda but didn't buy Apple stock back in the day at about $13/share. But decided I'm really not a stock picker (which I'm not) so just observed and as they say, the rest is history.
I have a friend is is one of the few Apple "losers". He bought 200 shares around 2003 or so, and sold them a few weeks later after the stock dipped after earnings. Since then Apple has split 2 for 1 and 7 for 1, so his few thousand dollar investment would be worth almost $493K today (plus dividends).
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Old 03-20-2018, 07:51 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by copyright1997reloaded View Post
I have a friend is is one of the few Apple "losers". He bought 200 shares around 2003 or so, and sold them a few weeks later after the stock dipped after earnings. Since then Apple has split 2 for 1 and 7 for 1, so his few thousand dollar investment would be worth almost $493K today (plus dividends).
Now I don't feel so bad .
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Old 03-20-2018, 07:58 AM   #8
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Not discovering low cost index funds earlier, but have never paid a broker.
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Old 03-20-2018, 08:08 AM   #9
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Using a full service broker too long.
+1. For about 8 years.
Invested in an S&L bond in the mid 80's before their crash.
Invested in a hotel limited partnership.
Tried to beat the market for 20+ years. Finally learned.
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Old 03-20-2018, 08:09 AM   #10
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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?

Not buying and holding Netflix at IPO , NOT buying AMZN.

I think other than that not starting sooner. I always thought a company needed to offer me a 401k, I didn't realize I could open an IRA...until 2007 doh! First time I was really educated at mega corp on 401k/retirement. That lead me to seek more knowledge. I did manage to have some RE though but spent most of my cash.

Followed by not re balancing for about 4-5years. I was too intimidated and busy partying to prioritize my investment learning.

And then not rolling over employer 401k to VG sooner resulting in higher than needed expenses.

All is well now. I know what pitfalls to look out for. Let's hope the next lesson isnt being long but overweight in stocks. I just dont see how that would be a bad thing untill SOR is an issue.
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Old 03-20-2018, 08:20 AM   #11
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Another Apple mistake. We inherited 55 shares of Apple mid-year 2008, sold at the end of the year to harvest some losses. Missed out on about $60K gain since then. Of course the market is up about 300% since then, so I can rationalize that the loss was somewhat less than that.

In my case this was a combination of not wanting to bother with individual stock ownership and never (to this day) understanding the attraction of Apple products.

Oh well...
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Old 03-20-2018, 08:31 AM   #12
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I bought 16,000 shares of SDLP at an average price of $5.50/sh. Almost immediately after purchasing they cut the dividend by 60% and the stock tanked. I sold half at $3.5/sh to pay for the down payment on my house and still hold the rest. It's at ~$3/sh now.
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Old 03-20-2018, 08:36 AM   #13
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Having been an investor since 1967, the mistakes are too numerous to mention.
Lowlights:
Bought some mining shares from a boiler room

Followed broker's advice to hang onto Jones Soda when it was trading for $39. He finally advised selling at $10. Cost was $0.88

Sold all of AAPL when it was trading for $70 and bought back half for $50, listening to advice about asset allocation. Currently hanging on to that entire holding, our largest by far.
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Old 03-20-2018, 09:08 AM   #14
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I had about 100 shares of AMZN way back in the 1999-2000 time frame. IIRC, I bought them for around $25/share, and then towards the end of 2001 I decided to sell them all to help offset some large capital gains. I think I ended up losing about $1,000 in the transaction, which seems like chump change when I think of how much I could've made had I held onto them for the long haul. Today those 100 shares would be worth over $150,000! Ehh... you pays your money, and you takes your chances.
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Old 03-20-2018, 09:24 AM   #15
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Lots of them, too many to list, but a recent one is that after Steve Jobs died, we sold about 1/3 of our Apple holdings. The other 2/3 has returned far more than the market. Oh well.
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Old 03-20-2018, 09:38 AM   #16
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Invested in an interest fund in my 401(k) for years because stocks seemed too complicated and risky. Back then, Money magazine had a new, different set of stocks "you should buy now", in every issue. Finally, I got on to mutual funds, then eventually low cost index funds.
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Old 03-20-2018, 09:47 AM   #17
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Applied for 200 shares of the MSFT IPO but did not get any, then did not buy on the exchanges during the following days. That $4200 would be worth over $5 million now.
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Old 03-20-2018, 09:52 AM   #18
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I bought Qualcomm shares from a full priced broker who did not call me to tell me to sell at $200/sh after the stock split. There are 2 mistakes there. I still made buckets of money from that purchase so it ended up working out well.
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Old 03-20-2018, 11:43 AM   #19
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Not buying Apple when it was under $10 back in the late 90's.
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Old 03-20-2018, 11:57 AM   #20
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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.
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