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Old 11-05-2017, 06:48 AM   #101
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Maybe we didn’t run up the score or go to the playoffs or make the allstars but team BWE finished its season with respectable stats and we are able to enjoy the post season on our own terms.

Love reading about others’ successes but ours would elicit no more than a meh.
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Old 11-05-2017, 07:13 AM   #102
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Home runs not exactly, but two decisions that stand out:
  • Starting equity investing in 2009
  • Moving to a country with a tax incentive program
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Old 11-05-2017, 07:20 AM   #103
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I would say, getting lucky that my former company i retired from, became a ESOP company. The stock did very well. If not that, i would of picked leaving Edward Jones, and doing my own index fund investing.
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Old 11-05-2017, 07:25 AM   #104
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DW and I racked up 10,000 in credit card debt in 1982. We were young and dumb. We had a card cutting party in my Garden at home and buried those credit cards. Cashed out a small mutual fund I owned to pay it off and we never had credit card debt again(payed it off every month after going without for 5 years)

The credit card cutting party was my one Home run. The rest was a lesson learned and plodding along saving more than spending.

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Old 11-05-2017, 07:40 AM   #105
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35 years of plodding along. No elephant hunting or home runs.
+1 (although, 30 years fo rme)

Fortunate to have talents in a profession that pays well (software), and lots of saving.
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Old 11-05-2017, 08:12 AM   #106
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My home run was landing a very high paying (C-suite) job in a very large successful company. Right place, right time, right skills (apparently). Then borrowing extensively to buy more stock, keeping my options as long as possible. Worked out splendidly.
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Old 11-05-2017, 08:42 AM   #107
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We had two things that helped us significantly and lowered the ER date by years if not a decade, interestingly to me both are usually bad things, but we made lemonade out of the lemons.

Spouse had a corporate job and had survived multiple mergers and reorganizations. Upper management made a strategic decision making the product mostly unsuitable for the largest client my spouse was responsible for. Spouse managed to keep part of the account but a lot moved where service was not available. Spouse "fell on the sword" and protected the movers and shakers and got a extremely generous severance package for her "retirement" at an earlier than normal age, that was about 2 years of income, and continued benefits during this period. She then took a pt job professional temp job for about 6 months that paid cash but no benefits and landed a similar paying job to the old one. So eseentially double income from her for a couple years.

Other boost was a company stock option that was a large position relative to our early days portfolio that could not be exercised for a while. There were buyout/merger negotiations announced and stock had doubled to 50. I bought put options for a portion of that holding. Financial irregularities were found in the larger company that was to acquire our option held on company. I sold the puts at profit (think of as insurance on stock price going down) and bought at a lower price and resold a couple times. Company price went down to 5 but kept all the stock. Sold the last of it at 100 although sold some around 50, and 75.

Although not as exciting a story, Real Estate acquired and sold also gave chunks to invest with good increased value. Stock ownership has been a steady gain as well.
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Old 11-05-2017, 09:13 AM   #108
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I never got 10x on a single stock bet (~5x was my max) but I used to make large bets that netted 6 figure gains which eventually added up to 7 figures. Without the 7 figure gains I definitely would not have been able to FIRE.
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Old 11-05-2017, 09:19 AM   #109
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DW plus prudent exercising/selling of stock options.
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Old 11-05-2017, 09:50 AM   #110
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There was only one that set me up for retirement 30 years ago. Since that time their have been a few, but the most surprising is SS which looks like a 14 or 15 bagger on a 100k investment.
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Old 11-05-2017, 10:08 AM   #111
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Home run was military pension (along with Tricare).

Triple was working for a company in the 90's that matched $1.5 up to 9% of pay and I made sure to take that to the max. Moved it to Vanguard in late 90's and now worth over 500K.

Double were some stocks that went 10 bagger for me (IRBT, COST, FB, HOG) but weren't large % of assets. Also had some epic losers like Sun and Worldcom.

Singles really got me to the end point, i.e. LBYM and invest mostly in mutual funds with low costs.
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Old 11-05-2017, 02:33 PM   #112
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Mine was being forced to work in the rain(I hate rain) for three days straight. Forced me to look at where I was in life and how bad w*rk was.
That’s a good one. I know that working my way through college is what drove me to start my own business immediately upon graduation.
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Old 11-05-2017, 04:06 PM   #113
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Late adding in to the discussion, but four things stand out for me, not sure I would call them home runs, but solid extra base hits:
1. Working through college, graduating debt free with an engineering degree; to set up for a decent paying job career.
2. Working at large companies where I took advantage of the 401k/403b programs from age mid 20's on. Having a small pension from one of them is nice.
3. Buying first house at 25 and then riding that wave of increasing housing prices and moving up to bigger and nicer houses along the way.
4. DW being of similar mindset and actions as me.

Some solid singles:
5. LBYM and staying away from bad debt
6. Being mechanically capable and able to fix most things myself, saving money
7. Understanding financial math and investing in equities over 30 year working career.
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Old 11-06-2017, 07:10 AM   #114
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Bought AMZN in 2000-2004.
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Old 11-06-2017, 07:37 AM   #115
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Its good for OP to see that a LOT of people do not strike it rich with some magical equation. Hard work and living below means over a few decades. He purchased real estate during the 2008 crash and no lives of his rentals. Most do not retire this way. Glad he sees that now.

Not retired yet but we have a nice nest egg at a young age. The most important thing for me was marrying someone who was on the same financial page. Maxing 401k/TSP, maxing roth iras and investing in vanguard index funds.

Our expenses have been the highest so far...mostly due to a house renovation. Even still each month my accounts grow by $8k-$10k. I contribute around $2200/month so real growth is around $6k-$8K/month. Yes I know we're in a bull market, yada yada...still. Im not doing anything and the accounts have grown around $70k this year alone. Let your money work for you...theres no trickery.
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Old 11-06-2017, 08:23 AM   #116
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Being born to parents who were minorities and immigrants to the U.S., who raised me and my 6 siblings with the attitude of "you are not a victim, life is what you choose to make it, study hard, work hard, seek friendship with others that have the same attitude, and don't worry about what others have".

From that flowed many financially related "singles and doubles" that in the long run have more than paid off for me (and my siblings).
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Old 11-06-2017, 08:29 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by jollystomper View Post
Being born to parents who were minorities and immigrants to the U.S., who raised me and my 6 siblings with the attitude of "you are not a victim, life is what you choose to make it, study hard, work hard, seek friendship with others that have the same attitude, and don't worry about what others have".
Congratulations, you won the Life Lottery!
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Old 11-06-2017, 08:42 AM   #118
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Bought AMZN in 2000-2004.
Ok I am jealous. I kept thinking Amazon, no they only sell books, Amazon, no they'll lose money with all that free shipping, Amazon, oops I missed the boat!

Our home run was not paying attention. We just kept saving and did not pay attention to our VG accounts. Just kept sending checks over the years. Then DH got so frustrated with mega-corp and luckily walked away with a nice 1 year severance. Plotted along, lost 60K in 2011 sale of house. We kept thinking, we didn't have enough. Then, ran the numbers, consulted with VG. It was like a spotlight hit us in the face. Uhhhh, yeh, we can do this. VG assured us we are good for 40 years, even with bumps in the road ahead. We drilled our VG consultant, "what if this or that happens" about a dozen times. That was our "high 5 moment!":
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Old 11-06-2017, 08:50 AM   #119
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Winning by forfeit

In hindsight I did so many things wrong (from a financial perspective) that my game should have been called early due to the slaughter rule:

  • Married my DW who brought along zero assets but plenty of student loan debt;
  • Crimped DW's career by getting her in the family way almost immediately;
  • Repeat second point four more times;
  • Sending all five to college on my dime so they could launch debt-free;
  • Living exactly AT our means for the next twenty-odd years, saving virtually nothing;
  • Not jumping ship from Megacorp for greener pastures when I should have done so at least a hundred times;
  • Passing up opportunities to slink into management () which would have garnered rapid, routine promotions instead of having to earn them slowly. (But I still have my soul!)
  • Too many other boo-boos to list
Judging by many of the prior posts on this thread, pretty much the only penalty I avoided was divorce. Other than that, it's been a long, steady reign of error.



And yet as of my most recent FIRECalc run, I am at 100% and will likely punch out in OMY. Go figure.
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Old 11-06-2017, 09:08 AM   #120
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Like many others, saving and living below your means.

But also, my cat!

Yes, around 1983 I had a small villa and a cat. My cat became jealous of my boyfriend (now DH) and peed on the carpet at the entrance as you walk in. Cheapie place, no tile entrance.

So I had to rip it up and replace it. I was into decorating and plants but tried my first DIY. Went to Home Depot, bought some tile, grout, etc and put it in (maybe only a 3 X 5 area but I was proud of myself!) . Kept going back to HD for stuff and thought wow, this place is really packed on a Saturday morning.

Bought my first "real house" in 1987. Scraped together $600 for an IRA. Bought HD stock (either 30 shares at $20 or 20 shares at $30). Watched it go up and up and kept adding more and more. It split several times.

In fact, once it went down a ton, saw it in the newspaper, way before internet. I called their home office in Atlanta and asked why. I was transferred and the lady answered, "Mr Marcus' office." They had transferred me to the CEO's office!! She assured me that it was just another split.

So I accumulated a decent amount, got chicken before the DOW hit 5000 in the mid 90s and sold most for probably index-fund type things.

So if it wasn't for my cat, I maybe would not have found Home Depot stock early on. Not a home run but a nice amount.
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