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Old 08-04-2018, 12:08 PM   #61
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How many acres are you looking for?
Oh, about 0.046 or so.
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Old 08-04-2018, 12:53 PM   #62
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I was offshore Equatorial Guinea, West Africa for about 7 months straight before I went in to Texas to get a new neck installed, spinal fusion, C-5, C-6, C-7...about 1-1/2 months off...then back offshore for 8 months straight
Life of a glamorous International Oilfield worker...
Still in West Africa every GD day since to today....
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Old 08-04-2018, 01:22 PM   #63
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I recall thinking it might be a good idea to have a bigger wad of cash lying around the house...just in case our bank’s ATM no longer functioned and credit cards stopped working, too (or the financial system completely collapsed altogether)! I never had such thoughts of financial Armageddon before. To this day, we keep some extra cash handy “just in case”. September 2008 was definitely a wake-up call.
Sometime in late September or October 2008, I had to move cash from one bank to another to pay a contractor. It was several thousand dollars. I wasn't sure what would happen if one of the banks failed while the money was up in the ether, mid-transfer,. Instead of doing it electronically, I went to Bank A, got the cash, stuffed it in my pocket, and drove to Bank B.
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Old 08-04-2018, 01:57 PM   #64
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I was in the middle of watching my industry basically implode - the financial sector and more specifically the lending aspect. I originated commercial real estate loans for the bank I worked for, but other institutions as well such as Wall Street firms and Life Insurance companies. All dried up. I went about 2 years without originating a single loan.

I live in the Seattle are and watched Washington Mutual fail - this was a huge deal for the local banking industry as WaMu is headquartered here. I had many friends that worked there, many laid off and many woke up working for JP Morgan Chase the next day.

All Wall Street firms that dealt with commercial real estate loans closed shop (the commercial real estate loan depts, that is) and all those employees were let go. The bank I worked for was a large regional bank with heavy exposure to home builders, so like many others we were given a Cease and Desist order and eventually took TARP money. Within about a year the bank was basically sold to two private equity companies and the govt was repaid $0.20 on the dollar for those funds. I maintained my employment, but took a 40% pay cut. Throughout this whole time all 401k matching was done with company stock that was basically worthless. At the time of the private equity infusion, all "legacy" stock was wiped out.

By this time, much of my job turned into working out construction loans that had gone bad. I was fortunate enough to be employed, but every day seemed like it could be the last.
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Old 08-04-2018, 02:33 PM   #65
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Where were you in September 2008?

We are fast approaching the 10 year anniversary of what was for me the scariest financial news month ever.
I was seven years into my retirement. My farm was producing maple, honey, apples, herbs and fiddleheads. I was a vendor in a local Farmer's Market.

I also owned an apartment complex in another state that was yet full of tenants. We were confident that we could weather through the storm. My Net Worth was growing, I had one-degree of separation between myself and worry. My tenants had jobs and they paid me rent. So long as they were employed I had smooth sailing.

Little did I suspect that our tenants would soon lose their jobs.
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Old 08-05-2018, 10:58 AM   #66
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Had just quit my megacorp job at age 50 in July, 2008. DW decided to keep on working a few years, so we still had her salary. Also, our house was paid off so we didn't have to worry about losing our house. Our portfolio lost 30% in 2008.

Ten years later and DW is still working (can't get her to quit). Portfolio and Net Worth are 4 times what they were at the end of 2008, so I guess we fully recovered.

Actually, the great recession was not nearly as bad (for us) as the 2001 meltdown. Most of my 401K was lost as my company stock went from $50 to 50 cents in a matter of a few months - oh, and we couldn't sell it either.
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Old 08-05-2018, 11:08 AM   #67
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I was working, ~8 years from RE, watching the series of train wrecks, and under stress from the losses.
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Where were you in September 2008?
Old 08-05-2018, 12:02 PM   #68
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Where were you in September 2008?

Watching Mega Corp I worked for at the time go down ... in early 2009, three quarters of my division had been RIF’ed, including me. I was lucky to find a job a few weeks later, but took a 1/3 pay cut. Luckily didn’t take a huge hit on my portfolio like so many others, was invested conservatively at the time anticipating a decline. It scared me to think about ER after that.
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Old 08-05-2018, 12:03 PM   #69
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I was sitting drinking coffee at Cafe Z in Lima Peru and waiting for spring!
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Old 08-05-2018, 01:55 PM   #70
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I was sitting drinking coffee at Cafe Z in Lima Peru and waiting for spring!
I bought 1,000 shares of Lehman Brothers at 3:57p.m. prior to the weekend that they went into bankruptcy. I paid $1.06 a share and was certain that the Govt. would label them too big to fail. Needless to say, I was wrong and this poor decision quashed all future aggressiveness in the stock market. A cheap lesson to be learned but frustrating times.

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Old 08-05-2018, 02:39 PM   #71
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I'll add myself to the fazed group. On the personal front, we had bought our Florida home in March of 2008 at half of the listing price - thinking we stole it. It would continue downward another 30% in value. The 401k balance lost 20 years of employer matching funds and investment gains. Personal income was reduced by 80% during the worst of the crisis.


At work, we dropped from 364 employees to 220. Having to decide who stayed and who had to go was the worst part of the nightmare for me. The chest pains started every day around 2pm in the office and I got used to leaving at that time, figuring a heart attack wouldn't be a bad way to go. I just didn't want to do it at work.


My best friend and I built homes next to each other. He was a homebuilder. In early 2009 he would commit suicide so that his family could survive with the life insurance proceeds. I still live in mine and get a daily reminder of his decision as I walk out the door every day.


I envy those that came through the period un-fazed.
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Old 08-05-2018, 02:43 PM   #72
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I'll add myself to the fazed group. On the personal front, we had bought our Florida home in March of 2008 at half of the listing price - thinking we stole it. It would continue downward another 30% in value. The 401k balance lost 20 years of employer matching funds and investment gains. Personal income was reduced by 80% during the worst of the crisis.


At work, we dropped from 364 employees to 220. Having to decide who stayed and who had to go was the worst part of the nightmare for me. The chest pains started every day around 2pm in the office and I got used to leaving at that time, figuring a heart attack wouldn't be a bad way to go. I just didn't want to do it at work.


My best friend and I built homes next to each other. He was a homebuilder. In early 2009 he would commit suicide so that his family could survive with the life insurance proceeds. I still live in mine and get a daily reminder of his decision as I walk out the door every day.


I envy those that came through the period un-fazed.
Wow, that's all I can say.
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Old 08-05-2018, 03:26 PM   #73
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As a Financial Fraidy Cat (tm) my personal portfolio was rather insulated. My main concern was as the Director of a “soft money” academic research institute with 50+ employees. I tried to present them with a realistic a view of our possible future without causing panic.

In talking with one of our employees I managed to recall a bit of history that captured how I was feeling. In 1992 the French revolutionary forces at the Battle of Valmy won their first and very critical victory against the European coalition arrayed against them (in this instance the Prussian army). Goethe was actually an observer at the battle and did his best to comfort the Prussian officers afterwards by saying “Here and today, a new epoch in the history of the world has begun, and you can boast you were present at its birth.” Of course, in retrospect, the 2008 Financial Crisis turned out to be not quite as consequential as the French Revolution, but at the time I really wondered whether this would seriously disrupt the trajectory of history.
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Old 08-05-2018, 05:31 PM   #74
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Thanks to all of you that have shared your experiences.


We had ER'd in May of '08. In early September, we were on a road trip from NJ to Chicago, Minneapolis, the Upper Peninsula of MI, Toronto & back via NH. Then a week at home and off to the UK and Germany (Hamburg).


I don't remember the failure of Fannie/Freddie affecting me much, but when Leahman collapsed just a couple of days before we were to leave for the UK, I started worrying. Most of the stock market damage (in my memory) occurred while we were in the UK and I was quite worried (understatement). DW and I decided to enjoy at least one year of "er" (it was definitely beginning to feel like a lower-case event) and then start looking for work to mend the portfolio.



Luckily, I made my "I'm an investing genius" back during the Internet boom days, so I was well diversified with no individual stocks in my portfolio and an AA that was right for our ER.


I re-balanced a bit in the early days, but then stopped. It was just too scary to move any more money into stocks. I did move funds to capture losses.
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Old 08-05-2018, 06:05 PM   #75
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We were in Florida in our over 55 community. Already had 19 years of retirement and was safe, but remember that our community of 350 homes was still building and there were many new retirees caught in the middle. A nervous time for many.

A recent article brought to mind that financial "safety" may be a relative term.

Quote:
The rate of those 65 and older filing for bankruptcy is three times what it was in 1991, a new study finds, as more enter their later years in a precarious position.
https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-...der-americans/

An in depth analysis.
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Old 08-05-2018, 06:10 PM   #76
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I bought 1,000 shares of Lehman Brothers at 3:57p.m. prior to the weekend that they went into bankruptcy. I paid $1.06 a share and was certain that the Govt. would label them too big to fail. Needless to say, I was wrong and this poor decision quashed all future aggressiveness in the stock market. A cheap lesson to be learned but frustrating times.

I
Thank goodness you did not spend more!

Several things I read talk about how the Bear Stearns takeover meant people thought Lehman for sure would be bailed out. But I guess it was a good lesson?
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Old 08-05-2018, 07:04 PM   #77
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2008 was very scary and I didn't handle it as well as I wish, but I did ok. My ten year return is like 7% which compares favorably to the world stock allocation like VTWSX.

I was not 100% US stocks unfortunately which made a killing. I had a lot of money in bonds and foreign stocks. Foreign stocks have been pitiful compared to the US. Maybe the next decade we will see some mean reversion.

Anyway what particularly freaked me out during the great crash was that there was legitimate concern that money market funds would break the buck (I think one did) also seeing "safe" municipal bonds crashing (anyone remember merridith whitney, and also the muni bond insurance companies blowing up).

It wasn't the stock market that made me worried, it was all the "safe" debt issues going on. I always knew the stock market could crash 50% or more.

In that crisis at least, the only safe bonds were US treasuries. I wish more balanced funds would just hold US treasuries and forget the total bond market. Corporate bonds, munis, GMAs, etc. none of them will hold up in crisis. The only thing that works is cash (does not include money market funds) and treasuries.
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Too busy to be fazed
Old 08-05-2018, 07:45 PM   #78
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Too busy to be fazed

In September 2008, I worked for mega-corp in the financial district of NY. My client was (and still is) a financial mega-corp. Things were unbelievably hectic those days with firms failing and return of capital concerns.

Fortunately, there were companies acquiring the failing firms, and at those places there was work in terms of integration.

On my home portfolio front, I (like most) was losing tons of money, sometimes six figures in a single day!

I typically don't trade a lot, but I was also trading (and sometimes day trading) some of the financial firms as well as things in the market in general. Looking at my brokerage history, I find things like:
09/16/2008 09:53:45 Buy xxx AIG @ 1.99
09/16/2008 09:56:01 Sold xxx AIG @ 2.75
yes, that much swing in under 3 minutes.

Not all were positive (of course), things like:
10/24/2008 15:00:20 Bought xxx EEM @ 20.3299
10/24/2008 15:59:20 Sold xxx EEM @ 19.88
and I even see where I managed to lose money on AAPL doing a trade over a weeks time. (Fortunately, I never sold my core holding and short term traded Apple a couple times making an overall modest profit. Wish I had kept those extra shares!)

One thing is for sure...it was a hectic, gut wrenching time which made me look very closely at my asset allocation and exposure to single stock, sector, and market in general risk --- every day.
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Old 08-06-2018, 08:36 AM   #79
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We closed on our current house Sept. 28, 2008. We got a full price offer on our previous home in June of 2008 but the buyer didn't want to close until the end of Oct. 2008.

The buyers were pre-qualified even if they didn't sell their previous house, (they didn't for quite a while), and I personally talked to their bank for assurance of that fact.

Bought the new house from the builder at a 30% discount, (potential buyer got transferred during construction phase), so we were happy as clams.


Probably should have bought the builders stock instead as it has gone up 600% in the last 10 years but we needed shelter.
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Old 08-06-2018, 09:35 AM   #80
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I was CFO of a company that had derivative agreements with Bear Stearns. My predecessor had put them in place. Scary times but since JPM bought them we were ok.

On a personal note, we were afraid DH was going to get laid off so we decided to downsize from owning 3 properties to one. This was a key enabler for our ER because none of the three was a cash flow positive producer.
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