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Younger folks (less than 45), what are YOU doing?
Old 01-20-2016, 02:07 PM   #1
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Younger folks (less than 45), what are YOU doing?

With the recent major drops in the S&P and DOW and everything else, what are some of the younger folks doing that are still in the accumulation phases? Buying, sitting still, did anyone sell before the new year.

As for me, I'm hanging tight right now, but I did change where our monthly 401k, tsp, and taxable account automatic investments into from being fully invested into a variety of funds to only stable value funds/money markets until the market seems to stabilize, then I can hopefully have more cash to invest back into the funds that I'm currently contributing to.

I am getting the itch though to go ahead and start buying back into some funds with the extra cash I have just if this does start to bottom out sooner rather than later....

Anyone else want to chime in...

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Old 01-20-2016, 02:26 PM   #2
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I haven't changed anything, still buying the same amount weekly through Vanguard's automatic investments. I do have a small amount of cash that I can put into the market but again I'm not sure if the market will continue to decline or is this as bad as it's going to get, this is from a buy-and-hold point of view.

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Old 01-20-2016, 02:55 PM   #3
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every time the market drops 5% I am buying back 25% of the 10% CASH portion of my portfolio. Let's hope I don't have to buy back all 100% this year...that would be another 10% drop on top of the 7.5% I already endured.
AA (Stock/Bond/Cash ): 97.5/0/2.5% MIX (Small/Mid/Large): 25/25/50% BLEND(US/Foreign): 100/0%, REIT (Real Estate Equity): ~50% of Assets

FIRE in 2031 @ 50yrs old (+/- 2yrs) w/ a hypothetical $2.5mil portfolio, 3 appreciated homes worth $1.0mil and rental income to fund my gap years until RMD. Assets will go to an inherited IRA where I plan on watching the investments grow until I die or the trust gets executed.
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Old 01-20-2016, 03:00 PM   #4
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I started savings in the later 1990's, only to face the "lost decade" of 2000-2010. I stayed invested in at least 80% stocks mutual funds and continued to dollar cost average in with regular 401K/IRA and taxable contributions. I funded 80% stocks regardless of what the market was doing. The main mistakes I made were not rebalancing yearly and I chose more expensive actively managed funds instead of low cost indexes.

Still, I must have done something right because DW and I managed to ER on our combined savings last year. I guess this makes me a "buy and hold" guy, not a market timer. A man's got to know his limitations :-)
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Old 01-20-2016, 03:11 PM   #5
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Sold all small-caps gradually starting last year, and put it in the blue-chips and REIT and some fixed income earning 4%. I still have mid-cap.

Been buying bonds since last year on my after-tax/cash accounts for tax-free dividends.
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Old 01-20-2016, 03:43 PM   #6
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A while back when I was playing around with spreadsheets, I wrote a program to analyze investment strategies at random using real market data. I wish I had kept the results because it was fascinating... probably could write a book about it.

What I did was I took the monthly results of the DOW and S&P, imported them into a data file, then gave a program the ability to invest $1500 a month at different rates, and to even "move to cash" based on signals from the market.

Sort of an AI system that just replays strategies and kind of makes them up on the fly to pinpoint which worked best. Here is what I remember of the results:

In general, doing anything, on average, was worse than doing nothing (nothing being just a consistent investment of $1500 every month without deviating). No surprise there, that's what they tell us to do. Some strategies did seem to beat out this model, at least over almost all rolling 30 year periods for the history I had. One was to invest more or less based on how the market did the trailing 18 months (18 months seemed to be a magic zone for this one... 12, 24 and 36 didn't work as well). That is, it would invest less based on how well the market had currently been doing, and held the rest of cash to invest more when the market was doing worse. This seems to defy what most investors actually do... in reality we all like to put money away when the market has been doing well.

I think a strategy where say you pump investing up to $2500 a month when the market has been down 10% in the last 18 months and move the investing down to $500 a month when the market has been up more than 30% in the trailing 18 months actually beat out the consistent $1500 for the long haul.

All other variants that beat the control($1500 a month consistency) seemed to be seasonally specific. That is, you got lucky. But the one described above seemed to actually carry a bit of logic behind it. Invest more when the market is down, invest less when it is high.

What am I doing? I'm just putting away the max consistently and I'm 100% in equities at all times (my nest egg is 33% in each of these three Index funds: S&P500, International All Caps, Small Cap US). I don't plan to change those ratios for about a decade. I'm only 33, and I don't plan to retire till at least 50-55. I will start to move some to cash/bonds when I hit 40.
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Old 01-20-2016, 04:20 PM   #7
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I'm continuing my monthly purchasing as planned and reminding myself that I'm trying to participate in the long run up slope of the market and not its near term gyrations. I'm also dutifully NOT logging into my accounts except when it's time to make those purchases.

(And licking a few wounds on an emerging markets ETF I'm in....)
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Old 01-20-2016, 05:14 PM   #8
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Increased my 457b contribution (got a pay raise). Just continue with automatic investments for the Roth IRA.
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Old 01-20-2016, 05:33 PM   #9
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I'm saving as much as always and have been buying more equities on the dips. I may also up my equity allocation from 80% to 85%. But I'm starting to run low on easily accessible FI cash (a good chunk is tied up in CDs), so I might be limited on how much I can move to equities.

This looks like a good buying opportunity for those still accumulating, even though I think we'll still go lower from here.
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Old 01-20-2016, 07:48 PM   #10
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I am front loading my simple ira. It is like having a coupon at one of my favorite retailers. I feel like I am getting a deal.

Trying to keep a positive attitude as my net worth is falling. Keep the suggestions coming!

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Old 01-20-2016, 09:35 PM   #11
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Damn, I just turned 45...ineligible!!

But same, same: retirement contributions going the same places I'd planned, keeping a philosophical eye on the big number for now. Helps to be in the business of talking people off ledges--keeps me off my own!
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Younger folks (less than 45), what are YOU doing?
Old 01-20-2016, 10:10 PM   #12
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Younger folks (less than 45), what are YOU doing?

DW and I had our New Years money meeting, and other than increasing our automatic savings into taxable investment account by 33%, we didn't change our current allocation nor our purchasing allocation. I intend to do nothing, just as I did in 2008, and will throw more at the fire sale when the opportunity presents itself.
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Now I'm gonna live in a world like that!" - World Like That, O.A.R.
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Old 01-20-2016, 11:19 PM   #13
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Maxing out deferred comps, maxing out IRAs, putting money into the 529s. dumping extra cash into the taxable Vanguard.

Ignoring any and all threads and news which suggests anything that might remotely seem like market timing. I already know I and the vast majority of the investing world totally suck at that.

Steady as she goes.
"You'd be surprised at how much it costs to look this cheap." -- Dolly Parton
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Old 01-20-2016, 11:57 PM   #14
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No changes. Sticking to our asset allocation as planned. We have some cash to invest this quarter and the market drop does tempt me to hang onto it for a few weeks to see if the sale on stocks deepens. But logically I know timing is silly so we won't hold it for too long.

Just a little while...

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Old 01-21-2016, 12:20 AM   #15
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Staying on course...maxing out 401(k), Roth, funding ER pot and small iBond acct....and grateful that MFs are on sale. 💵💰💸

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Old 01-21-2016, 04:07 AM   #16
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I am 52, so ineligible for this thread. However, my accumulation phase ended at the age of 45 and whatever I was doing then was completely unaffected by the swings of the markets. I continued making bi-weekly contributions into a 401(k) via my paycheck, and continued to make annual IRA contributions - all to the exact same funds.

To be honest, when in accumulation, I wasn't aware of anything other than the major bull and bear markets. My policy of changing nothing came about partially due to the knowledge that what comes down eventually goes back up (and eventually goes even higher). The execution however, arose mainly due to laziness i.e. it is easier to do nothing rather than something. It is the same reason why, in the withdrawal phase, I continue to employ the strategy of sticking to the same broad asset allocation regardless of outside influences.
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Old 01-21-2016, 06:05 AM   #17
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I am still PT so I have the luxury of that income plus an installment sale of a business that I receive for the next 3 years. So keep that in mind.

I am slowly buying in right now. I have no idea when we hit the bottom or when it actually recovers. However, I look at these drops (since I won't need this money for many years to come) as "going on sale". If you believe in the system and can ride out the ups and downs, 10-15% off is very nice. Of course it could drop another 10-20%. If so I will slowly sell from my bond positions into equities once the existing cash position is gone.
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Old 01-21-2016, 03:41 PM   #18
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I'm gearing up to start buying - around 40%-40% in equities right now and I want to move towards 80% eventually.

Haven't done anything yet so far though, travelling in new zealand with bad wifi . Not in a hurry, and if I miss the buying window, oh well.

Did notice that the recent drop only happened in my index trackers and much less in my individual stock portfolio. That's something to think and analyze as well.
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Old 01-22-2016, 03:38 PM   #19
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I'm 38 and plan a 2023 retirement so in less than 8 years. I am doing nothing differently. Still pumping in as much as I can, tax advantaged first, and keeping cash accounts low. Buying cheap now. Enjoying the low fuel prices.
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Old 01-22-2016, 05:46 PM   #20
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I am 34 and plan on slowly reducing my bond allocation if the market continues to drop. Currently sitting at 26.41% cash/bonds and will drop that number by 5% every 10% the market drops. Yeah, yeah market timing... Yet, it worked out great in 2008/9 and if the market doesn't rebound we are all looking at working for the rest of our lives anyway.

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