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View Poll Results: Rank yourself as an investor
Above average investor 89 37.55%
Average but will be improving in the future, I hope 24 10.13%
Average and not likely to change 89 37.55%
Below average 20 8.44%
Terrible and recognize I need help 4 1.69%
Just terrible and have no clue going forward 3 1.27%
Other 8 3.38%
Voters: 237. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-23-2023, 10:42 PM   #41
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I guess I'm above average. Fidelity says I can expect to earn 85k next year from dividends (14.5% off of 550k)
What are you invested in that’s yielding 14.5% ?!?
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Old 09-23-2023, 10:56 PM   #42
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If investor means stock picker, well, I dunno.

But if investor means managing our “money life”, I’d think almost everyone on this forum is above average.
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Old 09-24-2023, 01:23 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by disneysteve View Post
I think most people are broke and clueless so I rated myself above average. But I think that’s a pretty low bar.
Same here. I actually understand compound interest and bought my first stock when I was 19. I've made my share of bad decisions, though.
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Old 09-24-2023, 07:27 AM   #44
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I went with average. I would consider myself way above average in the US at large but a bit below average here.
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Old 09-24-2023, 07:37 AM   #45
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Then to me you're def not the average investor!
I'll take that as a positive!!

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Old 09-24-2023, 08:33 AM   #46
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This is a classic psychology question: About three-quarters (73 percent) of US drivers consider themselves better-than-average drivers.

So in fact, who answers "average" in this poll are likely to be above-average investors because "they know that they don't know".

There are two kinds of people in this world:
1. People who don't know that they don't know (majority)
2. People who know that they don't know (minority)
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Old 09-24-2023, 08:34 AM   #47
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If investor means stock picker, well, I dunno.

But if investor means managing our “money life”, I’d think almost everyone on this forum is above average.
+1000
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Old 09-24-2023, 08:53 AM   #48
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I voted average. I'm a Boglehead. By definition that means I'm always average. Oddly enough, in investing circles that means I'm above average.
Ha! Same here. (Boglehead as in investing style, but not a Vanguard diehard like some of them.)
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Old 09-24-2023, 09:08 AM   #49
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I voted above average. As always, members have different ideas of what being an investor means. In terms of portfolio performance I agree with several others that mentioned just how low the bar is to be ‘average’. I just saw a stat that cited the average investor’s equity returns are about 1/2 of the S&P 500 due to trading in and out of the market.
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Old 09-24-2023, 09:44 AM   #50
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I put average. I'm 68, we have enough, I don't have the drive get any better.
I may have mentioned our journey here before, not sure.
I married in 81 at 26 to an immigrant, found immediately she was very frugal. I wasn't in debt, but I didn't have any savings either. That first year, even though we only earned $18k, we saved $5,400, plus we had received $600 in wedding money, so we had $6,000. More than I ever had in my life, that was the start, that I knew we could accumulate money. In the late 80s, I started listening to Bob Brinker, he was my first financial educator. At sometime after that I got his newsletter and invested in his Portfolio 1, while we kept saving at a very good rate. Sometime in the 90s, because of all the paperwork I was receiving from 6 different mutual fund companies (in portfolio 1), I moved everything to Vangaurd's VTSAX. In later years, I expanded that out to VFIAX and VWIAX. In 1999 she started a small side business, and soon she ask, "why don't you quit your job and work with the business?"
I responded, "I'm not quitting my job unless you quit yours!" She said, "OK". Soon after being self employed we started using SEP/IRAs and any other tax deferred accounts we could, probably to our detriment, because with all our tax deductible contributions there were many years that I paid 2, 3, or 4% of gross in taxes. Ya, we were saving so much that we had plenty of money to invest. I now find we will pay more tax than we saved by tax deferring.
So far we peaked at 1.56 times our married time income, down a little now, but SS will start soon and I'm sure our peak will increase. Our peak would have been higher but we spent/invested $300k on a child's medical education.

So we were better savers than I was as an investor, but we have way more than enough. I have to credit what we have to my wife, I married right.
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Old 09-24-2023, 09:56 AM   #51
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So the bimodal distribution of the poll suggests some voted versus the er.org norm, and others voted versus the general population.

From my experience, most here are above average versus the general population.

Polls are hard...
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Old 09-24-2023, 10:01 AM   #52
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If I was a good investor I would be really rich.

The only reason I was able to FIRE was I worked like a dog and saved over 50% of my after tax income.
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Old 09-24-2023, 10:02 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by pjigar View Post
This is a classic psychology question: About three-quarters (73 percent) of US drivers consider themselves better-than-average drivers.

So in fact, who answers "average" in this poll are likely to be above-average investors because "they know that they don't know".

There are two kinds of people in this world:
1. People who don't know that they don't know (majority)
2. People who know that they don't know (minority)

LOL, like the quote from Rumsfeld:
"...there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don't know we don't know..." - Donald Rumsfeld

OR the quote from Sagan:
"“Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Absence”" - Carl Sagan

https://hbr.org/2012/05/discover-what-you-need-to-know

https://www.amazon.com/Think-Again-P.../dp/1984878107

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_know...I_know_nothing

This is also explained by the concept that few people have heard of, called the Dunning-Kruger effect:
The Dunning-Kruger Effect is a cognitive bias where people tend to assess their intelligence or abilities as greater than they are. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunnin...3Kruger_effect

Yeah, understanding how to be a defensive driver, not being in a rush, and not drinking/smoking/cellphone while driving you will as best as you can be prepared.

Living your life at least fifteen minutes ahead of schedule is a great way to be at peace all the time.

I had an old boss who used to say, "Five minutes early is ten minutes late." what a great way to frame things.
Your work ethic says a lot about you as a person, accountability goes a long way.
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Old 09-24-2023, 10:10 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
So the bimodal distribution of the poll suggests some voted versus the er.org norm, and others voted versus the general population.

From my experience, most here are above average versus the general population.

Polls are hard...
Yes, if people here are mostly FIRED they did some things really right with their personal finance which puts them well above average for the USA.

I will have to go to polling science class to get all the wording just right. But in my defense I just did this because it is fun and I kind of feel some of the recent threads have been .....
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Old 09-24-2023, 10:12 AM   #55
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LOL, like the quote from Rumsfeld:
"...there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don't know we don't know..." - Donald Rumsfeld

OR the quote from Sagan:
"“Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Absence”" - Carl Sagan

https://hbr.org/2012/05/discover-what-you-need-to-know

https://www.amazon.com/Think-Again-P.../dp/1984878107

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_know...I_know_nothing

This is also explained by the concept that few people have heard of, called the Dunning-Kruger effect:
The Dunning-Kruger Effect is a cognitive bias where people tend to assess their intelligence or abilities as greater than they are. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunnin...3Kruger_effect

Yeah, understanding how to be a defensive driver, not being in a rush, and not drinking/smoking/cellphone while driving you will as best as you can be prepared.

Living your life at least fifteen minutes ahead of schedule is a great way to be at peace all the time.

I had an old boss who used to say, "Five minutes early is ten minutes late." what a great way to frame things.
Your work ethic says a lot about you as a person, accountability goes a long way.

Buffett and Munger/Li Lu/Howard Marks/Mohnish Pabrai etc., all great fund managers, they all understand the same thing: That to be successful at buying and assessing individual stocks, you have to have independent analysis.

People like me who are NDT have a unique advantage because our inherent brain synapses and neural network is wired in a way that is most likely unique to them, in comparison to neuro-typical people, who have predictable pathways and thoughts.

Understanding the "wisdom of the crowds" is one of the most important keys to finding opportunities within investments.
But be forewarned, for to be forewarned is to be forearmed.
That you have to be able to understand when the masses are right, or just trend following, as well as when they are wrong. Then you must break from the herd.

This is where "Mr. Market" comes into play which is the basis of the teachings of Benjamin Graham.

And within this thought process which was elucidated from another perspective, as explained by Jesse Livermore; the behavior of the underlying prices, and how they can diverge from the expected conclusion.

This is evinced within the popular phrase attributed to John Maynard Keynes – “Markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent”.

You have to have rules for investing, an understanding of what you are buying, why you want to make the purchase, when you would sell. You must have a plan. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
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Old 09-24-2023, 10:13 AM   #56
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I will have to go to polling science class to get all the wording just right.
Many polls here don’t go off as intended, don’t ask me how I know…
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Old 09-24-2023, 10:59 AM   #57
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What is NDT?
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Old 09-24-2023, 11:54 AM   #58
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What is NDT?
No donuts today?
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Old 09-24-2023, 05:32 PM   #59
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No donuts today?


Oh OK, thanks.
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Old 09-24-2023, 06:09 PM   #60
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I believe he means neurodiverse talent, which I understand to be a form of autism.
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