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Old 01-19-2016, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Backwoods of Maine
7,116 posts, read 8,158,301 times
Reputation: 18773

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My father died at age 32, from unusual causes. My younger brother and I have very little memory of him. He did leave a life insurance policy, which helped us live decently while my mother went back to college, while working part time. We were not really poor, but money was tight all during my childhood.

I got my first job at age 12, for the summer. I gave the money to my mother, to buy school clothes for my brother and myself. From then on, she never had to buy us school clothes. By the age of 16, I was working all year round...part time after school, and full time all summer. I had bought my first pickup truck before I was 16, and got my drivers license on my 16th birthday. This relieved my mother from having to drive us to school. This also continued through college, which did not cost my family a nickel, for me or my brother.

When I had been married for 5 years, with two young children, I bootstrapped myself into a trucking business with no horrowed money. I did well. We lived on far less than I earned, had zero debt, and never once did my bride complain about all the things we could have done, but didn't.

I now have 3 homes. I also have 6 grandchildren, whom I worry about. I never want any of them to 1) be hungry, 2) end up homeless, or 3) be uneducated. I have done my best to see that none of them ends up that way.

I still don't spend much money, keep a lot in cash, have no debt, and am cheap, cheap, cheap.....!!
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Old 01-19-2016, 04:42 PM
 
7,928 posts, read 5,045,305 times
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My parents were frugal savers, but inept investors. They bought gold in 1980 (and held it). They dabbled with bond-based mutual funds in the late 1980s, and from what I gather, that ended badly. For the rest of their lives, it was mostly cash… CDs… and a small smattering of equity index funds. They taught me the importance of good education and a solid job, and of modest consumption,... but didn't have much to teach about asset-allocation or risk management.

I began my investment "career" in the early 1990s, just before the stock market began its unbridled ascendancy. The amounts that I could invest were comparatively small, so even a 30% annual gain was no huge boon. But gains they were… year after dogged year. Then came the dot-com bust. I was partially prepared, expecting a reversal after so many years of high P/E's and seemingly ceaseless gains.

By 2006 or so, I was feeling smug. Europe had recovered, and the US had nearly recovered. Buy-and-hold was working! Living in an economically depressed area, with a poor real-estate market, the housing bubble passed me by. I know little of it, and expected no particular consequence from it. Thus 2007 completely blindsided me. Lehman's collapse in 2008 completely blindsided me. I didn't sell, but felt absolutely awful. It was a miserable time. Still, I held on.


By late-2011, there was ample grounds for recrudescence of good feeling. The market hadn't yet recovered, but finally I could point to decent cumulative gains over my then-lifetime as an investor. Finally, as 2014 rolled into 2015, I felt that our long secular bear-market was finally over. There was little reason to expect 1990s-style untrammeled gains, but a solid 5%/year felt doable. It was certainly a better prospect in stocks, than in cash or bonds.

But now? Now? I still haven't sold, and likely never will. Nevertheless, I feel no less gloomy than in 2008. Experience has taught me… nothing. 20+ years after I saw my first annual return from a mutual-fund company, I am unable to open those envelopes. They get burned in the backyard fire-pit.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Siegel View Post
Going into the crash of 2008, my savings were almost entirely in cash and TIPS bonds because I thought the stock market was too risky. After the market did in fact crash, I thought I had found the formula for asset allocation - don't buy stocks! - and when the recovery came, I was totally unprepared. I never really got back in the market. (I have a little bit in equities.)
If you timed the market perfectly, selling in October of 2007 (and I am emphatically NOT advocating market-timing... but nothing beats getting lucky!), and subsequently forswearing stocks for ever and ever... well, that wasn't such a bad move.

I have every confidence that Jeremy Siegel (no relation?) was right, in that the DOW will hit 36,000... eventually! But if that won't be until 2036, what's the good in that?
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Old 01-19-2016, 09:19 PM
 
Location: SoCal
13,235 posts, read 6,335,450 times
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I didn't mortgage my house and put all in the stock market in 2008-2009. On top of that I had large portion of cash in all accounts. When the DJ was 6000, I was too chickened. But I did get back when it went up to 10,000 but it would have been much better when it was 6,000. Mistake in not realized it was a life time of opportunity.
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Old 01-19-2016, 10:03 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
21,867 posts, read 14,390,517 times
Reputation: 30765
I think it is my DH who has more concerns about money than I. I tend to think he is doing such a good job with our investments, that I don't worry all that much. We did suffer disappointments when we were unable to sell our house in 2008, and then held off re-listing for 3 years. But we had some luck then. As I understand it DH was still deciding where to put some our retirement money before the stock started falling, so we didn't take as bad a loss as we might have. And he has us in bond funds as well, for stability. I am basically an ignoramus when it comes to finance.

I've been remembering all the long years I had to put $500 a month toward somebody's college education, and after that was done, still was paying money toward insurance for the last kid. I thought I would never get done with those expenses. Our kids were overlapped, and we were able to pay for some of their education, but not all. So, for years, $500 of my not very robust paycheck went to college expenses of some sort. At one point I managed to gather enough money to make a down payment for one kid for a new musical instrument. (He put the rest on a college loan.) Somehow I got through it though.

For a few years, we lived more extravagantly than we ever had. But our idea of extravagance is probably a lot more conservative than many others' ideas are. At any rate we did some traveling and spending on ourselves.

I managed my own paycheck. I took care of two charges, and contributed to a charity I believed in. When we retired, DH insisted on taking charge of everything, and we got rid of my dept. store charge. I hated that! And I hated having no control over my finances. Mostly now we talk about where our expenses are, and how much discretionary income we have for the month. But I sort of resent not having more control.

And now the market is in a tailspin, and he worries about it. When it goes down, he gets glum. I've seen it happen before. But I have to think it will reset. At any rate, as he says, you can't sell anything now. But our assets are in the market, one way or another.

I honestly hate posting most of this, because it seems so disloyal. We have what we have because of his hard work on our investments in the last few years. I give him all the credit for that.
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Old 01-20-2016, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Close to an earthquake
890 posts, read 677,754 times
Reputation: 2390
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nor'Eastah View Post
I had bought my first pickup truck before I was 16, and got my drivers license on my 16th birthday.
I guess we're cyberspace brothers from different mothers because I too bought my first car with my own saved money before I was 16 and got my drivers license on my 16th birthday. I vaguely recall being the first in line that morning. Mine was a 1963 Pontiac Grand Prix that I paid $475.
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Old 01-21-2016, 02:57 AM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,850,322 times
Reputation: 6379
1969 Baby blue Chevy Impala convertible $500 before I had my license
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Old 01-21-2016, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Close to an earthquake
890 posts, read 677,754 times
Reputation: 2390
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfingduo View Post
1969 Baby blue Chevy Impala convertible $500 before I had my license
Another cyberspace brother from a different mother; I bought my 1963 Pontiac Grand Prix before turning age 16 and actually used it for my driver's test taken at 8:00 a.m. on my 16th birthday (first in line).
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Old 01-21-2016, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,935,948 times
Reputation: 6716
Quote:
Originally Posted by silibran View Post
...And now the market is in a tailspin, and he worries about it. When it goes down, he gets glum. I've seen it happen before. But I have to think it will reset. At any rate, as he says, you can't sell anything now. But our assets are in the market, one way or another.

I honestly hate posting most of this, because it seems so disloyal. We have what we have because of his hard work on our investments in the last few years. I give him all the credit for that.
IMO - although spouses may have different degrees of financial sophistication and experience - I think they should both be on the same page in terms of the risks that are taken when owning/managing a portfolio. You don't seem especially happy - in part because you don't know what's going on. Your husband doesn't seem especially happy - because he does know what's going on!

I don't know why money that seniors have *has* to be in the equities markets - "one way or the other". It's nuts IMO - especially as one gets older. You say your husband is glum - but the SP500 is barely in/near a simple correction - a 10% move down. What if it goes into a bear market - down 20% or more (which is where some major market indices are now)? How will he feel like then?

Note that we have 95% of our assets in high quality fixed income. I have a relatively small equities trading portfolio in my IRA that my husband has no interest in. He knows how to close out any open positions if I drop dead - that's about it. And my trading portfolio has never gotten in the way of getting out and playing golf on a nice day like today .

I think you and your husband should sit down and talk about these things. Hash them out. In terms of assets - investments - returns - budget. Come up with something where your husband's moods/his retirement years aren't so market dependent. Robyn
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Old 01-21-2016, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
21,867 posts, read 14,390,517 times
Reputation: 30765
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robyn55 View Post
IMO - although spouses may have different degrees of financial sophistication and experience - I think they should both be on the same page in terms of the risks that are taken when owning/managing a portfolio. You don't seem especially happy - in part because you don't know what's going on. Your husband doesn't seem especially happy - because he does know what's going on!

I don't know why money that seniors have *has* to be in the equities markets - "one way or the other". It's nuts IMO - especially as one gets older. You say your husband is glum - but the SP500 is barely in/near a simple correction - a 10% move down. What if it goes into a bear market - down 20% or more (which is where some major market indices are now)? How will he feel like then?

Note that we have 95% of our assets in high quality fixed income. I have a relatively small equities trading portfolio in my IRA that my husband has no interest in. He knows how to close out any open positions if I drop dead - that's about it. And my trading portfolio has never gotten in the way of getting out and playing golf on a nice day like today .

I think you and your husband should sit down and talk about these things. Hash them out. In terms of assets - investments - returns - budget. Come up with something where your husband's moods/his retirement years aren't so market dependent. Robyn
I am happy! I am so lucky. I have no major complaints. I did miss managing my paycheck, but I've gotten over it.

We do talk about these things. He never refuses to talk to me. Ever. I am not plugged in the way he is. And yes when the market goes down, he gets glum. He seems to be in better spirits in the last few days.

He had surgery last monday, and the first thing he asked about after getting dressed to leave, was what was the Dow Jones for the day. That's just the way he is. And I am just way I am--not terribly informed about finance. Here is a clue: I remember faces; he remember how much things cost.

He gets glum about other things too. I love him for himself, and I don't really want to change him.
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