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View Poll Results: What best describes your investment strategy?
My investment strategy is primarily my 401k, IRA, or other retirement savings 16 80.00%
I invest in index funds and mutual funds purchased from a firm 5 25.00%
I invest mainly with online brokerages like E*Trade 2 10.00%
I invest mainly in bonds and CDs 2 10.00%
I have a savings account but I don't invest 0 0%
I don't have the finances to invest/manage wealth much 3 15.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 20. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-25-2013, 08:29 AM  
La literatura La literatura is offline
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Investments & Personal Finance

I was wondering what some of the more popular basic investment plans practiced in here are.

I don't know much about wealth management, so hopefully this leads to a fruitful discussion. I do know that it's best to start early so 'the miracle of compound interest' can take its course.

Other than that, my understanding is investing in index funds are the safe (and typically smartest) route to go for stock investments, and then treasury bonds and company bonds are a low-risk stable investment.

My understanding of a mutual fund is its a basket of selected investments that a company packages together and sells to you.

If you want to make your own basket of selected investments, you do things like E*Trade and ScottTrade, and it's not advisable to do this as your main investment vehicle (though fun to do on the side if you don't mind the trading fees).

If you invest into an index fund, which one do you use? Where did you go to set it up? If you do online brokerages, which company do you use?

Last edited by La literatura; 01-25-2013 at 08:41 AM..
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:41 AM   #91
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Absolutely true.

Also true is how the bottom line is more important than his workers. The people in charge of his businesses do better when they make their companies appear to do well. And the employee at the end of the line suffers.

He's rich for a reason and is either out of touch or doesn't give a shit about who works for him.

You should feel great satisfaction for idolizing him.
You just don't like him because he is liberal. If it were any other business (like one of the Koch's) you'd tell those people to deal with it or find a new job.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:48 AM   #92
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For individual stocks, no doubt, though nowhere near as bad as day trading, where you can get burned alot worse alot faster. For mutual funds over the long haul, though, buy and hold is not a bad way to go.

Fundamentally, alot of people just aren't going to pay very close attention to their investments, and/or lack the knowledge/skill/time to move in and out of various types of investments. Buying and holding isn't at all bad over the long run if you have a sufficiently diversified portfolio.
Day trading should be left to the pros and very dedicated. The leverage and short sightedness of day trading ****s a lot of people.

Buy and hold with a mutual fund isn't bad because there will be turnover in the portfolio by the manager.
Buy and hold forever with individual stocks is a recipie for disaster. Names like Enron and Dell are perrfect examples. Great names when they were runnning up. Now Enron is gone and Dell sets new 52 week lows every year.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:03 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by Amnorix View Post
There are many, many books and websites on this, but good general rules of thumb:

1. index funds are the way to go because the fees are lower. Fees eat away at performance and can add up to very substantial amounts over long periods of time. Managed mutual funds tend, over the very long haul, to UNDERperform the broader market, so you're usually paying more in fees to get less return even before the fees are factored in.

2. Keep a rainy day fund worth of cash in a liquid account. Figure on several months of expenses at least.

3. In investing, diversity is important. You can and should diversify across types of investments (real estate, stocks, stocks versus bonds) and across geography (domestic versus international). Being young, you should be heavy on stocks and you will almost inevitably be heavy on domestic. That's not terrible, but just be mindful that diversity is usually good.

4. You can NEVER time the market. Don't try. Forget the miracle of compound interest and learn the joy of dollar cost averaging, which means steadily contributing the same amount of money to your various mutual funds on a monthly basis over a long period of time so that your money gets invested when the market is low (and the price per share is cheap) as well as high. When it's high, don't stop, because it may yet go higher.

5. You don't lose or make money until you sell. Stay the course. If you're 35 and the market is tanking, who cares? You're not taking the money out for 20+ years. STAY THE COURSE. If your plan is good and consistent, you should be fine in the long run.

6. Your friend's hot tip? It ain't hot and it's not a tip.

7. Do what you can to reduce your tax exposure and increase your income. At a minimum that means making sure you understand your employer's tax advantaged retirement plans, if any, and AT LEAST contributing the amount needed to get the maximum match. If they match $1 for every $2 up to $5,000, then do whatever you can to put in $10,000 and get that free money. After that, consider traditional and Roth IRAs. Keep in mind that that money is out of your pocket until retirement age, so you must balance retirement plan savings with "regular" savings.
This is all great advice.

Here is some additional stuff to think about.

1. Pay down your debt. Its amazing how much power you have over your finances and life when you don't have debt. My wife and I built a house in 2010 and its the only debt we have. We should have it paid for in 10 years.

2. Rainy Day fund. This is important, and I might do it differently than other people. My wife and I have about 6 months of expenses socked away, but we actually use this money to fund major purchases when they pop up. We just spent 3k on electrical work for example. We put on the credit card which gives us 2% cash back and an extra month to pay the expenses. The CC bill comes and we pay in full. So while that $ came out of the emergency fund, we actually floated 2/3s of it. We basically sock away 1k a month into the reserve fund. We always replenish it, but it allows one to make large purchases much easier.

3. Live on a budget. Its the best thing I ever did. Know what you are spending your money on. It makes a difference.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:47 AM   #94
mr. tegu mr. tegu is offline
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Didn't read through the whole thread. Has or does anyone have an HSA? I heard about five years back from professor how it was a good thing to utilize. I just don't recall the benefits. Any one?
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:51 AM   #95
Amnorix Amnorix is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC native View Post
Day trading should be left to the pros and very dedicated. The leverage and short sightedness of day trading ****s a lot of people.

Buy and hold with a mutual fund isn't bad because there will be turnover in the portfolio by the manager.
Buy and hold forever with individual stocks is a recipie for disaster. Names like Enron and Dell are perrfect examples. Great names when they were runnning up. Now Enron is gone and Dell sets new 52 week lows every year.

Right. Very few stocks are good basically "forever", so at some point you want to sell, and most people (including myself) have no idea when that is. That's why I tend to stay away from individual stocks.

The only time I'll buy individual stocks, typically, is when an otherwise very solid stock is getting beaten up for short term reasons that are FAR more likely due to investor panic than any rational reason. My most successful effort there is buying into and out of Goldman Sachs a few times when banks were getting hammered. Frankly, if GS goes down, then we're all ****ed anyway, so...
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:53 AM   #96
Amnorix Amnorix is offline
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This is all great advice.

Here is some additional stuff to think about.

1. Pay down your debt. Its amazing how much power you have over your finances and life when you don't have debt. My wife and I built a house in 2010 and its the only debt we have. We should have it paid for in 10 years.
YES. Control your debt, OR YOUR DEBT WILL CONTROL YOUR ENTIRE LIFE!!

I see it indirectly in my profession -- lives ruined, marriages ruined, families wrecked -- over an inability to control debt. It's mind-boggling.

And RULE NUMBER 1 -- NEVER CHARGE ANYTHING IF YOU CAN'T PAY THE BALANCE AT THE END OF THE MONTH. There are very, VERY few exceptions to that rule. For God's sake, don't pay 10+% on debt. Seriously.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:55 AM   #97
Amnorix Amnorix is offline
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Didn't read through the whole thread. Has or does anyone have an HSA? I heard about five years back from professor how it was a good thing to utilize. I just don't recall the benefits. Any one?
Health Savings Account. Dont' know much about them, but I believe they allow you to pay health-related costs (including, presumably, prescriptions and dental etc.) with pre-tax dollars.

If you have a HSA available to you, usually through your employer, you definitely should look into it.

Legal tax avoidance / minimization is a big part of developing one's wealth. Use pre-tax dollars whenever possible.
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:38 AM   #98
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What are you guys buying this year?
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:08 AM   #99
2bikemike 2bikemike is offline
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Originally Posted by mr. tegu View Post
Didn't read through the whole thread. Has or does anyone have an HSA? I heard about five years back from professor how it was a good thing to utilize. I just don't recall the benefits. Any one?
I signed up for it this year. My share of my insurance Premium doubled so I opted for the High Deductible Low Premium plan. My wife and I are healthy with very few visits to the Doctor. I invested the difference in premiums to the HSA. My employer also threw in a grand.

My plan is to treat it just like the 401k. It works very similarly. Tax free as long as you use it for HC. I believe you can even apply the money to premiums later on. So hopefully I stay healthy and when I retire I have a nice little nest egg to apply for medical coverage in my later years.
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