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The Lounge>Personal finance and investing megathread extravaganza
DaFace 11:23 AM 06-27-2016
I know lewdog (and maybe others) have mentioned the desire to have a place to chat about personal finance stuff. We'll see if there's enough interest to keep this going in the long-term, but at least for now, here's a place to chat about whatever personal finance topics come up.



If you're just getting started thinking about saving and don't know where to begin,
this flow chart can help. Ask for advice in the thread for more help!
[Reply]
SAUTO 06:13 PM 06-27-2016
I've thought about investing my money but I can't imagine just watching the number bleed off at times.

If my money is going somewhere I want to be enjoying it. The more money I have the more money I can make.
[Reply]
Buehler445 06:30 PM 06-27-2016
Originally Posted by Amnorix:
I may have posted this before, but I wanted to pass along this tip about one of the better things I have ever done in terms of my overall financial planning and processes.

I track, on a monthly basis, my net worth. I do it the stupidest, old fashioned'est way you can imagine -- by plugging the numbers into a spreadsheet. Now there are apps for that, of course. Early on in life, when you have one or two bank accounts, it's not remotely necessary, but once you're older, and you have a spouse, and you have a 401(k) and the rollover IRA and your wife's rollover IRA and the defined contribution benefit fund and a house with a value offset by a mortgage, blah, blah, blah, it gets a bit more challenging to track it all.

So I have everything in a spreadsheet, and early every month I just update all the figures. For home value I use assessed value (usually a conservative number) and plug in the mortgage balance to offset. All the accounts are updated by month end statement figures, etc.

It has really helped me track everything that we have, and SEE the growth over time, which is very encouraging. Of course, you have to have the stomach to just plug in the numbers and avoid vomiting when years like 2008 come around, but then you can see exactly when you got back to where you were, and be like "hey, for the end of the fucking world, that didn't take too long to recover from".

Anyway, I've found it useful for managing my financial life. Once you get the hang of it, updating the spreadsheet takes like half an hour a month. Not a big deal at all.
I have to submit a personal balance sheet to the bank annually even though the bank is making the loan to a separate legal entity and my contributions to debt service as an owner would be minuscule if the company becomes insolvent :-) But that's neither here nor there.

It is sometimes startling to note how much your personal net equity changes over the years.
[Reply]
Buehler445 06:50 PM 06-27-2016
Interesting story.

I think it was in 2014, my father in law was talking to me. He said he was bummed out. In the 80s, he scraped together every penny he could scrounge and threw it in a 30 year CD. At 15%!!!

He said he didn't figure he'd ever get that kind of a return on the farm.

Pretty damn smart. I don't know what USDA has average farm return at during that period, but it isn't 15%.
[Reply]
Setsuna 06:55 PM 06-27-2016
This is an excellent idea. i'll come back here when I start making salary somewhere.
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aturnis 07:25 PM 06-27-2016
Put it all in Mac N' Cheetos
[Reply]
aturnis 07:36 PM 06-27-2016
My best advice is to use your head and think about where we're headed as a society/planet in the future. Identify the necessary components to get to that future, and wait.

Don't listen to Wall Street analysts. If there's anything I've learned from investing in the market, it's that market analysts are shortsighted idiots who generally don't know what they're talking about.

The only thing they seem to do is rely on the companies and industries that have always produced. Because of this, they miss out on good investments early, and only back "new blood" once it's a proven winner. By that time, your opportunity is missed and it's a long slow slog to the finish.

Now, there's nothing wrong with the long slow slog, but your effort and commitment are deserving a few big wins.

You'll never regret missing out on the small incremental gains of mature business and industries.
[Reply]
aturnis 07:38 PM 06-27-2016
Originally Posted by JASONSAUTO:
I've thought about investing my money but I can't imagine just watching the number bleed off at times.

If my money is going somewhere I want to be enjoying it. The more money I have the more money I can make.
I'm currently watching the bleed, I think many/most are. You have to know and understand that you're in it for the long haul and have confidence in the stocks you've chosen.
[Reply]
Amnorix 06:47 AM 06-28-2016
Originally Posted by scorpio:
Just curious, do you count anything toward your net worth other than financial accounts and your house?

So the concept I'm using it for is to (1) keep track of everything, and (2) see progress over time. I don't bother with including vehicles or other illiquid items that in theory add to net worth (other than the house), but you certainly could if you wanted (offset by any vehicle loan).

Anyone who has credit card or student loan debt should have it on the spreadsheet. You can also input what the interest rates are for the various debt, to help you visualize what debt you should prioritize getting rid of first.

In theory, if you had a baseball card collection or some other kind of collectible, you could include that, but it's pretty much YMMV there. Most types of collectibles aren't exactly a great way to plan for retirement unless it's your actual business, and even then it's risky for your heirs. Usually they need to be sold at firesale prices to convert to cash if anything goes wrong.
[Reply]
Amnorix 06:49 AM 06-28-2016
Originally Posted by Rain Man:
At various points in time I've calculated my net worth, but very infrequently so I never had timeline figures. I really wish I'd done what amnorix is doing. I should start now.

I won't deny that it's a pain in the ass a few first months, but soon you have it down to a routine and it takes no time at all. Copy column from last month into new month, and update all figures. I try not to be a complete nazi about it. If I only get quarterly statements from some account, I can live with updating it quarterly. Now, however, with every account having online access, that usually isn't an issue.
[Reply]
Amnorix 06:54 AM 06-28-2016
Originally Posted by R8RFAN:
I have 150k cash
I have about 250k in my 401k
My house and cars are paid for

I am 100% debt free

That's my portfolio , Not glamorous but I am happy

You're obviously doing great in many ways. We've all seen the depressing statistics about how 45% of America couldn't meet an unexpected $400 expense or whatever. Just awful.

The problem with cash, even if it's earning 1%, is that it's losing purchasing power due to inflation. I'm making these numbers up, but your 150K will be worth, say, $125K in ten years, 100K in 20, and 50k in 40 years. That sucks, but it's reality.

So you really need to make it work for you somehow, even if only to keep up with inflation. Preferentially to get AHEAD of inflation of course, so your money makes you money.
[Reply]
Amnorix 07:01 AM 06-28-2016
Originally Posted by lewdog:
:-)

On all of it. I too have become a big believer in more passive investing (index funds) like DaFace mentioned.

Same here. Index funds and the ETFs that mirror them are the way to go.
[Reply]
Amnorix 07:06 AM 06-28-2016
Originally Posted by R8RFAN:
I gross about 2k per week and have a online side business I have owned since 1999 that earns about 25-30k per year profit

And I have to pay a shit load of taxes too:-)

So, I know you rejected real estate, and that's fine, but real estate can be a great way to reduce tax bills. I'm not qualified to go into detail on this, and don't do it myself, but I know it's true.
[Reply]
Amnorix 07:10 AM 06-28-2016
Originally Posted by JASONSAUTO:
I've thought about investing my money but I can't imagine just watching the number bleed off at times.

If my money is going somewhere I want to be enjoying it. The more money I have the more money I can make.

The point is to make your money work for you, in whatever way works for you and your skills and life. If you actually use your cash in a productive way -- buying "lake lots" or whatever, then that certainly makes perfect sense to me.
[Reply]
Amnorix 07:12 AM 06-28-2016
Originally Posted by Buehler445:
Interesting story.

I think it was in 2014, my father in law was talking to me. He said he was bummed out. In the 80s, he scraped together every penny he could scrounge and threw it in a 30 year CD. At 15%!!!

He said he didn't figure he'd ever get that kind of a return on the farm.

Pretty damn smart. I don't know what USDA has average farm return at during that period, but it isn't 15%.

I was a kid and remember interest rates that high.

Now imagine the flip side -- mortgages at like 18+ percent, because that was real too.

I could go on and on about how Fed Chairman Volcker had to do it to break "stagflation", but it also broke the Carter presidency (not that he was good, anyway, but alot of people blame Carter for stuff that he had no control over that came out of the oil embargo crisis etc.), but trust me when I say you don't want to get me started. :-)
[Reply]
Amnorix 07:13 AM 06-28-2016
Originally Posted by aturnis:
My best advice is to use your head and think about where we're headed as a society/planet in the future. Identify the necessary components to get to that future, and wait.

Don't listen to Wall Street analysts. If there's anything I've learned from investing in the market, it's that market analysts are shortsighted idiots who generally don't know what they're talking about.

The only thing they seem to do is rely on the companies and industries that have always produced. Because of this, they miss out on good investments early, and only back "new blood" once it's a proven winner. By that time, your opportunity is missed and it's a long slow slog to the finish.

Now, there's nothing wrong with the long slow slog, but your effort and commitment are deserving a few big wins.

You'll never regret missing out on the small incremental gains of mature business and industries.

Your path might be great for YOU, but it is high risk, high reward, high maintenance, and not the right path, in my opinion, for the vast majority of investors.
[Reply]
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