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Author: madbrain Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 76392  
Subject: Re: Poll: Did your 401k recover from the 2008 de Date: 12/27/2010 5:25 PM
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I'm fairly surprised by the results of the poll. I thought I was doing fine by breaking even for the last 3 years, but clearly not. I didn't sell anything on the way down. I only kept adding new money to the funds through contributions. I remained in the same funds the whole time until april 2010, at which point I rollled over the 401k to my new employer 401k. The old employer was acquired anyway and the plan was being turned over to a different company, so the funds would have changed anyway. Thus I figured it was a good time to do the rollover.

68% of TMF members say they have overall gains for the 3-year period which shocks me. I expected that to be a minority. Looking at various indexes :

S&P 500 :
12/31/2007 137.42
12/27/2010 125.65
Down 8.5% for the period

DJIA
12/31/2007 13364.16
12/27/2010 11555.03
Down 13.5% for the period

This doesn't include dividends, but even with them included, they still wouldn't have recovered. If anyone knows of an online tool that can provide the total return inclusive of dividends for a custom period, I am interested.

For those that answered 5, how did you recover those losses ?

Were you not fully invested in 2008 when the market tumbled ?
Did you time the market and manage to sell high and buy low ?
Were you in other types of investments that performed better, like gold ?

Were your account balances small enough in 2008 that the losses weren't that great, and then you added lots of funds in 2009/2010 which produced gains ?

Inquiring minds want to know.
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