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What is your biggest investment mistake? Please share your biggest investment/financial mistakes so that others can learn from your mistakes.
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<<What is your biggest investment mistake?>>

Actually several--

1. Using a financial advisor at my bank for my first investment into the market.
2. Allowing said advisor to put me into backend loaded funds with very high management fees.
3. Allowing said advisor to put me into the wrong funds for my age and proper investment strategy.
4. Locking my investments in so that I could not change without taking a big penalty hit for selling.

These are just some, not all, but you get the point I'm sure. All this occured before I ever heard of TMF. Thank goodness for the people on these boards who share so freely of their knowledge.

After 3 years I'm beginning to gradually re-do my portfolio to a more "Foolish" allocation.

I wish everyone could read these boards for at least 6 months before beginning investing. I promise it would make a BIG difference.

Sam


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My biggest investment mistake was not being more aggressive early on in the accumulation phase. Or, to get to the root cause, I simply was not well informed and educated about investing early on.

I vividly remember panicking in '73/'74 and bailing on stocks to the safe haven of a "capital preservation" fund in my 401k.

Years later I got educated and more risk tolerant and finally made some good money. Of course, the '90's market run up was more responsible than any "genius" on my part.

John
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Starting my investment life with an "advisor" from USPA/IRA. This is a company which targets military people (which I was at the time) and pushes front loaded mutual funds as part of a program of regular investing. Although the fund I bought (Fidelity Destiny I) did reasonably well during the years I was investing in it, in retrospect the costs were way too high. I will give USPA/IRA its due: they first exposed me to the concept of Financial Independence and following their "plan" did get me in the habit of regular investing. But those lessons were more expensive than they needed to be.

jtmitch
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What is your biggest investment mistake? Please share your biggest investment/financial mistakes so that others can learn from
your mistakes.


Not taking profits on the way up.

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Not taking profits on the way up.

Oh, how we have all suffered this... Probably my biggest mistake, was having a nice profit in CPQ, but lacking a couple of weeks of not being a long term gain... wise (foolish) thing to do was obvious to hold for a break on taxes ...why didn't someone tell me it was going south almost over night?

Has everyone on this board retired or something, it sure has gone dead the last week.
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Actually, since the Snow Birds have headed back up north, and the prices have gone back down, we're all back on the golf course having a good old time!!!
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I agree with the not taking profits on the way up. Where are those articles about just getting in and holding on??? I hope they were right.
Really I agree with others in that I let someone else tell me what to do with our money. After all he was so much better educated in such matters.
Worst mistake a loaded mutual fund with interests in the " . . .soon to be world's largest untapped market - China." Yikes, now top that one!
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I think I managed all the usual bad moves.
Bought land at the peak. – Sold at a loss.
Bought shares during the 70's mining boom here in Australia – Sold at a loss. Didn't go near shares for many years after that, partly because I didn't have any spare cash. What I did have spare was better invested in the local pub. Even had some asbestos stock for a while; now there's a mistake in hindsight.
Managed to repeat that, getting swept along with the crowd during last years tech rally/crash cycle, luckily for only a minimal loss this time, so it is possible to learn I guess.
Generally buying too high in a stock cycle and not selling when the indicators start going down, hoping for a reversal to get the money back seems to be a problem that's pretty common. If it's been going up for a while and you start thinking of buying in on the trend, it's probably too late and you'll hit (and miss) the peak. You have to have a profit target and a stop loss point and stick to them.
I think one problem many of us have is emotionally switching between being traders and investors, letting the stock drive us.
Retired fools should be investors first and if the mood suits, be a disciplined trader second.
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cisco.intel.msft.Schwab.vtss.china.com.egghead.com.elcom.

Duh! $-{
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"What is your biggest investment mistake? Please share your biggest investment/financial mistakes so that others can learn from
your mistakes."


Since you asked, I will tell you about my three biggest mistakes. First, in 1997 I put about 60% of my 401 (K) into Templeton Developing Markets Trust. Then there was a currency meltdown in Asia, and I saw my retirement evaporating before my eyes. I thought I would prosper by going "against the herd."

Stupid mistake number two-I bought 500 shares of Sun Microsystems on margin at $30 per share. It is now at $18+ and I am still working off the debt.

Mistake number three-I thought a financial planner could "add value" to our situation. We engaged one, and I was at odds with her from the start as we seemed to vie for control of the portfolio. She put us in house funds, and we had to take unwanted capital gains to get out of them. Finally, I drew the line when she said to sell inherited stock in order to achieve her predetermined asset allocation. I refused, and she "fired" us. Good riddance! <grin>

Making these mistakes and living to fight another day is a great lesson and makes you a better and smarter investor down the pike if you draw the right conclusions and don't repeat your errors.

allocatorx

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I retired 2 years ago at 62 and started drawing SS. Last year I had the waiting period about to run out on a stock option of about 3500 shares of Company stock.
I didn't feel to bad because the option was at $15/share and the market value was $75/share. Because everyone was predicting the stock would go to $100 because of great earnings to come, (Don't ask who told me), I decided to hold onto the stock.
First I had to write a check for $52,500 to buy the stock.
Next I had to write a check for for almost $100k to cover the taxes on the $210K income, 3500x(75-15), that I had just made.
A short time later, after peaking at $85, the stock dove to around $20.
I was then advised that as I had an income of $210K that year, I owed my last years SS back to the SS.
Now I am sitting on stock that is worth much less than I paid for it, and owe $18K to SS.
I had to do some consulting to make an income for this years expences but in doing so will loose most of this years SS payments plus have to pay more taxes.
Isn't greed a wonderful way to make money?
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