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<I'm enjoying following this board but I'm wondering about the average age of people posting (really none of my business but I deal in demographic statistics professionally so curiousity is getting the better of me). My theory is that the people here are astute and DID start early on retirement saving. I'll even be brave and go first ! I'm recently 43 and saved my first retirement dollar at 24.>

I am 59 and saved my first retirement dollar at about age 30. It was in Aerospace Science Fund, and no longer have any of it (I do not think it exists any longer). I am sure it was a stellar performer until I put my money into it. I got 19 shares of AT&T at a slight discount because I worked for them, and one thing lead to another. I did not start managing it myself until August 20, 1996. Since then, its IRR has been about 23%, but that is in part because it has some savings bonds, some Swiss francs, and a few US Gold arts medallions in it to make me feel comfortable. I consider the Swiss francs and the gold as insurance, not investments (they would be lousy investments most of the time). The rest of the stuff has done well:
+42% IRR for my Emotional portfolio, +31% for my Foolish Four, +464% for my MoneyHeavy portfolio (very short time base, so not realistic), and +35.61% for my UG5.
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