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craziest 2008 story, please add your own stories

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  • craziest 2008 story, please add your own stories

    Since we are preparing for another correction, i thought i would share an absolutely true story.  it is simply for entertainment, so i hope others join in the fun.  please no one take offense, and i apologize if there are slight factual errors as i am totally relying on memory.

    ------

    i had been in practice several years, and one of my partners sidles up to tell me something bad is coming.  like y2k bad.

    he wants to invite me to join the group of doctors (large multi specialty group of super rich doctors) who are preparing for the economy crashing.

    so they hired a guy to figure out how to be prepared for the zombie apocalypse.  the guy figured out gold is needed to replace the american dollar.  he figured out what kind of gold specifically would be the best to barter with if the economies all crashed.  they didn't trust the banks to be open so they built a big safe in their safe rooms, which were already stocked with water and food and guns etc.  they figured out that the gold needed to be melted into coins so they had that arranged.  they had a plan for armored trucks to deliver the gold coins to their house.  they invited me to be in on the plan.  they withdrew large amounts of cash and stored them in the safe room.  they upped their ammo and gun counts.  knives were discussed a lot.  elaborate plans were made about best types of seeds to plant afterwards.

    i thought they were joking but they were not.

    i mean, we all probably didn't understand how everyone in california could be owning three million dollar houses but i don't think we all understood how leveraged everything was.  anyhow, after i stopped laughing, i explained to them that if they sent me out with gold coins, some bad man would take my gold, beat me up, follow me home, and then take the rest of my money.  i project an aura that it is okay to abuse me.  i swear if you see me walking with five dudes any five dudes, and you needed to roll one, guaranteed 100% of the time it would be me that got attacked first.

    anyhow, so i tell the guy i would be better off with guns and bullets than gold coins.  but i really feel like guns and bullets are not going to get me far.  in the apocalypse, i'm pretty cooked.  as far as i know, they went ahead with the plan, but thankfully so far no apocalypse has occurred and i'm still around to tell the story.

    i lost an inconceivable amount of money in 2008 but none of it was in gold coins.  or bullets.  thankfully was able to keep buying and did fine.  parents were pretty wiped out though as they were still 80% stocks (thanks AUM financial advisor), but we weathered the storm.   stressful, but good times all in all.

    ????

     

  • #2
    love it.

     

    1) i graduated HS in 2000. there was a family at my school, very nice people albeit religious fundamentalists, who became convinced that it was all over. they basically bought a farm and started doing what you were saying. but in the years leading up to y2k they were still living fairly normal lives, just that mom would come pick junior up from soccer practice with chickens in crates in the back of the truck. no idea what they're doing now.

     

    2) few years back a work colleague of mine told me about the hottest stock tip ever. basically a small pharma company who was in the process of finishing trials showing that a boutique chemo drug used for like one indication was going to be FDA approved for basically being able to melt adenocarcinoma anywhere. when he started talking to me about this the stock price was around $8. he was convinced it was headed north of $1000. i bought like $300 worth just for grins fully expecting it to go nowhere. he told me at one point that he had basically his entire portfolio in the stock and when it hit he would be worth like $50M. the company is currently bankrupt.

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    • #3
      I had a near miss. A friend was invested in a hedge fund, earning 10-15% every year. So were all of his colleagues. Did I want in?

      Heck, yeah! I requested the paperwork, filled it out, wrote a check for $150k and then... did nothing.

      About 18 months later the fund blew up as a Ponzi scheme. It was Madoff, but one decimal place over ($6B). Investors lost everything, but in this case, IIRC, the owners fled the country and the law.

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      • #4
        During the big crash, I was an Army resident, but had a few years out of school to save a bit.  Probably 5 figures, not more than 6, but was enough to feel real pain watching it sink.  Mid-year 1999 all the staff in my clinic changed from one (Indian Tribe) contractor to another (Indian Tribe) contractor.

         

        They were given the option to cash out their 401k, or roll it into the new one.  EVERY SINGLE ONE of them took the cash, penalties be damned.  They cemented the loss, and worked that much harder to avoid any savings.  I tried to say something a few times, but got a combination of being too young to understand, or being the "well to do doctor" (Army Captain, mind you), which made my opinion worthless.  I didn't push hard.

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        • #5
          Took out 40k for 4th year of med school. I also went to an all inclusive in Cabo...but who verifies what you spend your loan money on anyway?

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          • #6




            I had a near miss. A friend was invested in a hedge fund, earning 10-15% every year. So were all of his colleagues. Did I want in?

            Heck, yeah! I requested the paperwork, filled it out, wrote a check for $150k and then… did nothing.

            About 18 months later the fund blew up as a Ponzi scheme. It was Madoff, but one decimal place over ($6B). Investors lost everything, but in this case, IIRC, the owners fled the country and the law.
            Click to expand...


            that would have left a mark even in the vagabond empire

             

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            • #7




              I had a near miss. A friend was invested in a hedge fund, earning 10-15% every year. So were all of his colleagues. Did I want in?

              Heck, yeah! I requested the paperwork, filled it out, wrote a check for $150k and then… did nothing.

              About 18 months later the fund blew up as a Ponzi scheme. It was Madoff, but one decimal place over ($6B). Investors lost everything, but in this case, IIRC, the owners fled the country and the law.
              Click to expand...


              You got lucky.  I had a friend (in financial services) who was courted by the Stanford Ponzi people which blew up around the time of Madoff.  Luckily he did not switch jobs.

              My remembrances I was 43 in 2000.  I had $3.3 million in financial assets.  I remember because several of my friends had talked about our net worths and whether to retire.  I went to a big investing conference in Las Vegas in 3/2000 as the Nasdaq peaked.  I was a brilliant investor I thought.  I lost a million+ dollars in the bust.  At the time I Had about 30% in muni bonds, 35% in several mutual funds, and 35% individual stocks (mostly tech but some pharma). I did sell some stocks but not in a panicky fashion.  By 2008 I was back at $3.7 million with a paid off house.  Once again I lost about $1 million.  I completely sold out of a mutual fund I had had been DCA into since 1990.  I swapped for a different fund with a similar objective at the same fund company and now had a $300k carry forward loss.  The only panicky thing I did was to sell some Muni bonds at a loss because I was afraid they were going to default.  This is why I use Muni bond funds now.  I used that carry forward loss to massively realign my holdings when I changed from Merrill Lynch to Vanguard.  I expect to lose at least 1 million with next crash.  Probably more since I have a lot more money now.  The mistake is to stop investing because you think the market is expensive.  Bull markets are always hitting highs and expensive.  Never sell everything and go to cash.  Make prudent decisions on individual stocks if you have them.  Learn about tax loss harvesting and not just for the $3000 deduction from income .

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              • #8
                No stories from me, but can't wait to hear Crixus' 2017 story on his current plan added here!

                I really appreciate the fact that bogleheads is old enough to have been around during '08 and beyond - have read and reread many of those threads. An incredible amount of wealth in those posts.

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                • #9
                  Some crazy crap definitely went down on my end.  There was a crazy girl who said yes to go out on a date with a haggard ENT resident who barely had time to eat let alone go dating.  That same resident, who didn't have time to know what the market was doing either, plowed 5k into his Roth, as he had done in prior years.  His "net worth" increased substantially that year.  What a lucky guy.  ;-)

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                  • #10
                    Here's my real time trying-to-learn-this story.  Last week I bought $20 BTC.  ( yes, twenty dollars ).  I paid 9% transaction fee to Coinbase. One hour ago, BTC appreciated rapidly following the Gen. Flynn headline, and is now settling down.  Hmmmm. Have I seen a noncorrelating asset?  The BTC is worth is time in study, understanding trust, currency;  it generates many challenging questions.

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                    • #11
                      As for March 2009, my clearest memory was of our financial advisor answering questions among our tense group.   He asked what  ( I ) was most fearful of.  I dug deep and answered, "I'm afraid of missing out on the runup."  His question helped clarify my self-understanding.

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                      • #12
                        My 2008 story reflects on the enormous role of dumb luck combining with my single most important investment. I completed fellowship in '05, relocated from Boston to coastal LA with girlfriend who became wife in '06. We were looking to get to know the area and planned to buy in a year. I was tired of serial apartment living and unreasonably focused on buying a place where I could start a garden to put down literal and figurative roots. I felt mild pressure from the skyrocketing housing market, compounded by a daughter born in '07 and a son due in '09.

                        The dumb luck element: we gradually moved all our taxable invested assets to a cash position from '07-'08 in order to have as large a downpayment as possible when we found a home worth bidding on. No crystal ball, just serendipity and outgrowing our apartment once we'd had a kid.

                        My greatest investment: my wife. She tempered my crazy and urged moderation, wanting to wait to find the right place and not just any place. She insisted we make the decision a thoughtful and deliberate one. She kept us from pulling the trigger until August '09, when we bought our place fairly close to the bottom of the market.

                        Let's disregard the finances completely for a moment, as obviously that story could have ended quite differently. Certain headaches with home maintenance have made me rethink the wisdom of owning vs. renting a home. But the more of life's challenges I encounter personally and vicariously (kids; career; relationship; older generation; health) the more I realize that the greatest and most important decision was choosing the right partner. Virtually every other facet of life has been affected by this choice. We've all seen via friends and family the vast difference between choosing a partner who is more asset or more liability.

                        My wife continues to pay dividends that matter far more on a day to day basis than our finances, although these benefit from finding someone who is on the same page.

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                        • #13




                          My 2008 story reflects on the enormous role of dumb luck combining with my single most important investment. I completed fellowship in ’05, relocated from Boston to coastal LA with girlfriend who became wife in ’06. We were looking to get to know the area and planned to buy in a year. I was tired of serial apartment living and unreasonably focused on buying a place where I could start a garden to put down literal and figurative roots. I felt mild pressure from the skyrocketing housing market, compounded by a daughter born in ’07 and a son due in ’09.

                          The dumb luck element: we gradually moved all our taxable invested assets to a cash position from ’07-’08 in order to have as large a downpayment as possible when we found a home worth bidding on. No crystal ball, just serendipity and outgrowing our apartment once we’d had a kid.

                          My greatest investment: my wife. She tempered my crazy and urged moderation, wanting to wait to find the right place and not just any place. She insisted we make the decision a thoughtful and deliberate one. She kept us from pulling the trigger until August ’09, when we bought our place fairly close to the bottom of the market.

                          Let’s disregard the finances completely for a moment, as obviously that story could have ended quite differently. Certain headaches with home maintenance have made me rethink the wisdom of owning vs. renting a home. But the more of life’s challenges I encounter personally and vicariously (kids; career; relationship; older generation; health) the more I realize that the greatest and most important decision was choosing the right partner. Virtually every other facet of life has been affected by this choice. We’ve all seen via friends and family the vast difference between choosing a partner who is more asset or more liability.

                          My wife continues to pay dividends that matter far more on a day to day basis than our finances, although these benefit from finding someone who is on the same page.
                          Click to expand...


                          man when i read something like this, it makes me feel like my wife should get more than socks for christmas. 

                          Comment


                          • #14




                            My 2008 story reflects on the enormous role of dumb luck combining with my single most important investment. I completed fellowship in ’05, relocated from Boston to coastal LA with girlfriend who became wife in ’06. We were looking to get to know the area and planned to buy in a year. I was tired of serial apartment living and unreasonably focused on buying a place where I could start a garden to put down literal and figurative roots. I felt mild pressure from the skyrocketing housing market, compounded by a daughter born in ’07 and a son due in ’09.

                            The dumb luck element: we gradually moved all our taxable invested assets to a cash position from ’07-’08 in order to have as large a downpayment as possible when we found a home worth bidding on. No crystal ball, just serendipity and outgrowing our apartment once we’d had a kid.

                            My greatest investment: my wife. She tempered my crazy and urged moderation, wanting to wait to find the right place and not just any place. She insisted we make the decision a thoughtful and deliberate one. She kept us from pulling the trigger until August ’09, when we bought our place fairly close to the bottom of the market.

                            Let’s disregard the finances completely for a moment, as obviously that story could have ended quite differently. Certain headaches with home maintenance have made me rethink the wisdom of owning vs. renting a home. But the more of life’s challenges I encounter personally and vicariously (kids; career; relationship; older generation; health) the more I realize that the greatest and most important decision was choosing the right partner. Virtually every other facet of life has been affected by this choice. We’ve all seen via friends and family the vast difference between choosing a partner who is more asset or more liability.

                            My wife continues to pay dividends that matter far more on a day to day basis than our finances, although these benefit from finding someone who is on the same page.
                            Click to expand...


                            Amen.

                            I didnt even register the GFC in real time, residency was too nuts and I was single. I did find an amazing partner in 2008.

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                            • #15
                              Having to ask the CFO of the bank I worked at to approve a renewal of $25 million 1-year loan to a AA+ customer in October 2008 in reaction to stupid bank directives 'mandated' after Lehman's collapse in September.

                              And no I will not approve a 'loan' for any of you 

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