I’ve had 2 posts worth of BAD investing decisions so far (1, 2). I didn’t want people to think I’ve not made any GOOD decisions, because I have, just not as many yet. I’m still young, had no financial education, and had some bad financial advice early in my career. But I’m riding the wave and learning from my mistakes to be able to make good financial decisions as my journey continues…
1. I started a ROTH IRA when I got my first job. Although I went through 9 different reps at Edward Jones, I ultimately didn’t have much to do in the summer of 1998 when I had a job that paid more than I needed so I consulted a rep there that showed me the light. I got started and put in on it until I cashed it out in my “bad decisions” tab #4.
2. Marrying my wife. No, this isn’t just a sentimental number, but you’d be surprised the $ you save on taxes filing jointly as opposed to separate and living together.
3. Having children at the end of the year. No, seriously – I had both of my kids at the end of the year, but am able to claim them for the entire year, Uncle Sam doesn’t care what month, just what year.
4. Bought my first place at the right time. The market was rising, but topping out yet in 2004 when I signed the papers. A year and some change later I sold it for 60k more than I bought it for. This also falls in my BAD investing choices also because I didn’t wait the 2 years of owing the properly and had to pay capital gains for it of around 11k.
5. I can’t fund any of my retirement or investing positions if I don’t have confidence and ability to do my current day job. I’m always searching for ways to improve processes and making my upper management aware of the projects I am working on, while keeping an eye open for new positions. In 2007 I’ve increased my salary by almost 30% and have a prospective new position on the horizon at the beginning of the year. Invest in yourself and keep the resume up to date; someone may be searching for someone with your EXACT skillset.
6. This blog. No kidding. It has been very good at keeping me on task; and pointing out what I need to get done. People have been very receptive to the blog and I hope I’m providing help to others searching it.
7. Keeping a net worth update monthly. It keeps me on the tails of the folks that are watching my accounts so I’m not missing anything.
I’ll have more in the future; maybe enough to negate all the bad, but for now, I’ve had my stumbles…