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***OFFICIAL*** Bankroll Management For Real Life, Not Poker

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  1. #1

    Default ***OFFICIAL*** Bankroll Management For Real Life, Not Poker

    A spin-off from another post I made, let's talk about good ideas on building wealth, saving money, and handling money. I'm a big advocate of Dave Ramsey's program: the Total Money Makeover. He has 7 steps:

    Step ---> Goal
    Step 1 ---> Emergency fund of $1000 in the bank not to be touched except ONLY for emergencies
    Step 2 ---> Debt Snowball - pay off all debts smallest to largest except for the house
    Step 3 ---> Fully funded emergency fund of 6 months of bills and expenses not to be touched except ONLY for emergencies
    Step 4 ---> Put 15% into retirement fund (Largecap, Midcap, Overseas, Aggressive Growth) & ROTH IRA's
    Step 5 ---> College fund for the kids with an ESA
    Step 6 ---> Pay off the house
    Step 7 ---> Build wealth - have fun, invest, and give
    a) Enough money to pay bills (break even) off interest (assumes 08% return)
    b) Enough money to make comparable income off interest (assumes 08% return)

    I'm almost half-way through step 6. I hope to have my house paid off in the next 3 to 5 years which would have it paid off in less than 11 years from the day I bought it. Then it's time to build wealth!

    Some other thoughts: NEVER EVER EVER use credit cards. Don't fall into the trap that EVERYONE needs a credit card - STOP making banks rich! If you can't afford it, don't buy it. Don't buy new cars and save up cash to buy any vehicle - drive a $1000 beater if you have to. Cars go down in value VERY quickly. Don't fall into the trap that EVERYONE has a car payment. Don't run up tons of student debt. Save up or work as you go. Your wealth is your greatest income building tool. Either get a nice high paying job or get several small paying jobs and pile up the cash. Clip coupons. Limit eating out. SELL STUFF! Use EBAY, Craig's List, or have yard sales! I'll think of other ideas later.

    Your real life bankroll is a lot like your poker bankroll, when you start off, it seems very small and like it will never grow, but if you stick with it, it will SPIRAL towards wealth similar to how good poker players spiral up the stakes from $2NL to $200NL. By making bad decisions, it's a lot like all the bad players who take shots and constantly make bad decisions and wonder why they keep getting knocked down or think it's rigged.

    The average millionaire is not the flashy athlete or Hollywood star. The average millionaire clips coupons, drives a used car, and doesn't borrow money. It is usually someone like your next door neighbor who you wouldn't even think has over a million dollars.
    - Jason

  2. #2
    spoonitnow's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Nice post.

    I do think using credit cards and paying them off monthly > not using them. You get air miles or cash back or whatever. Also you aren't building a credit history, esp with no car payment either. I have several hippie friends that struggled getting loans because they never had a CC.
  4. #4
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    Default Re: ***OFFICIAL*** Bankroll Management For Real Life, Not Po

    Good job starting this thread. Maybe you can edit the first page and add some good ideas that we have for our very own bankroll management.

    When I got my first credit card (age 18), I was a reckless little fucker. I ran up my credit card bill without thought. But I don't regret it one bit. Why not? I learned early the dangers of using a credit card. I finally paid off my credit card debt (some of the moneys which came from poker as a matter of fact). However, I have a teeny problem with one of these steps:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason
    Step 2 ---> Debt Snowball - pay off all debts smallest to largest except for the house
    I'm going to have to disagree with this one and recommend paying debts off according to interest rate: start with the highest and work your way down to the lowest. Only make the minimum payment on your debt with the lower interest rates and pay back as much as you can toward the debt with the higher interest rate. The reason is simple: you want to knock out your debt with the highest interest as quickly as possible.

    Also, as for retirement, START NOW! I'm 22 and I've had an IRA since I was 18. Deposit $100 a month into your IRA and you will have >$1 million for your retirement. Plan for the future.
    That's how winners play; we convince the other guy he's making all the right moves.
  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by drmcboy
    Nice post.

    I do think using credit cards and paying them off monthly > not using them. You get air miles or cash back or whatever. Also you aren't building a credit history, esp with no car payment either. I have several hippie friends that struggled getting loans because they never had a CC.
    QFT. Building credit is a must. Also, if you aren't carrying cash you are likely to use debit. Be sure your banking plan includes enough transactions so that you arent paying $1 or $2 when you go over 30 transactions per month. Instead of paying more for a better plan, say an extra $8/mo for an additional 100 transactions, use your credit card instead. The interest rate is not a factor if you have the discipline to spend only what you have. You are likely to get better incentives from a card with 28% interest than one with 18% interest, and if you never pay any interest you are better off with a cc with a higher rate buy say double the airmiles or .5% more cashback.
  6. #6
    and a dollar of debt is a dollar of debt that is costing you interest. Pay off the dollars with the highest amount of juice. IDK why this guy says pay off the smallest and move to the largest? maybe he assumes that the smallest debt would be credit card and the largest would be say a car loan or something like that which would be lower interest
  7. #7
    Yeah, the Steps as listed are too simple to be taken literally and incrementally in all cases. Definitely pay off the highest interest debt first, as has already been suggested. That said, Step 4 belongs before Step 2 if all your debt is cheaper than expected investment returns, ie. paying down a line of credit with a 5% interest rate is not necessarily preferable in bull markets with expected rates of return on index funds of 9%.

    Also, that 6-month emergency fund is really large and unnecessary for a young person with no dependents and easily transferable skills. The power of compound interest means early retirement investing is probably a priority in such a situation. Save a shitload from age 20 to 30 in your Roth and you can set it up so you never have to contribute another dime and can retire a multi-millionaire at 55.

    Otherwise, OP's points are bang on. Don't borrow unnecessarily, look for deals and take advantage of free shit, new cars are stupid, getting rich doesn't happen overnight etc. etc.

    Getting rich and staying rich is definitely not balla but it's the only chance 99.9% of the population has to get financially independent.
  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reidak
    and a dollar of debt is a dollar of debt that is costing you interest. Pay off the dollars with the highest amount of juice. IDK why this guy says pay off the smallest and move to the largest? maybe he assumes that the smallest debt would be credit card and the largest would be say a car loan or something like that which would be lower interest
    I actually agree with paying the small amounts off first regardless of the rate so that you start to see progress (this is what I did btw in paying off my student loans; starting with the small school subsidies and working up to the large private loans). If you start with the big debts, even at low interest rates, the time it takes you to pay if off will dishearten you very quickly. The peace of mind and intangible benefits from paying off each debt in full is very powerful and motivating.
    "Don't judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes. Then you are a mile away, and have his shoes." - Anon.
  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Ltrain
    Quote Originally Posted by Reidak
    and a dollar of debt is a dollar of debt that is costing you interest. Pay off the dollars with the highest amount of juice. IDK why this guy says pay off the smallest and move to the largest? maybe he assumes that the smallest debt would be credit card and the largest would be say a car loan or something like that which would be lower interest
    I actually agree with paying the small amounts off first regardless of the rate so that you start to see progress (this is what I did btw in paying off my student loans; starting with the small school subsidies and working up to the large private loans). If you start with the big debts, even at low interest rates, the time it takes you to pay if off will dishearten you very quickly. The peace of mind and intangible benefits from paying off each debt in full is very powerful and motivating.
    and loses you money...therefore, it's not smart, unless you're so mentally weak that paying off a small debt like that will drive you to keep paying off debts.


    the no credit card thing is way off, assuming you're not living paycheck to paycheck. I was worried I'd go nuts once I had one, but I most definitely haven't. we pay off our CC bill every month and every year we average $400+ cash back. We actually just switched to a Southwest Airlines Visa card and it looks like we'll get 3+ flights paid for a year, just by using their card...

    if you're only making enough to just barely pay off your card from month to month, then yeah, it's not smart at all. sometimes shit happens (car breaks down, AC breaks, whatever), so if you don't have money stored up CC's can be really bad.

    if you realize you can't go nuts with your CC and you have to actually pay for what you buy, it's totally worth it.


  10. #10
    bikes's Avatar
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    Where is the BRM for young people imo.

    ?wut
  11. #11
    For young people:

    Learn how to cook
  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Bbickes
    Where is the BRM for young people imo.
    Get the kind of piggy bank you have to smash with a hammer to get money out, imo.
  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bbickes
    Where is the BRM for young people imo.
    Umm...WTF is the difference? Start early...this point shouldn't be taken lightly.
    That's how winners play; we convince the other guy he's making all the right moves.
  14. #14
    Scenario:

    Let's say some cat, we'll call him Benny, saved $2000 every year for retirement at 9% interest (compounded annually) from the time he graduated at 22 until the time he is 30. Then Benny didn't save any more until he retires at 55 because Benny's house is a money pit and he likes to get massages. Benny invested a total of $16,000.

    Benny knows this other dude, Kenny. Kenny never got around to saving until he was 30 but then decided it was probably a good idea. Kenny saved $2000 every year until he was 55, also at 9% interest (compounded annually), meaning he invested a total of $50,000.

    Ignore inflation for a minute. Who has more money in his portfolio at 55, Benny, who invested $16K or Kenny, who invested $50K? How much does he have?

    I'm sure you can guess Benny will have more money from my setup and comments above, but just how much more?
  15. #15
    I'd like to know how I can get 9% interest.
    I think I am getting like 1% right now.
  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by JL
    I'd like to know how I can get 9% interest.
    I think I am getting like 1% right now.
    Over the long term, which all retirement investing in equities should be, 9% is totally realistic. Some years you'll lose money, other years you'll make 25%, but over time the returns on most popular indices are in that ballpark.

    What are you invested in that you're getting 1% on?

    BTW, some of these terms are probably strange to some of you reading this. Speak up if that's the case. Like I said, most people are really poorly prepared for this aspect of life. For whatever ridiculous reason, people don't like to teach this to kids.
  17. #17
    Galapogos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JL
    I'd like to know how I can get 9% interest.
    I think I am getting like 1% right now.
    Are you talking about GICs?


    Quote Originally Posted by sauce123
    I don't get why you insist on stacking off with like jack high all the time.
  18. #18
    flomo's Avatar
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  19. #19
    Awesome thread - thanks for the info.

    So I just graduated from school and started working. Most of my income goes to rent and food and stuff but I have enough left to do something with. It's all sitting in my checking until I figure out what to do first. What would be my first plan of action?
  20. #20
    As far as I can tell, for the individual*, credit and investment do not necessarily go together. Any kind of investment one could make via credit (like purchasing a home) would be smaller than just renting for cheaper and putting extra cash into investments that gain its own interest or appreciates against inflation. Providing people with credit is an investment for other businesses

    *I say for the individual because I have no clue how it works for business, but if I had to guess it would be that credit is very important for business investments.
  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by humanfugitive
    Awesome thread - thanks for the info.

    So I just graduated from school and started working. Most of my income goes to rent and food and stuff but I have enough left to do something with. It's all sitting in my checking until I figure out what to do first. What would be my first plan of action?
    ROTH IRA. Just open one up and throw a couple of bucks in there. Once you open one up, it is easier to get in the habit of depositing into the IRA monthly (you should set-up automatic deposits even). Once you get push the ball, it'll start rolling with the quickness.
    That's how winners play; we convince the other guy he's making all the right moves.
  22. #22
    As others have said the credit card part should be amended to you should not carry a balance month to month on your credit card. Credit card's are an excellent way to build credit.

    I have way more credit than I deserve cause I use my cc for everything (I also pay it off every month). I would recommend doing the same.
  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Galapogos
    Quote Originally Posted by JL
    I'd like to know how I can get 9% interest.
    I think I am getting like 1% right now.
    Are you talking about GICs?
    No just my banks shitty RRSP.
    I know nothing about investing so most of my money just sits in my savings account, which is making 0.75% right now.
  24. #24
    I'd have to look at it more closely to know for certain, but as far as I can tell, one of the simplest long term investments is simply purchasing gold and other precious metals. If you bought a ton of gold fifty years ago you would be rich rich rich today simply due to inflation
  25. #25
    Galapogos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JL
    Quote Originally Posted by Galapogos
    Quote Originally Posted by JL
    I'd like to know how I can get 9% interest.
    I think I am getting like 1% right now.
    Are you talking about GICs?
    No just my banks shitty RRSP.
    I know nothing about investing so most of my money just sits in my savings account, which is making 0.75% right now.
    You should be getting a much better return on average from your RRSPs. Definitely set up an appointment with some guy in a suit that works there and have them help you with your RRSPs. Because even GICs have better returns than what you're currently getting.

    Why aren't you on MSN anymore?


    Quote Originally Posted by sauce123
    I don't get why you insist on stacking off with like jack high all the time.
  26. #26
    Galapogos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by humanfugitive
    Awesome thread - thanks for the info.

    So I just graduated from school and started working. Most of my income goes to rent and food and stuff but I have enough left to do something with. It's all sitting in my checking until I figure out what to do first. What would be my first plan of action?
    Just a little tip but it sounds like you plan on doing wise money things with what you have left over at the end at the month. There's one key thing that you should do which is pay yourself first.

    That means figure out how much you can afford to invest each month and invest that money at the start of the paycheck rather than at the end. If you do it, you will find it's much easier to put away say $500 if you take $250 off each check as soon as you get them rather than trying to spend so you have that much left over at the end of each pay period.


    Quote Originally Posted by sauce123
    I don't get why you insist on stacking off with like jack high all the time.
  27. #27
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    I need $200 a week to survive well. I also need $400 a month to buy shit I don't need. My housing situation is pretty much set, and that would be my intrinsic advantage.

    That makes me a rich bastard with $1200 a month, and anything above that goes into savings to be spent on crap later.

    I don't know about this credit history thing, and I hope never having to find out about it. But differing countries have differing ways of doing shit.
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  28. #28
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    1. Win a decent amount at poker first year, save most of it.
    2. Win enough second year to break even after living expenses.
    3. Win nothing third year, live off of savings from first year while "looking for a job".
    4. ???
    5. Retire?
  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by HalvSame
    1. Win a decent amount at poker first year, save most of it.
    2. Win enough second year to break even after living expenses.
    3. Win nothing third year, live off of savings from first year while "looking for a job".
    4. ???
    5. Retire?
    I'm on step 4, also get on AIM sometime biyiyiyiyatch.
  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by BennyLaRue
    Scenario:

    Let's say some cat, we'll call him Benny, saved $2000 every year for retirement at 9% interest (compounded annually) from the time he graduated at 22 until the time he is 30. Then Benny didn't save any more until he retires at 55 because Benny's house is a money pit and he likes to get massages. Benny invested a total of $16,000.

    Benny knows this other dude, Kenny. Kenny never got around to saving until he was 30 but then decided it was probably a good idea. Kenny saved $2000 every year until he was 55, also at 9% interest (compounded annually), meaning he invested a total of $50,000.

    Ignore inflation for a minute. Who has more money in his portfolio at 55, Benny, who invested $16K or Kenny, who invested $50K? How much does he have?

    I'm sure you can guess Benny will have more money from my setup and comments above, but just how much more?
    If you really can hit 9% then yes, benny will have more. Lower that figure to 8% and run the numbers again, and Kenny will have more.

    Regardless though, it still highlights how terribly important it is to start investing in your future early.
    Congratulations, you've won your dick's weight in sweets! Decode the message in the above post to find out how to claim your tic-tac
  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Lucothefish
    If you really can hit 9% then yes, benny will have more. Lower that figure to 8% and run the numbers again, and Kenny will have more.

    Regardless though, it still highlights how terribly important it is to start investing in your future early.
    Yeah, at 9%, Benny would have a portfolio worth $226K (off of an initial $16K investment) and Kenny would have $201K (off of a $50K investment) at 55.

    Kenny would only have $610 more at 8%, barely enough to buy Cialis. Still, the point is absolutely what you've said, that it's terribly important to start investing early. Do that, and your money does most of the work. This is fairly easy stuff, but so few people actually take action on it.

    As for "if you can really hit 9%", the historical rate of return for the S&P 500 from January 1926 to March 2009 was 9.51%. Or are you of the opinion that we're in a new investment environment and we won't see returns like that again? I'd suggest a little more foreign investment is probably necessary going forward, but 9% over the long term is absolutely still possible, especially if you continued to buy at the discount prices we've seen during the last three years.
  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by JL
    Quote Originally Posted by Galapogos
    Quote Originally Posted by JL
    I'd like to know how I can get 9% interest.
    I think I am getting like 1% right now.
    Are you talking about GICs?
    No just my banks shitty RRSP.
    I know nothing about investing so most of my money just sits in my savings account, which is making 0.75% right now.
    What kind of shitty RRSP? For the rest of this post, JL, I'm talking generally, not necessarily in response to you.

    If you walk into a bank clueless and just ask them for an RRSP or other type of mutual fund, they'll sell you the fund that they make the most money off of in fees. These fees can absolutely kill your returns. I'm a big believer in index funds (where you invest in the entire TSX, for example, and your returns match those of the market), Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) in particular. With those, you pay an initial fee to purchase them and if you do it through an online discount broker, you can get them for a flat fee of $15-$30. Annual fees come out of your return and are extremely low (usually less than 0.1% vs. 1% - 6% for mutual funds). Provided you don't make a lot of transactions, ETFs are a very cheap way to invest.

    You need to question the funds and brokerages you see advertised on TV. Why the fuck do they want to advertise those particular funds to you? Because you make THEM money when you buy them. That's the whole reason they're in business...their returns first, yours second. Forget dose guise, this is all stuff you can do very easily and cheaply and only thinking about it maybe 10-12 hours a year.
  33. #33
    Look at me, I'm wufuwgy but practical!
  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy
    I'd have to look at it more closely to know for certain, but as far as I can tell, one of the simplest long term investments is simply purchasing gold and other precious metals. If you bought a ton of gold fifty years ago you would be rich rich rich today simply due to inflation
    Actually, Gold is on par with index funds over the very long term. If you invested in Gold in 1926 at $20.63 an ounce and sold at today's price of ~$990, you'd have made earned 4.8% interest. In the past 50 years, which is the timeframe you mentioned, Gold has done a bit better, just a shade under a 7% return.

    Gold really shined in the 70s. In 1971, it was $40 an ounce and was $615 by 1980, a return of about 35% over the decade but it went to shit in the 1980s. Investing in 1971 would mean about a 9% return if sold today, but again, that's on par with the S&P over the same timeframe...the two are far too linked to see one outperform the other for very long.
  35. #35
    a500lbgorilla's Avatar
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    So what have you done with your money benny? And what do you plan to do?
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  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by a500lbgorilla
    So what have you done with your money benny? And what do you plan to do?
    For retirement, exactly what I've been talking about. Index ETFs, both domestic and foreign. Until new and better products come along, I see no reason to change.

    For non-retirement investing, I've purchased some individuals stocks with a value investing approach (I'll put it this way and you can guess the holdings...I've made some nice money off of Americans getting fat) and Canadian income trusts with high dividend yields. However, I've learned about that sort of investing because I'm interested in it and would like to spend more time on my portfolio than the 10 hours a year I mentioned. It's more for fun than anything. If you don't have the aptitude or interest, do not go this route. Investing in individual equities is risky.

    I don't have the time at the moment, but eventually I do want to get into rental properties. That's no longer passive investing though...the time required will be more like getting a small business off the ground than paper investments. Again, not for everyone.
  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy
    As far as I can tell, for the individual*, credit and investment do not necessarily go together. Any kind of investment one could make via credit (like purchasing a home) would be smaller than just renting for cheaper and putting extra cash into investments that gain its own interest or appreciates against inflation.
    Yes, you're right when it comes to rate of return. Homes are not investments, really. Homes are liabilities. The old adage "your house is the biggest investment you'll every make"? That's total bullshit. When you figure out the mortgage payment and maintenance, you will have often lost money or "might" make 1% annual interest on your home when you go to sell. Factor in the cost of your time against that 1% and your return is wiped out. And big deal if you do make a slight return, you still need a place to live, a place that likely has appreciated at the same rate your former house did.

    There are only two ways houses can be considered quality investments on par with equities:
    1) You constantly move from peak markets to growing markets to maximize your return. I don't mean new neighbourhoods. I mean moving to new states and cities with the largest potential.
    2) Rental income, as I mentioned above.

    Still, I'm a big fan of owning your home. You have to pay to live somewhere anyway and, depending on the market, obviously, a mortgage payment is generally about the same as rent for the same square footage. Your maintenance is an additional cost renters don't pay but as you build equity in a home, borrowing opportunities become more available (for quality investments, not spending) and the forced savings aspect means that one day, your mortgage payments will go down, provided you don't keep upgrade to a McMansion or something. And there's the non-monetary reasons...I don't want to put up with a landlord and if I want to make changes, I can.

    Also, I believe in the US you get to write off mortgage interest on your taxes, yes? It's a different situation for everyone, but consider those tax savings when weighing whether or not to rent or buy.
  38. #38
    a500lbgorilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BennyLaRue
    Quote Originally Posted by a500lbgorilla
    So what have you done with your money benny? And what do you plan to do?
    For retirement, exactly what I've been talking about. Index ETFs...
    Aaaaand I'm asleep. This is probably why people don't teach kids to deal with money. You get into the first finance term and my eyes glaze over. The world of money is obscure and complicated. I have enough trouble dealing with my coworkers and my bitches, I dont wanna suffer through learning this jargon.

    If viable retirement options read like "getting into rental properties" then I'd be interested. That's doing something, the problems that you'll encounter seem more defined and the entire project seems much more satisfying. Vrs "Well Im going to invest the total share of my price divided in my Roth IRA fund to roll into an accruing interest FCP loan that'll mature into an 8% JPD once Ive managed the required PCPs and HSTs."
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  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by a500lbgorilla
    Quote Originally Posted by BennyLaRue
    Quote Originally Posted by a500lbgorilla
    So what have you done with your money benny? And what do you plan to do?
    For retirement, exactly what I've been talking about. Index ETFs...
    Aaaaand I'm asleep. This is probably why people don't teach kids to deal with money. You get into the first finance term and my eyes glaze over. The world of money is obscure and complicated. I have enough trouble dealing with my coworkers and my bitches, I dont wanna suffer through learning this jargon.
    I explained it above, thought you had followed along.

    It's a bit of learning at first, sure, but it doesn't take long. I'm sure once upon a time implied odds made you glaze over too.
  40. #40
    a500lbgorilla's Avatar
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    Yah, but I learned that after I started winning. So, i'll need to win a lottery or something before I start cracking into all this non-sense.
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  41. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by a500lbgorilla
    "Well Im going to invest the total share of my price divided in my Roth IRA fund to roll into an accruing interest FCP loan that'll mature into an 8% JPD once Ive managed the required PCPs and HSTs."
    Let me make it super simple. What I'm talking about invests you in the whole stock market, not individual things.

    Walk into a bank. Tell the pretty lady or handsome dude that you want to buy this:
    http://money.cnn.com/quote/quote.html?symb=VTI

    Give them your mobnies.
  42. #42
    a500lbgorilla's Avatar
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    how much would be a good purchase? was 2k just an abstraction or should i go as high as i feel comfortable?
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  43. #43
    I wanted to comment on the credit cards. Some have said to pay the highest interest first. That is a logical sometimes common reaction. However, they have done research and discovered that finance is 80% attitude and behavior and only 20% head knowledge. Dave Ramsey advocates paying the smallest balance first because you get a lot of "quick wins" and get the ball rolling and therefore, people get EXCITED about getting out of debt. They often find creative ways to stretch their dollar or make more money because they are pumped about knocking out the next debt. The difference of paying off the highest rate first doesn't nearly compete with the difference in your attitude when you start seeing results!

    Next, I've seen more than one reference to "building credit" or "having good credit". This is another common reaction I've heard from my friends and family. To be rich, you have to have a paradigm shift AWAY from the idea that you NEED or SHOULD USE credit. YOU DON'T and YOU SHOULDN'T! You DO want to still pay your credit card bill on time if you have one, BUT you don't want to hang on to the card. If you play with snakes, you will get bit. Being wealthy has NOTHING to do with borrowing money or building credit. The days of borrowing money are OVER. When you borrow money, you are taking on big risks and hurting your chances to build wealth.

    As for investments, GOLD is a terrible investment. Since Napoleon, it has averaged 2% or so and even less in recent times. The best investments are Mutual Funds across the 4 types I listed above. You want a diverse portfolio that doesn't have all your eggs in one basket. The stock market has averaged 12% since it was invented. The reason I quote 8% in my original post is to subtract 4% for inflation. You don't want to invest in any ONE stock - that's like gambling. Rather, you want to spread your portfolio in the mutual funds of your choosing which get reinvested in MANY stocks by people who do that for a living. You just do a little research to pick the best funds. To do the research, I recommend going to a site like Fidelity and sorting by the best funds for LIFETIME, 10 Year, 5 Year, 3 Year, and 1 Year. DO NOT INVEST IN MUTUAL FUNDS UNLESS YOU WILL NOT TOUCH IT FOR AT LEAST 5 YEARS. Mutual Funds are bad short term investments, but GREAT long term investments, so make sure you can leave it sit for a while before you put it in. Yes, as has been said, ROTH IRA's are FABULOUS investments. They are basically TAX FREE mutual funds and there is a LIMIT to how much money you can put in them like maybe $5k per year or something like that.
    - Jason

  44. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by a500lbgorilla
    how much would be a good purchase? was 2k just an abstraction or should i go as high as i feel comfortable?
    $2K was just an abstraction but a great start.

    If you make an average salary ($30K to $50K), a good rule of thumb and relatively easy to do is to save at least 10% of your net salary for retirement. If you make more, you can afford to save more...ideally, you'll get into a place where you're saving $10K+ annually but most people can't afford that at first.

    Here's a retirement calculator if you want to figure out a real dollar figure for you.

    https://personal.vanguard.com/us/pla...tent.jsp#early
  45. #45
    Sweet.

    So I've been looking into IRAs, both roth and traditional. Wouldn't a traditional be more effective if I am not willing to withdraw before my account matures?
  46. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason
    I wanted to comment on the credit cards. Some have said to pay the highest interest first. That is a logical sometimes common reaction. However, they have done research and discovered that finance is 80% attitude and behavior and only 20% head knowledge. Dave Ramsey advocates paying the smallest balance first because you get a lot of "quick wins" and get the ball rolling and therefore, people get EXCITED about getting out of debt. They often find creative ways to stretch their dollar or make more money because they are pumped about knocking out the next debt. The difference of paying off the highest rate first doesn't nearly compete with the difference in your attitude when you start seeing results!
    Whatever floats your boat, dude, but UG said it best:

    Quote Originally Posted by UG
    and loses you money...therefore, it's not smart, unless you're so mentally weak that paying off a small debt like that will drive you to keep paying off debts.
  47. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by humanfugitive
    Sweet.

    So I've been looking into IRAs, both roth and traditional. Wouldn't a traditional be more effective if I am not willing to withdraw before my account matures?
    You're going to want to ask an American to be sure but my understanding is the Roth is a better choice for young people.

    The difference is in how you're taxed...the traditional is a pre-tax investment meaning you deduct the contributions from your income when you pay income tax. You pay tax on the withdrawls at retirement though. But let's be honest, you don't make shit when you're young, so income tax deductions aren't as important as they are when you're older and in a higher tax bracket.

    With the Roth, it's a post-tax investment. You don't deduct your contribution when you pay income tax but the money grows and is withdrawn tax free.

    There's no problem asking a financial advisor or bank employee for help on this stuff. Just don't take their advice when they tell you what specific funds to buy or, if you do, be sure to ask how much the fees are. The fees kill you. Once your portfoilio gets significant, you might want to find an advisor who charges an hourly fee rather than makes money per transaction.
  48. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason
    As for investments, GOLD is a terrible investment. Since Napoleon, it has averaged 2% or so and even less in recent times.
    Gold prices were fixed during much of that time period. It's not a fair comparison. Also, you're going to have to explain where you got the 2% number and what you mean by recent. Are those 2004 numbers or something?
  49. #49
    a500lbgorilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BennyLaRue
    Quote Originally Posted by a500lbgorilla
    how much would be a good purchase? was 2k just an abstraction or should i go as high as i feel comfortable?
    $2K was just an abstraction but a great start.

    If you make an average salary ($30K to $50K), a good rule of thumb and relatively easy to do is to save at least 10% of your net salary for retirement. If you make more, you can afford to save more...ideally, you'll get into a place where you're saving $10K+ annually but most people can't afford that at first.

    Here's a retirement calculator if you want to figure out a real dollar figure for you.

    https://personal.vanguard.com/us/pla...tent.jsp#early
    Sweet, thanks for the quick tip. I finally feel like Im investing properly in my future.
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  50. #50
    Just fyi if you file as a pro gambler you can't put money in a Roth.
  51. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by a500lbgorilla
    Sweet, thanks for the quick tip. I finally feel like Im investing properly in my future.
    Your swift and effective commune moderation is thanks enough.
  52. #52
    Good and super simple (it's called Couch Potato, to give you an idea) investment strategy for Canadians:

    What it is: http://www.canadianbusiness.com/my_m...05_152254_1452

    How to do it:
    http://www.canadianbusiness.com/my_m...24&ref=related

    Well, I say for Canadians since the funds mentioned are Canadian but the general advice is applicable to the US too. It talks about investing in Bond Funds too but if you're younger than 40, I'd say you can get away with 100% equities (ie. stocks) if you don't mind a little risk.

    I have no idea about Europe other than I like your women and alcohol.
  53. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by BennyLaRue
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason
    As for investments, GOLD is a terrible investment. Since Napoleon, it has averaged 2% or so and even less in recent times.
    Gold prices were fixed during much of that time period. It's not a fair comparison. Also, you're going to have to explain where you got the 2% number and what you mean by recent. Are those 2004 numbers or something?
    By recent, I mean Gold has averaged about 4% over the past 50 years. I guess that's technically better than the lifetime, but I think inflation wasn't so bad way back when. But, the bottom line is it's a bad investment because it's barely keeping up with inflation (4%). A good mutual fund portfolio will give you 12% where 4% will keep up with inflation and 8% is take home. Remember, investments are LONG TERM.
    - Jason

  54. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason
    By recent, I mean Gold has averaged about 4% over the past 50 years.
    Buy a new calculator, pls.

    Regardless, I agree that the stock market is more attractive than commodities as there are more opportunities for diversification. You should only put all your eggs in one basket if you can be reasonably sure the basket is more awesome than any other basket available to you.
  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by BennyLaRue
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason
    By recent, I mean Gold has averaged about 4% over the past 50 years.
    Buy a new calculator, pls.

    Regardless, I agree that the stock market is more attractive than commodities as there are more opportunities for diversification. You should only put all your eggs in one basket if you can be reasonably sure the basket is more awesome than any other basket available to you.
    i'm fairly confident Stars FPP cookie basket is what your talking about here, but maybe i'm wrong.
    eeevees are not monies yet...they are like baby monies.
  56. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by bode
    i'm fairly confident Stars FPP cookie basket is what your talking about here, but maybe i'm wrong.
    ldo
  57. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by Galapogos
    Why aren't you on MSN anymore?
    Good question! I don't know why.

    I do know why I haven't played poker lately, though. It's because I am a lazy ass!
  58. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by BennyLaRue
    If you walk into a bank clueless and just ask them for an RRSP or other type of mutual fund, they'll sell you the fund that they make the most money off of in fees. These fees can absolutely kill your returns. I'm a big believer in index funds (where you invest in the entire TSX, for example, and your returns match those of the market), Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) in particular. With those, you pay an initial fee to purchase them and if you do it through an online discount broker, you can get them for a flat fee of $15-$30. Annual fees come out of your return and are extremely low (usually less than 0.1% vs. 1% - 6% for mutual funds). Provided you don't make a lot of transactions, ETFs are a very cheap way to invest.
    So if I wanted to invest in an index fund, do I have to pay a fee every time I put money into this fund? For example, I put in $2k initially, and then add to it every few months.
    Same question for buying stocks. If I buy 100 stocks of microsoft today and another 100 stocks 6 months from now, do I have to pay transaction fees twice?

    What's sad is that I'm half way done my BBA for accounting and I don't know the answers to these questions.
    Epic fail
  59. #59
    If you buy an ETF or individual shares, yeah, you do pay a fee for each transaction, no matter the length of time between transactions. This is where online discount brokerages are useful and generally cheapest. If you want to make frequent, smaller contributions, a traditional mutual fund is probably a smarter choice. With those, you pay an annual fee as opposed to per transaction...it'll be by %, such as 1% of your investment. You can get index funds that invest you in the whole market with those as well but watch the fees...don't be willing to pay anything over half a percent. That eats right into your profits.
  60. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by Massimo
    Just fyi if you file as a pro gambler you can't put money in a Roth.
    Anyone who's self employed in this economy, is a pro gambler.
  61. #61
    spoonitnow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiresman
    Quote Originally Posted by Massimo
    Just fyi if you file as a pro gambler you can't put money in a Roth.
    Anyone who's self employed in this economy, is a pro gambler.
    BAM.
  62. #62
    I have Dave Ramsey's book, and I think it's the best advice I've seen for living debt free and acquiring wealth.

    One thing that nobody mentioned (I didn't read every word of every post) is that there are studies that show that we spend more when using credit cards than we do when spending cash. It's a psychological thing.

    A few folks mentioned that using CCards is better, because of the rewards and such. You will never, never read about some dude that claims his getting rich was somehow due to frequent flyer miles.

    If I'm young and just starting out, the first thing for me to do is NOT to open a RothIRA. The first thing I'm going to do is open a savings account and save up a month's worth of expenses. Then if I have credit debt, I'm going to pay those back down to nil. And then I'm going to go back and build that savings account up until I have 6 months worth of living expenses.

    Do all of that before starting the IRA. The savings account is my life-cushion, not my down payment for a house. If I want to buy a house, I'm going to need to start a second savings account...

    m2c
  63. #63
    Quote Originally Posted by BennyLaRue
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason
    By recent, I mean Gold has averaged about 4% over the past 50 years.
    Buy a new calculator, pls.

    Regardless, I agree that the stock market is more attractive than commodities as there are more opportunities for diversification
    I agree 99%. Gold does very well in inflationary periods, and is a very good hedge/store of wealth.

    Found on google (for the lazy):

    DJIA - http://stockcharts.com/charts/historical/djia1900.html
    Gold - http://www.research.gold.org/prices/annual/
    Some days it feels like I've been standing forever, waiting for the bank teller to return so I can cash in all these Sklansky Bucks.
  64. #64
    For the Canadians in here, what broker do you use/recommend for purchasing ETFs?
  65. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by JL
    For the Canadians in here, what broker do you use/recommend for purchasing ETFs?
    If it's for your RRSP, you can set up a self-directed RRSP first and then manage it through an online broker. I use TD Waterhouse but there are others, some cheaper. I prefer to keep everything with TD though...less hassle and I have a good relationship with them. Alternatively, you can go right to the bank to do it. Ask at your branch how they handle investments. Lastly, you can do it through a financial planner but this is generally your most expensive option. I can't recommend one as I prefer to do it myself.

    Outside of RRSP investing, you can buy ETFs just like stocks, again either through an online broker or IRL financial services provider.
  66. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by KoRnholio
    I agree 99%. Gold does very well in inflationary periods, and is a very good hedge/store of wealth.
    Missed this. It is, absolutely, but this hedge and that gained through all commodities is already built into the very nature of a properly diversified index fund thanks to the companies with a vested interest in those commodities. It's not necessary to invest in the commodity itself to realize the benefits.
  67. #67
    a500lbgorilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BennyLaRue
    Quote Originally Posted by KoRnholio
    I agree 99%. Gold does very well in inflationary periods, and is a very good hedge/store of wealth.
    It is, absolutely, but this hedge and that gained through all commodities is already built into the very nature of a properly diversified index fund thanks to the companies with a vested interest in those commodities.
    Please explain:

    How is it a hedge? Do people not exchange money for gold to make more money? (A hedge against what? money failing?)

    What is an index fund exactly?

    What is the very nature of properly diversified index funds?

    What is an improperly diversified index fund?

    And what do you mean by commodities exactly?

    Honestly, one sentence about proper finance can just about make my head explode.
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  68. #68
    Just in case that's a level, I'm going to point you this way:

    http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Idiot.../dp/1592574440

    I'm serious. Learn the terms this way, then question all of the "advice" you read in it once you speak the language. I wouldn't recommend that kind of book for most things, but they're generally good for learning crap like equity types.

    And if you're truly looking to be smart with your money, you'll get that book or one like it from the library.
  69. #69
    BankItDrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by a500lbgorilla
    Quote Originally Posted by BennyLaRue
    Quote Originally Posted by KoRnholio
    I agree 99%. Gold does very well in inflationary periods, and is a very good hedge/store of wealth.
    It is, absolutely, but this hedge and that gained through all commodities is already built into the very nature of a properly diversified index fund thanks to the companies with a vested interest in those commodities.
    Please explain:

    How is it a hedge? Do people not exchange money for gold to make more money? (A hedge against what? money failing?)

    What is an index fund exactly?

    What is the very nature of properly diversified index funds?

    What is an improperly diversified index fund?

    And what do you mean by commodities exactly?

    What is money?

    What is an exchange rate?

    Why is USD worth less than anything?

    Where is money made?

    Who is Peter Schiff?

    Why am I such a n00b?

    Honestly, one sentence about proper finance can just about make my head explode.
    FYP
  70. #70
    Did you know US money is made of cotton? True story!
  71. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by EasyT
    A few folks mentioned that using CCards is better, because of the rewards and such. You will never, never read about some dude that claims his getting rich was somehow due to frequent flyer miles.
    Just caught this post too. While the miles are a nice side benefit, that's not the main reason to use credit to buy everyday items. By doing so, you're delaying your payments by up to 30 days. DUCY that is a good thing?

    As for the "spending more" on credit cards comment, if you're not mentally strong enough to have self-control, you'll probably never be rich anyway.

    What does Crazy Dave Ramsey suggest you do with the 6-months of cushion, ie. how is it to be invested?
  72. #72
    a500lbgorilla's Avatar
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    It's not a level. Ive had 1 semester of econ and never went. I retained no knowledge and all of this stuff is really inaccessible to me.

    I learn in graphs, equations, relations, laws and observations (all the nonsense stuff engineers sink their teeth into). You want me to bust out a NACA table and baby I am alive. http://www.frenchriverland.com/NACA%...NACA%20010.jpg

    You wanna talk about portfolio diversification across index funds and Im lost like cat in a catnip field.

    I dunno if you've ever had a test where they say "explain the phenomenon of wing-tip vorticies blah blah. Assume the audience knows nothing."

    Well, Im an audience that knows nothing and I'm giving feedback to that affect.
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  73. #73
    a500lbgorilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BankItDrew
    Quote Originally Posted by a500lbgorilla
    Quote Originally Posted by BennyLaRue
    Quote Originally Posted by KoRnholio
    I agree 99%. Gold does very well in inflationary periods, and is a very good hedge/store of wealth.
    It is, absolutely, but this hedge and that gained through all commodities is already built into the very nature of a properly diversified index fund thanks to the companies with a vested interest in those commodities.
    Please explain:

    How is it a hedge? Do people not exchange money for gold to make more money? (A hedge against what? money failing?)

    What is an index fund exactly?

    What is the very nature of properly diversified index funds?

    What is an improperly diversified index fund?

    And what do you mean by commodities exactly?

    What is money?

    What is an exchange rate?

    Why is USD worth less than anything?

    Where is money made?

    Who is Peter Schiff?

    Why am I such a n00b?

    Honestly, one sentence about proper finance can just about make my head explode.
    FYP
    Awe, you're so cute when you try to call me dumb. You even kept it to a theme. ADORABLE!
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  74. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by a500lbgorilla
    It's not a level. Ive had 1 semester of econ and never went. I retained no knowledge
    A couple of people have said things to this effect in this thread. Personal finance is completely separate from corporate finance and yet another thing entirely from accounting and hugely different than economics. It's completely understandable that biz grads (of which I am one) know jack about this stuff.
  75. #75
    a500lbgorilla's Avatar
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    Also, what is 'shorting' a stock or a position? Ive heard it bounced around by some rich investors.
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