I am a small time trader in my IRA. I have mostly invested in the market and utilized market timing successfully several times. I am a civil engineer by training and have worked in design engineering and project management. I am currently engineering director for a large water and sewer utility in North Carolina. Basically I know nothing about trading and I am learning.
There is not a lot to say about me as I am pretty ordinary 64+ year old guy in my mind. I like to read in the evenings once I finish "my retirement work" in my Art In Stone business. With the "keep me busy" business doing well and my Postal Service Retirement, my wife and I do not need to touch any of our retirement savings so we are in the pleasant position of being able to invest for a fairly long time frame. I started daily investment research when I retired in November 2007. Through October, 2016 our retirement savings portfolio is up over 100% while withdrawing $1,000. monthly, mostly to pay for college funds for our five grandkids! :-)
Reading investment articles and commentary and being able to react quickly does certainly make a huge difference. I try to find sectors and even individual stocks I believe are beaten down below true value so my interests in regard to investing change based upon my perception of world; political, sentiment, banking and global economies. My wife allows me to manage our investments, but since about 2013, insists on buying some precious metals to hold for our grandkids.
(Update 11/3/2016) We certainly have not always been correct in our investment choices with owning a significant amount of BTU in our dividend paying accounts but even with that huge loss we still remain up over 100% over our holding when I retired over 9 years ago (2007). We are currently buying precious metals with our dividend income and have gone to about 60% in "cash" and 20% in treasuries (the G Fund in our OPM retirement account). We are looking for either a 10% or greater pullback in the US equities or a recession and start of a "bear" market.
If we get a significant pullback of 10% or more, we will invest back into dividend paying equities and lower our cash position to 10% to 30% depending on how large the pullback is.
MORE - OUR BASIC LIFE PLAN
I met my wife when we were 15 and immediately knew I wanted to marry her. My wife and I both grew up "dirt" poor and retired at age 55 after putting our two daughters through four years of college. We were married at age 19 after I got my job with the Post Office as a mailman.
Our kids had to go to school in cloths from the thrift stores but never went hungry like I had too at times. We paid off our home which is built on 3 acres on an Island in Puget Sound. We bought the piece of property in front of ours to be sure we never had neighbors there.
A few years ago we gave that 1.5 acre piece of property to our youngest daughter as she and her husband wanted to build a home on it. Now they and three of our grandkids live next door. Our oldest daughter , her husband and our twin granddaughters, bought two homes on 4 acres right on a beach on Puget Sound and rent out one of the homes to cover 50% of their mortgage.
So, we did not retire in our 30's but we raised our kids to know HOW to save money to afford being able to retire young. Our way to where we are now was not easy as I worked for the Postal Service. I worked all of the overtime I could and invested 50% of the overtime. Over 36 years it grew to the point we could pay off the home, pay 100% of our daughters college costs and still generates enough income for us to live comfortably and to be building college funds for all five of our grandkids. We pay for the college funds to allow our children to put more of their income into investing for their retirements.
I will note that our kids and grandkids are not as careful about every dollar they spend as my wife and I were, but they still do better in saving toward retirement than probably 90% of the rest of their generation. The computer I am writing this on is a low end one we bought about 8 years ago so we remain thrifty but live very well and our net worth is still slightly over $1,000,000. even after giving the 1.5 acres to one of our daughters and paying into college funds for five grandkids.
My wife and I were simply living simple, never getting into affairs or divorce type dramas and investing into our retirements BEFORE using credit cards, taking expensive vacations or buying the latest, newest "must have" things so many kids seem to need to "live". I still buy my jeans at Costco and most of the rest of what I wear on sale. We drive only used cars but they are well maintained and dependable.
Frankly, wealth is easy to attain even without high paying jobs requiring a college education. I never even had the opportunity to go to college due to the need for both my wife and I to escape abuse by getting married at age 19 and needing to work to afford a decent life for our two daughters.
Be thrifty, save and invest, make good choices in life relationships, be kind to others, use coupons, understand that life does not require everything you own to be bought new, even toasters are CHEAP at a thrift store. You may not be fortunate enough to retire in your thirties but you should be able to retire much younger than most your age.......
I currently have a 15 year mortgage on my home @ 3.75% with around 11 years left on it. My goal,and I know it's different than almost everyone else's ,is to have an Oz. of gold or 50 Oz. of Silver for each remaining month of the mortgage. That gives me some peace of mind,and I don't worry about daily fluctuations of the Precious metals prices. The good thing is that i'm working on both ends toward the middle and my break even point is not that far away. Sound crazy? I like the way it works at any rate.
FMI : 115 GLD is about $1200.00 spot gold price :)
1) This was a post I read on SA by another poster.It's concerning Inflation,Keynesian economics and governments that continue to fail the people.
Written by Kgroeppe :
" The Fed has engineered a 97% depreciation in our paper currency during its century of incompetence and fraud, i.e., it has defrauded the working class out of much of its hard-earned money. Since 1999 the process has accelerated with repeal of Glass-Steagall. How long will it take to go the rest of the way? When the Roman gold coin reached .5% Gold content, the empire collapsed, not only economically but also socially and politically. Many people who should know better believe that we can merely substitute another currency and be back in the race again. That is not the way it works.
When an economy collapses, there must be some entity to pay the bills. With a country like Argentina or Mexico, the big banks and the world economy take a hit, but it is small and causes no more than a blip in world economic activity. When an economy the size of ours collapses, it takes the whole world economy with it. With that goes the social and political structures also, because by that time the populace has completely lost confidence in everything, and does not know what to do.
So what can we do? One fact we do not normally learn in history classes is that when Rome "fell" it was followed by Persia, India, China and the Arab countries. Only one government did not follow suit - The Byzantine Empire. Why? Because around 1100 the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos did something no other head of state in history has ever done. The Byzantine coinage had gone from gold to silver to copper to base metals with its accompanying inflation, such as we are seeing now. By this time Alexios was in power, and he must have seen what was going on in the world around him, and he restored 100% gold coinage. The Byzantine economy was restored to health and the Empire lasted another 350 years when it was conquered by the Turks.
Why can't we learn from Alexios? The change will involve some pain for everyone, but that is far better than what will happen otherwise. Do we want to leave behind us a healthy civilization ready to go another 1000 years, or do we want to leave only ruins? Time is running out, and that is one matter we cannot afford to put off.
If our civilization does collapse,we can count on from 200 to 500 years to restore some kind of order. Until then we will be more like Somalia than Zimbabwe, ruled by warlords. This is no scare tactic. This happened around 1200 B.C. and again after the demise of Rome. We have overly romanticized the "nobles" and "knights" of the Middle Ages, but closer study reveals that they were warlords with their armed retinues. Is this what we want our legacy to be? We can joke about it and make puns on Yellen's name (I certainly have done my share), but we need to abolish the Fed and come up with better economists than we have now advising the government. They are what I call fake economists, because they have mindlessly embraced Keynesian economics. John Maynard Keynes did not invent Keynesian economics; the Romans did, and look where it took them.
In 1835, Alexis de Tocqueville stated that the greatest threat to democracy was people voting themselves too many perks. We now know the truth in his statement, and it is time for us to adopt a more altruistic attitude, and admit that we have to pay for those perks, and begin to try to get this economy back on its feet. The past 6 years should have taught us an important lesson. If it hasn't, then we deserve whatever history has to dish out to us, and if we do not act now, that reckoning will be coming much sooner than we realize right now.
By the way, there is one economic lesson I can impart here, which has great pertinence in the here and now. We are told that inflation is running about 1.5%, but the figures used to compute this figure are selected. Inflation manifests in three ways:
A. increase in prices
B. decrease in quantity
C. decrease in quality
Have you looked at the size of the containers of food you buy in the grocery, or have you noticed the quality of cloth in your most recent clothing purchases?
Now you can decide how serious inflation is at present."
2.. When it comes to dealing with the government and particularly the present Obamacare TAX you to death administration,my favorite thought comes from Larry Gatlin of the Gatlin brothers. "You take your dog to a Veterinarian who also happens to be a Taxidermist ,no matter whether your dog gets better or not you will get your dog back" Gotta love the logic in that :)
3. A Collateralized Debt Object CDO is a perfect example of how bubbles occur.Gold may have paper bubbles created ,but Gold itself is not a bubble.If it reflects the market of paper trades that become bubbles ,it will be a safe haven in times of crisis .
.Paper trades of anything can be done in excess.That's my point plain and simple. Please read 'The Big Short' By Michael Lewis and you will realize how wrong the line of thinking of throwing money at investments can be.Anything can be a bad investment when taken to extreme., I wish we could all just see these type of so called investments for what they are. Paper trades are fine and serve a purpose ,if that is what you want . But it doesn't make Gold in your portfolio a bad idea ,all things in moderation .
The CDS http://thebea.st/10OOtSF market was a perfect example of an investment that was not suitable for people to be engaging in. Who knew what these things really were? In Lewis' book he points out many times how those making crazy profits off of these CDO and CDS transactions were the most blind because they didn't do their due diligence. Why should they ?They were making money with other peoples nest-eggs , and why rock the boat .
4.MONEY : What is it? Money must be a store of value, be fungible, be a unit of exchange, be portable, be durable, and be a unit of account. Fiat currency has all of these characteristics except one: It is not a store of value. The material it is made from is useless and it is no longer backed by gold. This makes it a currency, not money. Gold has always been money because it meets all of these parts of the definition and then some. It cannot be made nor destroyed. It retains its value and cannot be inflated. ALL fiat currencies go to zero eventually, gold and silver hold their value
Flat earthers(Global warming hoaxters) are usually unaware of this :
Isaiah 40:22 It is he that sitteth above the sphere of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in;
Almost 700 years before Christ Isaiah wrote about the earth as being round (A sphere) not Flat.And many of the early scientist realized this Newton,Galileo.
The Book of Isaiah was written between 701 and 681 B.C.
Seeking surplus value. I hold public equities that are disproportionately priced (on a risk/reward balance), generally with a several-year investment window. I'm a PhD-wielding, ex philosophy professor who has pivoted into a career doing market value appraisals of closely held businesses.