As my regular readers can tell, I speak frankly about some of my more enormous blunders in life, and my investing “strategies” have to be my biggest failure in my financial resume.
Let me see if I can make a scorecard on this one:
- Bought banks in 2003 with money that was left from High Tech bubble implosion, and those banks have been a god send in my RRSPs. They have grown and I only really bought them for their dividends, but that has to be the best decision I have made (with my wife, I’d like to point out).
- I get my matching funds from my company’s Deferred Profit Sharing Plan, and I have not touched that money yet. I have invested it badly, but I have not spent the money either, and it is starting to recover slowly. (effectively get an extra 3% a year for this in retirement funds).
- Created RESPs for my kids, and the funds in there have stayed there, and I will not touch them. The money is growing ok, but I am most proud of not taking any out yet either. The one gift you can give your kids is an education!
- Have been able to save almost 7% of my salary for a while in RRSPs, so I do have a nest egg of sorts.
- Road High Tech stocks like Slim Pickens all the way down. I knew it was happening, yet I couldn’t pull the trigger and take my losses, and when I finally did, I stayed away for a good long time, which is a kind of good thing. I work for a high-tech company, so a lot of my built-in retirement stuff from the company went in the toilet at this time too. This is the stupidest thing I have done financially. In the immortal words of a fellow high-tech worker, “I drank the Kool-aid”, when they kept saying, “It will come back, really!”. No matter how many positives I can think about myself, this one is SO negative, I cannot recover.
So there you have my view of my investments. There is no need to go over individual wins or losses regarding specific security; there is no point in that.
My investing is getting better, I have made some classic blunders, but I am slowly learning from my mistakes, which is essential.
My financial resume isn’t bad after all, it’s nothing fantastic, and I know people who have been able to set up a plan and live to it and are much farther ahead of me, but I am doing as well as I can now, so that is all I can wish for now.