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Old 03-08-2018, 08:30 PM
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Default What was your best investment of all time?

Mine is pretty easy:

In 1996, me and a friend of mine bought a worker's comp managed care company for $15,000. It had no clients, no employees, not even a fax machine. All it had was some lucrative contracts with a few major hospitals. The guys that were running it were complete fools and took a check for $15,000 and let us have it.

We immediately hired two employees who began trying to find clients to use the network. Every two weeks, we had to meet that payroll, and we weren't getting anywhere. Six months later, my partner said "this ain't working...we made a bad investment and we've been duped." I agreed.

He said "Tomorrow, I'm going to go down and fire the girls and give the landlord out move-out notice." I was so bummed, but relieved to be through with the expense.

Two weeks later, my partner went up to the office to clean everything out, and on the fax machine was a signed contract from a beef packing company to use our network for their injured employees! It had been sitting there for over a week, so my partner called them and just apologized and said we had filed the fax away.

Long story short, that account immediately began paying us around $7,000 per month, and would for the next 18 years! I figure I bagged well over $500,000 on that "dumb" investment over that time.

I then did something really stupid and sold out my share several years ago. Today, that company does $20 million in annual revenue, and my former partner and still-good-friend is a multimillionaire.

But I can't say I have any regrets. In terms of real return, that will prove to be the best investment of my lifetime.
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:18 PM
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The semesters abroad that my husband and I both spent during college. Although we didn't know each other at the time, those trips in a way laid the foundation for our post-college careers, our marriage (25 years), and eventually my husband's business (started 18 years ago).
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Old 03-09-2018, 05:58 AM
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Marrying my wife.
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Old 03-09-2018, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by rennigade View Post
Marrying my wife.
Good call
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Old 03-09-2018, 06:45 AM
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I don't think I've had mine yet.

There are tons of ideas and plans swirling around in my head, but I've never had that big win yet.

I suppose not following the path of a lot of my peers has been a good investment. Rather boring, but living below my means and diligently saving and investing over the years has paid off.
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Old 03-09-2018, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by rennigade View Post
Marrying my wife.
I was going to say the same thing.

The value of choosing a spouse who shares my views on money is immeasurable. How many threads do we see here where one partner is tearing their hair out because their spouse can't/won't stick to the plan. We constantly hear that battles over money are the leading cause of divorce.

My wife is frugal. She is "low maintenance". She doesn't wear make up. She doesn't use perfume. She doesn't carry a designer handbag. She doesn't get manicures and pedicures. She wears $25 jeans from JC Penny, carries a $30 handbag from Boscovs, and cut her own hair for many years. She does the bulk of her shopping at Target and Walmart and gets most of her clothing from the outlets and clearance racks. She totally understands and appreciates what I do to save and invest for our future.

Even though I have commented before that I'd be in better financial shape had I never married, I couldn't have made a better choice in a partner financially speaking.
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Old 03-09-2018, 06:51 AM
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I can't think of a single investment I made that was anything better than slightly above average. At least not from a classic buy something for $X, sell it for $Y. Most were remarkably below average. Now I shoot for average as that is way above average for me.

Best non-traditional investment is probably a tie between:

1. The network I built and maintained while in the Navy. I got my first job after retirement from this network and still use it to advance. That got my income going north fast.

2. Finding this forum. This is where I fixed the spending side of the equation.

The net result is my income is a lot bigger than my spending, I have no debt except the mortgage, my net worth has gone from zero to 7 figures and I am soooooo much happier.
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Old 03-09-2018, 07:02 AM
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I can't think of a single investment I made that was anything better than slightly above average. At least not from a classic buy something for $X, sell it for $Y.
The best I recall is when I was active with my collectibles business. I bought a travel agent cruise ship display model at a yard sale for $1. I sold it 7 days later on ebay for $213.
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Old 03-09-2018, 07:11 AM
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$1000 invested in Apple (2007 timeframe) now worth $9000.
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Old 03-09-2018, 07:43 AM
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My business. Bought in in 84' for approx. $45K, made great money for 33 years, then cashed out with big windfall. Conservative estimate, easily pocketed $7 mil from this business, plus a good salary and benefits every year.

Our home farm purchased in 1990 for $75K is easily worth $450,000 today, plus it has kicked back an average of $12K annual income every year, so $786,000 total, also provided us a place to live.
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Old 03-09-2018, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Fishindude77 View Post
My business. Bought in in 84' for approx. $45K, made great money for 33 years, then cashed out with big windfall. Conservative estimate, easily pocketed $7 mil from this business, plus a good salary and benefits every year.

Our home farm purchased in 1990 for $75K is easily worth $450,000 today, plus it has kicked back an average of $12K annual income every year, so $786,000 total, also provided us a place to live.
I think you win.
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Old 03-10-2018, 07:50 AM
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The semesters abroad that my husband and I both spent during college. Although we didn't know each other at the time, those trips in a way laid the foundation for our post-college careers, our marriage (25 years), and eventually my husband's business (started 18 years ago).
I've thought about this a bit more and realized that an equally good investment was the time spent reading and learning about personal finance, practical stuff that I was able to use.

So in a nutshell, I'd have to say that "education followed up with action" has been my best investment.
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Old 03-10-2018, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
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I've thought about this a bit more and realized that an equally good investment was the time spent reading and learning about personal finance, practical stuff that I was able to use.

So in a nutshell, I'd have to say that "education followed up with action" has been my best investment.
I was just hinking that probably my best investment was going to nursing school. I could see the writing on the wall with my first marriage and wanted to be able to support myself and the boys. My RN career was short,only 14 years, but during that time I did just about every minute of overtime that I could. When I got sick and couldn't work out anymore, my sister who has been Miss Sickly all her life and is 4 years older than me, got on SSD and then I had to. While I believe that caring for children is a noble things to do, all she had ever done for work was child day care in her home. Her SS was I think the lowest that they pay out. Because of the work and higher pay, my SSD ended up being $900+/month higher than hers. As I get a tad more than 'average' each of those 'huge' COLA that SS gives us, pushes me just a bit further ahead of her.

During those years, I also read a lot about having your own business based from your home and due to various circumstances I ended up selling on line that I financed via the shoestring method! Now it is a significant source of income for us. Not huge mind you, but significant in helping put food on the table. We have never been in the red. The money that I squeezed out of it has turned into almost $12K in investments. If I hadn't done it, I don't know what we would have done without the money it brought in Plus there is the extra retirement money, something we also would not have had.

Like SCFR, my biggest investment of all time was the reading I have done on so many topics. Somewhere in the vicinity of 30,000 books plus magazines! Thanks going out to my first grade teacher who didn't have a name for it then, dyslexia, but knew I had a reading problem and worked with me in such a way that not only did I learn to read, I learned to love reading. All that reading I did has helped me in everyway over the yeras.

Often I have been asked how I got on the Amazon Vine program to be given things to review and I get to keep them. I had been independently doing book reviews on Amazon to the point one day I had a message pop up when I went on Amazon asking if I would like to be part of the Amazon Vine program. I can't even remember how long I have been on it, but boy have I got a lot of great stuff. I have a new $200+ Sony smart phone to figure out, a new microwave is on its way and I just finished a great book and am in the middle of another one. All because I could read. And I took the initiative to write up some book reviews. Almost $5000 in products last year alone.
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Old 03-10-2018, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Gailete View Post
I was just hinking that probably my best investment was going to nursing school.
I had the same thought. Ultimately, my education had to be my best investment as it has given me the ability to earn a nice living and have money to use to make every other investment I've made over the past 25 years.
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Old 03-10-2018, 07:10 PM
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I had the same thought. Ultimately, my education had to be my best investment as it has given me the ability to earn a nice living and have money to use to make every other investment I've made over the past 25 years.
And just think how much more you will get via SS plus the retirement accounts and your assets you already have, instead of if you had worked as a fuel pump jockey all your life - which sadly to say is the best some folks can do for careers.

Although once in a while we do hear of janitors dying and finding out that they gave a million dollars to their favorite college!
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Old 03-11-2018, 07:55 AM
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The easy answer would be higher education, but I am going to say buying my house in '98 for $131k (in a HCOL area) and it now comps for $400k. I was able to pay it off in 2011 and have been able to take that freed up money (rent equivalent would be $2500/mo.) and boost my investments during the run-up in the market the past 7 years by maybe $25,000/year (Maybe worth $300k today?).

Runner ups would be:
  • Divorcing my wife (seriously)
  • The time I have spent learning about investing.
  • The time I spend every night online with my GF.
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Old 03-11-2018, 10:19 AM
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Divorcing my wife (seriously)
While I wouldn't consider it my best investment, maybe it could classed as my worst investment, was getting divorced from Mr. Big Bucks. I went from having money in savings, etc. with a new double wide that I had bought about 2 years before and would have been paid off in 8 more year, but he insisted we buy a bigger house (the downpayment caame from my worker's comp payout), a bigger car (double the payments), and on top of that took credit card debt from zero to $42K with no hopes of paying it off if I stayed married to him. When the divorce was final and the credit cards (with my name on) were all paid off with the 'profits' from selling the house, I had $1K and not much else, which was much better than the $1100/month minimum credit card payments.

Sometimes it is the only way to rescue yourself financially is to get divorced. I spent close to 4 years trying to get him to understand that we couldn't afford all the crap he bought and spent money on.
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Old 03-11-2018, 08:25 PM
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Purchasing a home appliance warranty. It covers everything from plumbing to HVAC.
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Old 03-12-2018, 03:10 PM
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Purchasing a home appliance warranty. It covers everything from plumbing to HVAC.
how much did that cost.. and how long? do they have an inventory of what's in your house?

mine is definitely TBD.. we'll see in about 2 years.
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Old 03-12-2018, 04:21 PM
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Purchasing a home appliance warranty. It covers everything from plumbing to HVAC.
They don't sell those warranties because they are a good deal for the customer. They sell them because they make a boatload of money for the insurance company.

That's not to say that some customers don't benefit but the vast majority do not.
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