May 12, 2009

What's the worst decision you ever made?

70 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rep. Alan Grayson asks the Federal Reserve Inspector General about the trillions of dollars lent or spent by the Federal Reserve and where it went, and the trillions of off balance sheet obligation...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXlxBeAvsB8

Anonymous said...

To "get into real estate" from 1981 to 1999 in California: it sucked like a Hoover.

Bukko_in_Australia said...

Voting for Ralph Nader when I was living in Florida in 2000. Although with Jeb! as governor, the Bush Crime Family would have stolen the election there anyway.

Scott said...

Worse decision ever made was buying a VW Jetta, it was an overpriced piece of shit.

I have had a similar experience with a BMW.

Never again will i buy a German made car, they are junk with a fancy label..

DC HomeHater said...

Bought a home in 2005, four years later the home is worth 55% of it's value.

Mark said...

Simple, marrying my first wife. Besides being a bad decision it set all of my life plans behind by 5-10 years.

Anonymous said...

Buying our first house (at age 21) in Louisiana in '85 for 80K and watching it get crushed in the RE Texas Oil RE Bust.

5 years later the house next door sold for 45K............

Getting kicked in the teeth early in RE taught me to NEVER trust RE.

What goes up can/will go down.

RE transactions the rest of my life have been cold, calculated transactions that I've never lost on since!

Anonymous said...

Going to college and waste my youth studying...

Anonymous said...

To go to law school at a poo poo chi chi school and take on 70,000 in debt. My only debt thanks to the likes of Housing Panic who convinced me not to make the problem worse by purchasing a house to match my profession, a profession I am earnestly working to abandon after 7 years of drudgery.

Batman said...

Lately? Bought a pile of TCK at $25 last year. F*ck. Based on historical value and P/E at the time, not looking at their balooning debt. Oops. At least I bought gold at $500.

Mika said...

Not to tap Scarlett Johansson when given the chance.

It was a worse decision than buying a Toll Brothers house in Las Vegas with a negative amortization Indymac loan in 2007.

consultant said...

Signed a contract with what turned out to be the "realtor from hell" in 1999.

At that point, my wife and I didn't know that selling real estate had turned into a criminal enterprise, employing legions of "ex" something or others, hookers, strip club "hoes", bank tellers, grandmas, bored housewives, deadbeats, idiots and assorted other "guess who just walked in".

I am all for water boarding NAR officials.

Anonymous said...

voting for ross perot in 92. should have voted for bush 1

investorinpa said...

Investing in a car wash business and its real estate that I felt was grossly undervalued and I was getting for a song. Turns out the seller falsified his tax returns and I ended up taking a very nice loss on it. But was very happy to sell it at a loss last year in April, before the credit markets cratered.

Mike Hunt said...

Hmmm.

Voting for Obama (one big ass mistake america), does that count? Of course the alternative was even worse.

Worst decision was screwing up and doing something at age 23 that got me busted with a misdemeanor. Stupid and a non-issue caused by dumb ass behavior really but I should have been more careful. That's all I'm gonna say about that.

Overall it didn't make any problems for me so far- 13 years later.

-Mike

Anonymous said...

Selling a San Diego condo in '95 wasn't one of the better ones...DOH!

We saved a whole $200 in rent/cost-to-own per month, and lost a good $200k in price appreciation '95-2005.

Moral: buying cheap assets with expensive money...

How did the opposite work out for everybody?

Anonymous said...

Listening to Greg Swann

NAH! Nobody is that stupid!

Mammoth said...

Worst Decision:
1. To drop out of college at age 18, halfway through my first semester.

Eventually went back 11 years later, but had to pay my own way through, and it took another ten years to pay off the student loans.

2. Bought Janus mutual funds at the top of the bubble, back in 2000. Ouch!
- - - - - - - -
Learn from your mistakes and try to educate others. (Not that anybody - especially younger folks - give a sh!t about what you are trying to tell them.

-Mammoth

Anonymous said...

The Criminality At The Top:

"...The controversial waiver allowed Stephen Friedman to stay in his job as chairman of the board of governors of the New York Federal Reserve despite owning shares in Goldman Sachs (GS.N) ,which the Fed began regulating in September..."IF you can get our government's inprimatur, you may commit EGREGIOUSLY criminal acts for gain with impunity.

We need to remove "the" from every single thing written about these criminals; it's largely a sub-conscious imprint of legitimacy. Try that paragraph with it reversed:

"...The controversial waiver allowed Stephen Friedman to stay in his job as chairman of Federal Reserve despite owning shares in the Goldman Sachs (GS.N), which Fed began regulating in September..."

Whole different connotation.

"...like me sitting on the board of General Electric and then buying stock in a firm that GE decides to acquire - while we're deliberating whether we should!..."

Pay Lay Ale said...

Becoming a MORmON and being tricked out of thousands of dollars and two years of my life.

Other big mistake was losing tons of money during the dot bomb bubble.

bottom feeder in philly said...

My worst decision ever was to open a used car lot 1 year before the financing crash of 2008. We went from selling 30 cars a month to 10 cars a month and are in the proccess of liquidation of inventory. I'm gonna lose my shirt on this one. Thankfully the rental income from our rentals pays all the bills.

Anonymous said...

Easy one -- sold 500 shares of AAPL in 2004 for about $20. That dumb move cost me around $150K.

Ross said...

Working for the Orange Man in 2005 after my job with Best Western's NASCAR sponsorship ended at the conclusion of that season.

At least I was smart enough to get out after a year at Countryslave, but then I made it worse by going to work for this guy: http://tinyurl.com/qz9x9z

That only lasted 6 months for obvious reasons. All the money that I was shorted by working for that broker instead of having a decent salaried job, still stings me 2 years later.

I am only 27, so there is plenty of time to recover. Knowing that my former boss is facing federal prison time for wire/mortgage fraud makes the money I was cheated out of seem not so bad.

Dammerung said...

Borrowing over a hundred grand to go to a private university instead of apprenticing to an electrician who was paying me $100 a day.

Anonymous said...

Selling my 1200 sq ft home I bought in Las Vegas for $132k in 1999 to buy a home for $780k in 2005 and lost my ass huge when I sold in 2007, but thanks to HP I sold then and not in 2008 when I would of had 0% chance of selling it for even $5 if at all

Anonymous said...

Doubting myself.

Anonymous said...

Buying a house in Michigan in 2003. I am from there, and that's all i knew at the time. Then i lost my job and moved. Rented the house, it got destroyed. Currently in foreclosure like every other house in Michigan. Wish i knew back then what i know now.

s said...

getting married.

Anonymous said...

Listening to Yun

"We expect a measurable increase in home sales during the second half of the year, which would help stabilize prices in most areas," Yun said in a statement.

ATE-UP said...

ATE-UP SAID:

(1) Getting addicted to crack cocaine (clean 16 years) and losing a cosmo wife who married a CEO in Silly Valley. Lost my law license, drivers license, and a million dollars.

(2) Going to law school. Like Mike said, being a lawyer sucks.

Anonymous said...

Not spending more time with my dad before he very suddenly passed away. My biggest mistake by a mile, and now can't do a thing about it.

Can't remember a lot of the stupid 'reasons' why i never had time, the ones I can recall I'm ashamed of - like opting to work extra hours at a thankless corporate job that i eventually got laid off from after 9-11.

Anonymous said...

moving to phx. now i'm stuck here forever.

Markus Arelius said...

I have two:

1.) Not listening to parental instincts about my 3 year old son who we later determined to have autism (attention defecits and language delay). He's now 6 and doing better with expensive behavior therapy not covered by insurance. But earlier intervention could no doubt have helped him even more.

2.) Naively believing that school districts and teachers actually care about the specific academic needs of special education children like my son under FAPE. They don't. The sad truth is that having a special needs child involves parents fighting tooth and nail with individuals and organizations that are supposed to exist to help. At least I live in the US. In Europe it's worse.

Mammoth said...

Off-Topic, but here is a snippet from today's news:

"Social Security and Medicare trust funds are expected to run out of money sooner than expected, a report released Tuesday shows.

The report...shows that expenses will exceed tax revenues for Medicare's hospital insurance fund in 2017, two years earlier than was estimated in a similar report in 2008.

Social Security's trust fund is expected to be exhausted in 2037, four years earlier than last year's estimate."
---------------------
There's still plenty of time to polish up those dog food recipes!

-Mammoth

les said...

(1) Married a complete spendthrift. Been running in place for the last 7 years.

(2) Getting a degree and a teaching credential from a private university. Plenty of better uses for a 100k.

(3) Starting off as a teacher. Didn't realize how bad remedial classes are in SoCal. Wasted 6 years.

(4) Didn't completely sell off stocks at the top of tech bubble and the housing bubble. I'll never go long again.

Joe said...

Not bringing my dog Max to get a third opinion on whatever the hell was afflicting him. I put him down after only a second opinion. Some kind of autoimmune craziness came on after Christmas and it just kept on.


Mock on, mock on you dog-haters, but I still miss the little guy.

Jeff said...

Renting an 1800 sf suburban house for $1200/mo. It's a giant piece of junk surrounded by fake plants and people. It has 3x the space I really need. My lease is up in only 3 months and I can move into a shack in the stix, where I belong. :)

Rob Dawg said...

Futures investing on fundamentals. The Fed took all my money and gave it to somebody who was stupider.

Paid Off said...

Gaining 50 lbs. I've taken 30 off through exercise and sensible low-fat diet. Put the weight on during the "boom" years. Working all of the time, stress, fast-food, commuting. I bought into the lie of material prosperity. True wealth is health. Poor now, but much happier.

Nimesh said...

When I was 19 years old, I invested/speculated $5000 of my hard earned money on purchasing options on oil, grains, wheat, bonds, etc...

Within three months, my 5K turned into nothing. Wow. That was the most expensive $5000 lesson I ever learned. After that, I became more proactive when it came to my finances and never did something as stupid as that. In the end though, I am glad I learned that $5000 lesson early in life!

JT said...

Not talking to my son enough. He committed suicide so that mistake can never be fixed. And buying a house in Phoenix in 2007. I thought prices might drop 5%.

Anonymous said...

Drinking alcohol at a young age.

Aussie said...

Off topic but wanted to remind us that the Pope is a Dope.

Ok the Pope is a lowlife Nazi..

Mark said...

1) Not selling my vested company shares, the first time. Lesson learned: past performance (40 consecutive quarters of increasing revenues, profits and margins) are not predictive of future results.

2) Not selling my vested company shares, the second time. Lesson learned: it doesn't matter if your company is kicking butt; if the market hates your sector, you lose suckah!

3) Not selling my INTEL 11-bagger until it was only a six bagger. Lesson learned: take your profits.

4) Not selling enough before March-2000

5) Buying At Home and not selling until I'd lost 2/3rd's of the investment. Lesson learned: you can be right in everything but timing... and that alone makes you wrong. (Note: right product + contractual monopoly on most of the U.S. market + not enough early adopters = bad investment)

Anonymous said...

Like some other posts, my biggest mistake was also a negative: Not joining the army when I was younger. I guess that might sound odd to some, but after more than a few years in the civilian business world, I am totally disillusioned with the effect "cut throat capitalism" has had on our society.

I certainly never bought the BS that every soldier is some kind of hero, but at least there seems to be a commitment to things a little bigger than your own self interests.

BTW, would like to hear why a few previous posters hate being lawyers so much, as that is actually what I am in school for now.

Guberville Smack said...

I told deGroot that I didn't care that she had herpes.

mimi said...

Listening to my parents about going to a liberal arts school and getting a useless degree instead of going to BOCES in HS to become an electrician or mechanic. I figured out that even if my hairdresser only cut 20 heads per week - she still rakes in $90K/year plus tips that are more than some people make/hour. Not that much harder to do than becoming a realtor and you don't have to lie to people.

Lady Di said...

Not taking financial control of my life; instead relying on dumbass financial advisors that helped me get my ass handed to me back in the DotCom days. Never again.

Anonymous said...

Joe said...
"Not bringing my dog Max to get a third opinion on whatever the hell was afflicting him. I put him down after only a second opinion. Some kind of autoimmune craziness came on after Christmas and it just kept on.

Mock on, mock on you dog-haters, but I still miss the little guy."

No mocking here Joe. We took our dog to cancer treatment 3 times before we could do nothing else for him.

They're children, believe me. And the only way we found the clinic to help him was due to an off hand comment at the second hospital we went to - they were totally more focused on our bank account than what was best for the pooch. It was obvious that we hesitated - they noticed and made an off hand comment about there was no other option than.... XYZ clinic 150 miles away. Guess what, we came home and Googled the place like crazy, wound up buying her about 18 good quality months at less than half the price than what they wanted. And they place CARED, would call us for updates. If the second place wasn't so arrogant, never would have happened.

We know the pain, dude.

Anonymous said...

hey Keith - care to chime in?

keith said...

Worst?

Not shorting every single stock in May 2008.

Seriously.

Anonymous said...

Gambling in casinos and sex with a prostitute

Anonymous said...

"Guberville Smack said...
I told deGroot that I didn't care that she had herpes.

May 12, 2009 10:49 PM"

Not to Worry.

I didn't tell her I had full-blown AIDS...

I hope you went Before Me?

Anonymous said...

Not dumping IBM at 146 before the 87 crash like I had the thought I should.

Letting the wife 'rescue' horses...up to five or six is not terrible, above ten (17) is a MF...

Along the dog lines, agreeing to an aggressive cancer treatment for my dog, turns out it wasn't cancer but an infected tooth/root. One of the best stray's I have ever had. Ended up having to put her down due to the effects of the treatment. Not having 6k to save my great dane when he bloated. Big dumb puppy... Bastard Emergency Clinic's...

The pre-req not spending enough time with the all to soon to be "man" child.

Not putting down the bottle long enough to get the freakin degree when I had time and money to do so. sofa king dumb

all the other little BS 'wrong' choices that make us what we all are. All in all I haven't done so bad in spite of it all.

Aunt Fanny said...

My best decision was also my worst:
Marrying my husband.
We are now divorced but it was a hell of a ride!

Anonymous said...

...marrying a co-workers ex-wife. Awwkwaaard....

Arlene said...

Not saying something kind when it's warranted, like now:

Joe said: "Not bringing my dog Max to get a third opinion on whatever the hell was afflicting him. I put him down after only a second opinion."

Joe, advanced veterinary treatment is very iffy, no matter how much you spend. I spent $2,500 in the 90s to save a cat I loved who was too ill to live. I've been beating myself up ever since because I should have "known" the surgeon was interested in the fascinating operation, not the kitty's eventual recovery.

Knowing this, I should have done the right thing--which is what you did--before getting scammed, plus enabling selfish doctors in torturing a trusting animal for a month before calling a halt.

There is just no way to know in advance...we can't always be sure. We do the best we can, as I'm sure you did. Let yourself off the hook.

Anonymous said...

I figured out that even if my hairdresser only cut 20 heads per week - she still rakes in $90K/year plus tips that are more than some people make/hour. Not that much harder to do than becoming a realtor and you don't have to lie to people.
LOL. Guess we can add hairdresser to the long list of limited education jobs that earn six figures (except not really.. http://www.bls.gov/oes/2008/may/oes395012.htm
)

Stuck in So Pa said...

Mock on, mock on you dog-haters, but I still miss the little guy."

Not mocking here either Joe. We had an old country vet in the next town. He took care of everything for a reasonable price. Knowledgeable, caring, old fashioned, some one who cared about your pet, but didn't hesitate to gently call you on the carpet when it was actually really about YOU and your loss vs. what was right for your pet (as in "putting to sleep" in a hopelessly terminal situation.)

Our vet finally passed away, and more than one neighbor has commented that we should have all thrown our pets in the grave with him.

There are 6 "vets" within 30-40 minutes of my house now, if you could call them that. ALL they are in it for is the damn money. High priced assembly line "care," by totally uncaring dip$h*t$, aided by teary eyed, acting school trained, pushup bra wearing, slut-bucket female salespeople whose job it is to sell you frivolous and un-needed crap (laser surgery, $1600 up front money just to START to try to figure out what's wrong with your pet, cremation if the pet should die, MRI.... YES an MRI.... if your 15 year old shepherd had a massive stroke, $90 for the shot to put him down, (old vet charged $8,) plus pet medical insurance to cover some or all of the afore mentioned $1600, etc.) while you are vulnerable with grief and worry about your pet. Of course, modern new building, large sales staff, six veterinary assistants for each "vet" so he/she shouldn't have to get their hands dirty, all the bells and whistles, computerized billing section, accepting all major plastic to make the cost of your pet's comfort invisible and painless (until the 30th)which means you pay more, A LOT MORE, for what used to be reasonably priced routine care for your pet.

Back at the home front, my old guy was lovingly carried out to the back forty, I dug the grave, and I know exactly where to put the 30-0-6 barrel. When you’ve lived and worked in farm country for most of your life, you learn these things. Already in a coma, and fighting for breath even then, he never felt a thing.
I cried, but life goes on.
Picked up a mixed breed "dumper" at Animal Rescue the next weekend. Affectionate as hell, but God, she’s a handful.

Didn’t mean to rant on, but the word "vet" really hits a nerve with me!

Oh, I do take my pets in for regular care. The Animal Rescue here does have a good vet. He's retired and can't keep away, loves animals, but it's over an hour drive.It’s in the emergency situations where the local a$$holes can get their hooks into you!

Anonymous said...

Moving to the midwest for a girl.

Mike H. said...

Keefer,

You think you feel foolish for not shorting every stock in May 2008?

How about buying $110K worth of Chinese small cap growth stocks after losing your job in May 2008 and then watching it go down and waiting until May 2009 to sell it at a 2.5% gain (thanks obama) and feel giddy as a girl on prom night to get your money back after a lost year.

And to brag about the purchase on HP.

Yup, that'd be me.

-Mike

Anonymous said...

Co-signing on a loan for my parents- shortly after doing this mom and dad tell me to go fu!$&! yourself we are not paying it back . They took a couple of vacations and went out to dinner 5-6 times a week and bought a plasma. This thing is gonna cost me 100k . Gotta take care of family hahahahaha

gutless and lazy said...

Getting a B.S. in Computer Science.

Anonymous said...

Voting for Al Gore.

That globalist New World Order obese a$$hole!

Anonymous said...

Live in America

Saul said...

Kieth --

"Not shorting every single stock in May 2008."

And in 2010 when you ask the same question...

"Not shorting every single stock in May 2009."

Anonymous said...

This F**king blog

Anonymous said...

Worst?


Buying a lot of Gold at about $250 an ounce

Is wasn't doing anything

So I sold it!

.

YoungExec2B said...

Not investing in Research and Motion (Blackberry) right before the courts ruled in its favour on a patent case. I had researched it, friends of mine were starting to get hired there, I had punched in the order on my online investing account and at the last second decided to cancel it because I chickened out.

At the time, the range on the stock was $12-15, pre-stock split. This was 2002ish. Had I sold the stock after the split (it continued to gain after that), based on the amount I was ready to put down, there would have been enough there to pay off my mortgage and take a one year sabbatical.

Anonymous said...

Going to work for the "Orange One" in Mortgage Lending...

Got outta there almost 2 years ago now, but saw a lot of people put under enormous pressure, and ruin their careers...and for WHAT??

Every second I spent toiling over reports late at night, was a total waste of precious time...

Corporate America will suck the life out of you if you let them...lesson learned is to always go with your gut if something starts to feel WRONG...GTFO and preserve your integrity!!

Living debt free now and will never go back!