So what is the worst Financial Mistake you have ever made?

Discussion in 'The Locker Room Bar & Grill' started by Chrisinmd, Nov 24, 2019.

  1. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Something to keep in mind is that most of the heroes in 9/11, who were at the site, are dead by now or on their way there with a whole host of medical complications. There was basically no way to avoid the smoke/dust that came from it, and everyone in the area was effected. All the ones that I know from it have PTSD as well, with a couple of first responders being forced by their PTSD into early retirement.
     
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  2. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    I wonder how much really would have changed .

    I mean, details for sure, but I've come to believe that we generally end up where we being.
     
  3. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I think most of us would end up being the same person personality-wise, excluding unexpected trauma or death/injuries (flying crane's 9/11 post as an example). But sometimes those details matter-if you end up in a field you really like, vs. entering a field that you think you'd like but don't (and for whatever reason can't/don't switch out of it), the motivation to succeed in that career could be very different. A person's environment, which sometimes ends up being out of a person's control, can have a huge impact on their drive/motivation to succeed in many different aspects of life.
     
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  4. Chrisinmd

    Chrisinmd Green Belt

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    Not sure I agree not much would have changed. Our environment we are in and circumstances we are put into have a big effect on how things turn out and the person we become.

    Reminds me a this item I read once.

    What We Can and Cannot Control

    written by Michael Shermer


    "There is, of course, the luck of being born at all. The ratio of the number of people who could have been born to those who actually were born is incalculably large—trillions to one. Then there is the luck of being born in a country with a stable political system, a sound economy, and a solid infrastructure, rather than, say, in lower caste India, war-torn Syria, or anarchic Somalia. If you were unlucky enough to be born in one of those countries, you can hardly be blamed for a life outcome of poverty and destitution, and if you managed to get out of such a horrific environment there’s a good chance that in addition to being intelligent, creative, and a high-risk taker, you probably had some help along the way.


    There is the luck of having loving and nurturing parents who raised you in a safe neighborhood and healthy environment, provided you with a high quality K–12 education, and who instilled in you the values of personal responsibility. If your family was also financially successful that’s an added bonus because one of the best predictors of someone’s earning power is that of their parents. If you were unlucky enough to be raised in an impoverished home by a single parent in an unsafe neighborhood with subpar schools, you can hardly be blamed for not waltzing your way into Harvard followed by a six-figure corporate salary with country-club privileges. If you did manage to pull yourself up by your bootstraps into such a privileged world out of such an impoverished environment, there’s a good chance that in addition to being intelligent, creative, and a high-risk taker, you had help along the way.


    Then there’s the luck of attending a college where you happened upon good or inspiring professors or mentors who guided you to your calling, along with a strong peer cohort to challenge and support you, followed by finding a high-paying job or a fulfilling career. If you were unlucky enough to have never been mentored by nurturing educators, did not befriend smart and ambitious peers in your age range in school, could not land a high-paying job out of school, and never found your calling in life that could be converted into a lucrative career, the fault is not entirely in your stars; it is, in fact, more prudently found in your background, including and especially the constraining prior conditions, both biological and environmental.


    Let’s not overlook the luck of being born at a time in history when your particular aptitudes and passions fit that of the zeitgeist. Would Microsoft founders Bill Gates or Amazon's Jeff Bezos be among the richest and most successful people in the world were they born in the1850's instead of the 1950's. Both are brilliant and hard working, so they would probably have been successful in any century, but at the equivalent of around $50 billion each? It seems unlikely. If you had the misfortune to have the talents and interests in a subject for which your society has next to no interest, you can hardly be blamed for that. That’s contingency."


    What We Can and Cannot Control

    written by Michael Shermer


    Thoughts?
     
  5. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    It appears to be written with the undertone that accumulation of wealth is the most important measure of success.

    As in, it doesn't matter how many people you tread on along your way, as long as you have a bigger bank balance than the next person then you're a success.
     
  6. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    But the problem with thinking too much about "what if" is that there's no control state, only conjecture.

    Things very likely would have worked out differently had you made a different decision 20 years ago, as what you are today is the sum of every single decision you've ever made.

    Looking back, you can say it might've been different if... - but at the time that decision was what it was.

    Looking on any former decision as bad, or a mistake, is pointless because everything since that point was influenced by it in some way, for better or worse.

    And who knows whether it would've been better or worse anyway? Some of the most valuable lessons are the result of 'bad' prior decisions.

    Without going back and trying every outcome - through to today - there's no evidence either way that anything now would've been different, whether better or worse or equal.
     
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  7. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    What I was getting at is that I don’t think decisions made (not to be confused with life altering events such as death, disease, natural disaster, etc), even major decisions, really fundamentally alter most people’s lives. I mean, I guess it depends on what we consider fundamental. And ultimately, that’s because we tend to see what we expect, and we make decisions based on what we see.

    While I would agree that environment, etc, has a huge affect on who we are as adults, I don't think that conflicts with what I'm saying above at all. Sure. Who you are is a function of where you were born and the advantages or disadvantages of that. AND, given all of that, you make decisions based on what you see. If you are cynical, opportunistic, and inclined to blame others for your misfortune, your life will reflect that because you will engineer that into your life. For example, your career might stall because you didn’t get promoted, became resentful, and now you are a 50 year old curmudgeon who says things like, “Jane got promoted because of favoritism. I’m way more qualified than her.”

    So, all that to say, if the question is, “how different would my life be if I didn’t move to Seattle (or whatever)?” My answer is, “probably not very different.”
     
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  8. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    See, I think differently.

    I think his life would likely be very different indeed - but without a second him who didn't move there's absolutely no verifiable way to determine any outcome.

    Just like how one decision probably made a very fundamental difference to my life - when I was 17 I had the choice to emigrate to Canada from the UK, but I didn't.

    I mean, I could've moved there and come back after 6 months (approximately the time I met who is now my wife) and everything would've tracked roughly the same.

    Or...
     
  9. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    Additional to above:

    The other thing to think is that where I am now is where I'm 'meant' to be.

    In which case, the decision I made was, in fact, not actually my decision after all.
     
  10. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    For those of us who have lived before, all I can tell you is I want my will to read just like my last one...

    I have nothing. I owe much. The rest I leave to the poor. :)
     
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  11. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Or you could have moved to Canada and led roughly the same life.
     
  12. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    If I'd led roughly the same life in Canada I'd more than likely either be dead or in prison :D
     
  13. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    And you’d be saying “eh?” a lot.
     
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  14. Chrisinmd

    Chrisinmd Green Belt

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    Prisons in Canada are not to bad from what I have seen so their are certainly worse places to be in prison. Any Latin America country the penal system is pretty much torture and your lucky to come out alive.
     
  15. Chrisinmd

    Chrisinmd Green Belt

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    Spent to much on Christmas gifts on people who did not return the favor
     
  16. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    I read elements of things we can control all throughout. It is not always easy to move forward. I agree that for some it is near impossible and for a few death may be an improvement. That is a very sad thought to me. I do not know statistically but hope it is less than 1% of people on the planet.
    In several areas the writer talks about favorable opportunity, which you would assume is a slam dunk for a person to better themselves. I imagine this only happens about 50% of the time. A Lot of people feel they are comfortable 'enough' and just live their life getting by at a level they are familiar with. To me, this is an innate quality of the person. Lacking drive or ambition. For some reason people never See that they can do better. I am not talking about being high brow and hob knobbing with the elites, but better being than their current situation. For some, current situation is more than good enough and I have zero problem with that.
    The writer makes a great point about zeitgeist. I do not think it can ever be created. Cultural/technological/economic evolution has resulted in some incredible events, just in my lifetime. I think in recent times, the greatest by far is the computer age. Looking at the breadth of it is impossible but people like Bill Gates, Robert Kahn, and Vint Cerf were enablers who have truly changed the way our world works, largely based upon timing.

    I was raised by two parents and have three siblings. We were always fed, clothed, and had a home to live in. We grew up in a culture of what would be considered manual labor. It was never presented that way; it was just our norm and I never remember resenting it. There was a big sense of taking care of the essentials and much of how we harvested/gathered the food we ate would seem archaic by todays standards (for people in the U.S.). My mother worked at a nursing home all of her adult life, starting on the floor and did about every job there you can imagine in her 33 years there. My father worked and eventually started his own business as a general contractor. Working with him in every aspect of building houses had a strong impact on me. It really helped me figure out what kind of work I did Not want to do. Again, I never resented it; I just never gravitated toward building and construction like my two brothers have.
    I am the youngest child and the only one to do any extra-curricular 'stuff' after school. This was often afforded by the fact that my older siblings were willing to provide transportation for me.
    When we were old enough to have a drivers license, we all had before/after school jobs. Along with the daily rigors and farm chores. I never resented any of it. I look back at all of it as very formative. Frankly, I never thought of myself as driven until I got out in the 'world' and saw more of how other people operated and interacted. I am very grateful for my upbringing and what I have been able to make out of it.

    Great post and article.
     
  17. JP3

    JP3 Master Black Belt

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    My wife & I invested in a body-contouring machine which used ultrasound pressure waves to stimulate the bodyfat layers which lay just below the dermis (the inner layer of skin, to break-up bodyfat, metabolize the inattractive portions such as love handles (guys) and saddlebags (girls) as well as reduce outer layer belly fat. We dropped $40K into our portion of the limited partnership for a combined 15% share. A year later they ended up moving the machine, closed up the shop and changed what they were doing because the two 30% shareholders got crossways and couldn't decide what to do. Screwed everyone over ego.

    So... turning to real estate investing now, single-family residences near to the higher-tier local college branch, which has a few really good practical/professional programs. Rent to single moms with financial aid from the guvmint is the niche.bodyfat, and generally create a more
     
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  18. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Unless you are in western Canada. There it is 'Que voulez-vous dire'.:):):)
     
  19. Chrisinmd

    Chrisinmd Green Belt

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    Bought a couch and then walked into the same furniture a week later and it was an additional 20 percent off
     
  20. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    There seems to be two major types of financial mistakes I see, even in just the first page:
    • Put myself into a bad situation because I made a bad decision
    • Didn't get myself into as good a situation as I could have if I had known the future
    In the first case, the mistake leads to ruin, or to a difficult path ahead. Things like racking up credit card debt, spending tens of thousands on a college degree which gives no marketable skills, or reaching too far on a bad investment.

    The other case, you're still living comfortably, you just don't have as many luxuries.123
     
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