Investments - what's working out for you?

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This isn't meant to make the money-less feel bad (as a long term student, I never had, of course). Now that I'm earning some, and saving some, I'd be interested to hear from others who've invested - shares, bonds, property, mixed portfolios.
Another way of putting it: if you, say $20 000 to invest today, what would you do?

paulhw (paulhw), Sunday, 5 June 2005 15:29 (sixteen years ago) link

convert it to yuan.

hstencil (hstencil), Sunday, 5 June 2005 15:30 (sixteen years ago) link

do you own a house?

charltonlido (gareth), Sunday, 5 June 2005 15:32 (sixteen years ago) link

or maybe rupees.

hstencil (hstencil), Sunday, 5 June 2005 15:33 (sixteen years ago) link

DAMN HPENCIL GET OUTTA MY HEAD I WAS GONNA SAY RUPEES OMGWTF

Eisbär (llamasfur), Sunday, 5 June 2005 15:40 (sixteen years ago) link

can't get you outta my head.

hstencil (hstencil), Sunday, 5 June 2005 15:42 (sixteen years ago) link

i might also strongly consider the bond market -- the birds are gonna come home to roost wr2 our budget deficit EVENTUALLY.

Eisbär (llamasfur), Sunday, 5 June 2005 15:43 (sixteen years ago) link

yeah rising interest rates and whatnot will be good for teh bonds, yo.

hstencil (hstencil), Sunday, 5 June 2005 15:45 (sixteen years ago) link

I'm no expert, but it's common knowledge that a diverse portfolio is always better. Probably your best bet is to get a couple of reputable books and read up, learn the terminology, learn about different kinds of funds, etc. I'm just starting to do this myself.

You also need to ask yourself what your plan is -- are you trying to start a retirement account? Something to give you some extra money ten years from now? Are you looking to take a gamble on getting rich quick?

Historically stocks have actually had the best LONG TERM returns by far of any property, even taking into account crashes, bubbles, and blips.

Hurting (Hurting), Monday, 6 June 2005 03:53 (sixteen years ago) link

I have a pretty conservative 401K, bonds and large company stocks. 5% in a money market. There is a different between small company stock and large company stocks, though Hurting--small co stock give bigger returns but also carry significantly more risk. It's a trade off. Large company stock are more stable but yeild less. Personally, I like bond funds. I don't want my money disappearing any faster than it has to. I'm decently diversified at 5% money market, 40% distributed in various bond funds, 40% in various large company stocks, and the remaining in small company stocks.

Orbit (Orbit), Monday, 6 June 2005 03:59 (sixteen years ago) link

Large company stocks can have nice returns if they pay dividends.

Hurting (Hurting), Monday, 6 June 2005 04:17 (sixteen years ago) link

And assuming you reinvest the dividends.

Hurting (Hurting), Monday, 6 June 2005 04:17 (sixteen years ago) link

Another good long-term bet if you are bullish on India is gold, since traditionally in India people convert lots of their wealth into gold, which will drive up demand if India's economy continues to grow.

o. nate (onate), Monday, 6 June 2005 14:58 (sixteen years ago) link

I would invest in the AFC WIMBLEDON DONS TRUST BOND - 4 years at 4% per annum, and you're fighting the franchising of football too!

(I have invested in this if you were wondering about money/mouth juxtapositions)

Another answer - invest in non-Alpine ski resorts. Norway, say.

Markelby (Mark C), Monday, 6 June 2005 15:01 (sixteen years ago) link

Another good long-term bet if you are bullish on India is gold, since traditionally in India people convert lots of their wealth into gold, which will drive up demand if India's economy continues to grow.

And indeed, if tradition holds. I'd have to see some data, but I suspect that the inflow of Indian funds into gold isn't significant enough to support gold values at high levels. And if India's economic growth continues apace, so will its people's financial sophistication, and they'll increasingly chase a more diverse array of investment options, most of them the stuff of paper (or ones and zeroes).

rasheed wallace (rasheed wallace), Monday, 6 June 2005 15:27 (sixteen years ago) link

Hurting is OTM that diversifying your portfolio is best. I have some chump change I need to do that with but I'm lazy.

http://www.squirrelyournutsoffshore.com/
http://www.vicefund.com/
http://www.greencentury.com/

TOMBOT, Monday, 6 June 2005 15:42 (sixteen years ago) link

Diversifying is good, but if you are young, take some risks. There's no reason to diversify yourself into a shitty return if you aren't going to retire for another 30-35 years. Chances are you can ride out any market twists over the long term.

rasheed wallace (rasheed wallace), Monday, 6 June 2005 15:44 (sixteen years ago) link

Monkeys taught to use money.

Austin Still (Austin, Still), Monday, 6 June 2005 15:47 (sixteen years ago) link

boo urns to mutual funds.
Avoid anything to do with north america if you can.

Rufus 3000 (Mr Noodles), Monday, 6 June 2005 16:54 (sixteen years ago) link

I'd have to see some data, but I suspect that the inflow of Indian funds into gold isn't significant enough to support gold values at high levels

There's some data here:

http://www.ncdex.com/products/products_precious_gold.aspx?Type=Gen

Some key points:

"India is the largest consumer of gold in the world accounting for more than 23% of the total world demand annually."

"India being the largest consumer of gold in the world, with minimal domestic supply, the demand is met mainly from imports."

http://www.ncdex.com/products/images/gold_import.jpg

o. nate (onate), Monday, 6 June 2005 17:27 (sixteen years ago) link

India is the largest consumer of gold in the world accounting for more than 23% of the total world demand annually

Fair enough. But if demand from one country accounts for a quarter of the gold market, I'd argue that that is also a pretty good reason not to invest in it.

rasheed wallace (rasheed wallace), Monday, 6 June 2005 17:32 (sixteen years ago) link

If your going to invest in gold don't bother 'cause I have a bridge that's perfect for you.

Rufus 3000 (Mr Noodles), Monday, 6 June 2005 17:36 (sixteen years ago) link

There have been times when you could have made a killing investing in gold - for instance the late 70s/early 80s, when the price of gold spiked to about $800/oz. Actually if you had bought gold a couple of years ago you would have done quite well.

o. nate (onate), Monday, 6 June 2005 17:42 (sixteen years ago) link

Whenever someone starts pitching gold I start thinking of Jude Wanniski and the rest of the nutty goldbugs, whom I generally lump in with survivalists, John Birchers, and other right-wing unsavories.

There have also been times when you could have made a killing in high-yield corporate bonds or swaptions. That doesn't mean they are a good option for the average medium- or long-term investor.

rasheed wallace (rasheed wallace), Monday, 6 June 2005 17:45 (sixteen years ago) link

I'm not saying gold should be anyone's only investment, but if you think that there is a real risk of inflation in the short- or medium-term, then gold is a better inflation hedge than stocks or bonds.

o. nate (onate), Monday, 6 June 2005 17:50 (sixteen years ago) link

Given the virtually nonexistent spread between Treasurys and TIPS, it doesn't seem like anyone thinks there is a real risk of inflation (other than perhaps Alan Greenspan, whom envisions it lurking under every bed).

rasheed wallace (rasheed wallace), Monday, 6 June 2005 17:53 (sixteen years ago) link

The best hedge against inflation is to purchase or start your own liquor company. Unstoppable pricing power even in a depression.

TOMBOT, Monday, 6 June 2005 17:58 (sixteen years ago) link

xpost

Well, gold is also hedge against the falling dollar. So if you think the dollar has further to fall, then it might not be a bad place to look either.

A recent article from CNN/Money:

Should you be buying gold?

o. nate (onate), Monday, 6 June 2005 17:59 (sixteen years ago) link

I think the guy is wrong to mention China without mentioning India, which I think is the more important story in terms of growing global gold demand, but that's just to show that the idea of buying gold isn't only some crackpot/fringe notion.

o. nate (onate), Monday, 6 June 2005 18:01 (sixteen years ago) link

That piece is from Dec. 2004, which might as well be the Pleistocene Era in investing time. For one thing, anyone who has been following the data in recent months knows that the risk of higher inflation is substantially lower now than it was in December of last year. This is borne out by the very narrow spread between the yield on the 10-yr. Treasury note and the yield on the 10-year Treasury Inflation Protected Security, which is the best measure we have of the market's inflation expectations. The tighter the spread, the lower the expectations for rising prices. The spread is narrow all along the yield curve.

Second, trying to outgess the currency market is about the quickest route to the poorhouse that I can think of. If you are worried about a decline in the dollar that would be so precipitous that you would want to transfer your cash into a commodity, and you think that such an event would last throughout your entire investment planning horizon, you shouldn't see a financial planner, you should see a psychiatrist.

rasheed wallace (rasheed wallace), Monday, 6 June 2005 18:11 (sixteen years ago) link

The bond market may be currently forecasting low inflation, but their are certain respected economists who take a contrarian view. For instance in his NY Times column of April 18th (less than two months ago), Krugman raised the specter of "stagflation" - a combination of low growth and inflation that would leave the Fed with few viable options. You can find the article here:

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/041805L.shtml

o. nate (onate), Monday, 6 June 2005 18:19 (sixteen years ago) link

Krugman's stagflation forecast may be borne out in time, or the market forecast for mild inflation and relatively strong but not spectacular GDP and employment growth may be borne out. But neither scenario makes investing in gold look any better to me as an individual investor. Volatile commodity metals that can swing wildly in price and are greatly subject to the whim of a relatively small number of powerful institutional investors are rarely a good choice for an individual, even for the most wealthy among us.

rasheed wallace (rasheed wallace), Monday, 6 June 2005 18:29 (sixteen years ago) link

BTW: Just what is it this 20G is expected to do?

Rufus 3000 (Mr Noodles), Monday, 6 June 2005 18:35 (sixteen years ago) link

an amateur investor putting loads of money into commodities = one of the surest ways for said amateur investor to lose just about all of that money.

Eisbär (llamasfur), Monday, 6 June 2005 18:36 (sixteen years ago) link

I'm getting visions of Tommy Wilhelm and Doctor Tamkin in "Seize the Day".

Hurting (Hurting), Tuesday, 7 June 2005 00:22 (sixteen years ago) link

As I said earlier, I'm relatively new to this, but I'm realizing quickly that when it comes to investments, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. There's a reasonable-sounding argument for almost any kind of investment. I'm going to have to learn a lot more before I can really sort them out.

Hurting (Hurting), Tuesday, 7 June 2005 00:23 (sixteen years ago) link

djoo guys see da times magazine yesterday?

hstencil (hstencil), Tuesday, 7 June 2005 00:28 (sixteen years ago) link

I think I read somewhere that the long-term returns on gold over the last century or so have come out to not much at all after inflation, whereas the returns on stocks have been enormous.

Hurting (Hurting), Tuesday, 7 June 2005 00:38 (sixteen years ago) link

Since the inception of the market, publicly-traded shares in corporations have beat the shit out of everything else around. but to an actual human investor "STOCKS" over a "CENTURY" is a performance metric that's about as useful as "HORSES" over "550 YARDS."

TOMBOT, Tuesday, 7 June 2005 00:48 (sixteen years ago) link

Sure, stocks is a broad category, and a century is a long time, but gold is gold.

Hurting (Hurting), Tuesday, 7 June 2005 00:49 (sixteen years ago) link

yeah stence, I just started reading some of those Times magazine pieces last night. Of course, given our conversation here, one of the first things I turned to was the article on gold bugs, and I was pleased to see that Metcalf touched (however briefly) on the main problem with gold: like all other commodities, it is subject to the forces of supply and demand, and really has no fixed intrinsic value in and of itself. Like paper money, it is a medium of exchange. But Metcalf doesn't take the final step. If gold really does hold out the "chimerical" possibility that "one day we might pierce the veil of money," then we have to ask ourselves, what is that we expect to find once the veils are lifted?

Anyhow, I read the article on hedge funds, too, which was really interesting. I printed out Asness's paper on stock options to read later.

rasheed wallace (rasheed wallace), Tuesday, 7 June 2005 11:01 (sixteen years ago) link

two years pass...

my 401k lost over $400 this last quarter, I sure as fuck am moving almost all of it into the lower-risk funds...

Dr Morbius, Thursday, 17 January 2008 23:00 (thirteen years ago) link

(I cannot be bothered w/ much research, that's just the way it is)

Dr Morbius, Thursday, 17 January 2008 23:01 (thirteen years ago) link

thirteen years pass...

(^^^^ Morbius! ^^^^^)

Has anyone bought stocks online? I'm sorta interested in making a modest investment of some kind but am slightly intimidated, and afraid of sleazy online brokerages.. recommendations would be helpful.

Andy the Grasshopper, Wednesday, 13 October 2021 23:09 (one week ago) link


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