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Is your 401K better off now than 4 years ago?

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Is your 401K better off now than 4 years ago?

Old 09-04-2012, 11:14 AM
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Default Is your 401K better off now than 4 years ago?

This may get pushed down to the bilge, but at the same time it may generate some intelligent discussion.

Below is a chart of the S&P 500 covering the period 12/31/2008 through 8/31/2012. In no way am I suggesting the S&P 500 is the end all of stock indexes, but it does shed some light on how large companies have fared during the tenure of the current administration. For example, it does not take into account smaller companies or other foreign equity asset classes.

With all the talk about the terrible economy, I can easily say that my retirement account is in much better shape than it was 4 years ago.

Discuss....
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:16 AM
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better pull it out soon, its not going to stay high for long
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Sprockets View Post
It does shed some light on how large companies have fared during the tenure of the current administration.
Discuss....
Almost all the indices are up, markedly and it's not just how the large companies are doing but the millions of people invested in them, through their 401(k)'s, etc. have done.

Those that were bold enough to invest during the lows back in 2008 have had excellent returns but most just rode it out and that part of people's balance sheets are back up.

Unfortunately, most of the stimulus back then was garnered on the back of perceived home values and the equity that came with it during the time of "irrational exuberance". That part of the stimulus as been decimated and we are continuing to deleverage which will just continue to put more and more downward pressure on everything.

People are hoping to get back to those times and have that part of their personal balance sheets restored. That won't happen. This is the new normal for quite a while. Range bound investing and eroding returns, due to inflation.
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:31 PM
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Mine is up like a Grandpa on Viagra...
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:37 PM
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My IRAs have doubled since GWB left office.
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by truculenity View Post
better pull it out soon, its not going to stay high for long
That's what stop loss orders are for. Or, better yet, Trailing Stops.
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:50 PM
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Mine is, simply because 10% of every check goes in there plus company matches. I dont think the stock market has been main player in it. I have it in the moderate plan im to scared to change it to aggressive because I would rather make a little than loose a lot.
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:53 PM
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Things are up across the board no doubt. I think we can all agree that the reason is the actions of the fed, and what everyone on wall street thinks the fed will do in the future.
I would be willing to bet that things would drop if the fed came out tomorrow and said that there will be no QE in the future. We have past the point of a realistic recovery, the debt is just too high and there is not enough gdp to erase it.
The fed floated a un-capped open ended qe last week just to see what the response was, I bet that is the next program that comes out.

Also high 401k's make for happy voters, not making this political but realistic.
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:57 PM
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The market is BS. It is over inflated on borrowed money from China. While your numbers may look good on a chart, our nation is still borrowing trying to keep things propped up. It is like saying "look how much money I have and what I can buy" while charging it to a credit card that you currently cannot pay back.

16 Trillion as of TODAY!

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Old 09-04-2012, 02:13 PM
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I dont think the stock market has been main player in it.

Mine is worth what it was in November 2007, nothing going in except reinvestment of proceeds, probably 2% coming out over that time. Total value dropped precipitously last time, but won't the next time ...
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:14 PM
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The more important question is: Why?

What is the catalyst that caused the rise and is it sustainable or is there another, possibly worse, drop coming?
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by OldPete View Post
The more important question is: Why?

What is the catalyst that caused the rise and is it sustainable or is there another, possibly worse, drop coming?
Liquidity.

And just to be sure, Ben and company have clearly indicated that round 3 is coming. They feel it is their duty......


And yes, the bill has to get paid at some point.


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Old 09-04-2012, 02:41 PM
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Just like the current administration speaks as if it has a crystal ball "it would have been much worse without the bailouts and stimulus", so will I. Just think about how much higher it would be if Obummer hadn't been elected.
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:49 PM
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Hate to say it but Cramer predicted this before the last election. And yes, I am super better off investment-wise than 4 years ago. Very fortunately my wife retired then and we almost had to convert her deferred earnings into either an annuity (Sprokets help me make this decision) or a stock fund and we put it in one of the US company weighted American Funds recommeneded by her school financial advisor.
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:36 PM
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There is a reason that chart looks so good. It doesn't show us falling off the cliff right before 12/31/2008.

Sure. I made a killing on the fall and subsequent rise of the market in my retirement savings but we are just barely back to where we were 4 years ago? Can't say it's been a steller recovery by any means. Actually it's really sucked by comparisons to other recoveries.

Look at the chart below and look what happend when we recovered from depressions / recessions... 18%+ returns.


Decade____________________Returns
1900s______________________9.96%
1910s______________________4.2%
1920s______________________14.95%
1930s______________________-0.63%
1940s______________________8.72%
1950s______________________19.28%
1960s______________________7.78%
1970s______________________5.82%
1980s______________________17.57%
1990s______________________18.17%

link to chart: http://www.stockpickssystem.com/hist...ate-of-return/

I guess what I'm saying is that if the market hadn't taken that huge plunge, I wouldn't have made jack in the last 4 years and a lot of folks lost their asses in the plunge. All we've done in 4 years is to barely get back where we were.
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:42 PM
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Add one more year to the chart and the s&p is down about 10% over the 5 year period.
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:14 AM
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4 years ago I used to have a 401k, now there´s none left...
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:44 AM
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Good question Jeff!! It's interesting to hear the responses.
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Old 09-05-2012, 04:11 AM
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http://www.kitco.com/charts/popup/au1825nyb_.html
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Old 09-05-2012, 04:36 AM
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I guess my point is that whatever the means were to get here, we are better off than we were 4 years ago. Surely there are always going to be those who suffer, but in general we have come a long way from the fear of the 4th quarter of 2008.
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