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Almost anyone who is really successful (in anything) probably had to work really hard to get there, perhaps with a little luck thrown in. If one is prepared to make the effort and enjoys learning about the topic, I wouldn't straight away recommend ETFs and steer them away from researching individual stocks.
Thanks, well stated. I think I underestimated snowbird's interest in learning about investing and probably projected my own general lack of interest as an assumption ;-)
 

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Some people really enjoy managing their own portfolio. In my case a general background in finance has made it easier but I think there are many on this forum who enjoy it. Now that I am retired I have more time to spend on this kind of thing as well. I would say my results generally beat comparable ETF's or MF's. Being a dividend type investor, I don't want to pay away any of my dividends in MER's or ETF fees.
 

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I think I underestimated snowbird's interest in learning about investing and probably projected my own general lack of interest as an assumption ;-)
i for one have never underestimated snowbird's interests or abilities. I think she'll make an outstanding investor :peach:

"lack of interest" is an odd attitude to bring to a forum dedicated to finance, investing & lifetime savings strategies. I believe it would be safe to say that no one else participates here because they have a lack of interest.

quite often, overtly expressed lack of interest comes across as envy poorly masked by sneering. This is happening in your case, brad. It baffles me because i know it does not represent you in the least. It's the exact opposite of your nature.

the fact is that a lot of new DIY investors are being seriously helped in this forum. I'm sure you can see that. What i'd expect from a sweet guy with a big social conscience like yourself is something like Way To Go Guys ! Tell Us More About How You Do It !
 

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Pot - meet kettle?

I think that's an unfair characterization on many levels, but the point is not that one can never outperform; I think even the most ardent proponents of index investing acknowledge that people who buy individual stocks can and often do get triple-digit returns in any given year and tend to outperform indices over periods of 5-10 years, even longer. The point is that as the time horizon increases, the probability of beating those indices decreases, because over time the big gains are usually counterbalanced by signfiicant losses. If you're passionate about investing and are motivated to spend the time on research, learning, etc., your investment of time and education is likely to pay off. But it would be a shame if you spent all that time and in the end your returns weren't remarkably better than those of someone who spends 4 hours per year managing his or her investments. I don't think it has anything to do with settling for mediocrity; it has to do with priorities and probabilities.
Very well put Brad.

Another factor is portfolio size. Assuming someone isn't just doing active investing as a hobby, I think it's worthwhile to look at your portfolio outperformance and calculate the hourly wage of your efforts.

I wrote this article a while back about this issue: http://www.moneysmartsblog.com/do-you-really-earn-your-investment-income/
 

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fp as you cheerfully admit yourself, you failed desperately in stock picking & then retreated permanently into etf mediocrity.

as for your frequent ad hominem attacks on myself, they are transparently envious. Sorry about that. Some people are successful in financial markets. So sorry that you are not.
 

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now that i'm reminded, for the longest time i've believed that all those low-traffic personal financial blogspots should be stopped from trailering their links as personal advertising here in cmf forum.

it's obvious that these folks put up useless & repetitive messages for the sole purpose of trailering their blogs. Even worse, fp likes to brag about his own articles in a transparent attempt to drive traffic to his portal.

Q: does it work FP ? do you get a burst of traffic after you boast here about how you've already masterfully treated a particular topic ?
 

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quite often, overtly expressed lack of interest comes across as envy poorly masked by sneering. This is happening in your case, brad. It baffles me because i know it does not represent you in the least. It's the exact opposite of your nature.
Sorry if it came across as sneering, and there's definitely no envy involved; I genuinely was unaware of any evidence that over the long term, individual investors could outperform the market with any high probability of success. In the short term, no question, and of course there are examples of highly successful investors (not just Warren Buffet) who've remained highly successful over the long term. But it's just been pounded into my head so long from so many sources that that the vast majority of people who manage their own portfolios cannot beat the market over the long term that I guess I was just spouting received wisdom, forgetting that this forum is populated largely by a subset of the population who actually have a good chance of doing it.

It's not that I'm not interested in investing, otherwise I wouldn't be hanging out here; I'm just not interested in it to that degree: i.e., I'm not willing to put in the time and effort it would take to rise beyond "mediocrity," because the goal of riches (or even the prospect of a more comfortable retirement) has never been a strong motivator for me. I share my birthday with Somerset Maugham, who described his work as "in the very top rank of the second-rate." In the field of investing, I'm happy to shoot for that.
 

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FP. I make quite a lot managing my own portfolio. Say at 1% with maybe 1 hour per day, it works out to over $500/ hour. Not representative I know. Furthermore, I enjoy doing this and would probably do it for free.
 

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People generally become good at things they love to do.
And with that we can all acknowledge that snowbird is likely to become good at investing because she's highly motivated and enthusiastic. And as the person who accidentally hijacked her money diary, I move that we leave it at that so she can get a word in edgewise ;-)
 

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please don't write any more fp.

you are a nondescript writer with a clerical mindset & a vocabulary of about 86 words.

pity you are so strung out on hatred as well.
 

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please don't write any more fp.

you are a nondescript writer with a clerical mindset & a vocabulary of about 86 words.

pity you are so strung out on hatred as well.
This wasn't called for HP nor FP's latest. Come on guys let's stick to the financial stuff. There are plenty of places we can go for the negative stuff, like newspaper comment sections.
 

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Square Root if you're going to be judgmental i definitely feel you should have included fp's foam-at-the-mouth missive. Here it is.

... As for useless posts, you seem to do a huge number of posts that are very judgemental (both positive & negative) of other posters. You feel the need to write thousands of words putting someone down or building someone up without adding a single bit of useful information. You even read Brad's non-sneering post and managed to insult him and the post by saying he was sneering, when he wasn't doing anything of the sort.

In my opinion, your contribution to this forum is less than zero.
 

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Guys, let's not derail someone's journal.

My take on the matter: humble says some things that can be misinterpreted as off-putting or mean, but he always means well. Notice what he wrote after "insulting" brad and the compliments he showered him with.

As far as contribution to this forum, I think he contributes a great deal. Certainly this is true on a personal level - has given me some great advice and thinking points in my journal, and him and Lephturn are probably the most well versed on options in his entire forum.

What FP seems to have done is take a snippet out of context and attack him for it. I can see both sides of the coin but I'm quite sure humble did not mean it as an insult and didn't deserve the harsh (and false) attack thrown his way. Funnily enough, brad took it better than FP though the comment addressed him.

Just my 2 cents. Maybe we should clean up the last few posts in respect of the OP.
 

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Just in reply to brad:

My reference to mediocre was to someone accepting returns just slightly worse than average where average is the index and the drag is a small MER and tracking errors.

I did not intend to start a flame war!
 
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