Poll

What is your Current Age, and how much did you have invested in 2007? (Choose THREE total options, 1 choice for each sub-question)

18 and under
9 (0.6%)
19-25
45 (3.1%)
26-32
146 (10%)
33-39
158 (10.8%)
40-49
115 (7.9%)
50-59
58 (4%)
60+
7 (0.5%)
I had under $50K invested in 2007
335 (22.9%)
I had between $50K and $100K in 2007
49 (3.4%)
I had over $100K invested in 2007
142 (9.7%)
I owned my own home in 2007
175 (12%)
I did not own my own home in 2007
221 (15.1%)

Total Members Voted: 535

Author Topic: POLL: What is your CURRENT Age, and how much did you have invested in 2007?  (Read 13509 times)

v8rx7guy

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PLEASE READ:  You must choose 3 options, one from each sub-question for this poll to work well!  Input your CURRENT age.

I wanted to create a poll as a spin-off of the most recent MMM blog regarding the coming of the next recession.  I am curious to know how many of us really experienced the great recession in 2008 from a financial perspective.  So to help determine this, I would like to know:

1.  How old are you now?
2.  How much did you have invested in the stock market in 2007 (obviously, this will be approximate for most of us, so take your best guess)
3.  Did you own a home in  2007?

What do you think it took for someone to really "experience" the great recession?  I personally think it's only for people over about 35 with over $100K invested, or $50K invested and a newly purchased home.

Do you think you financially experienced the great recession?  Me personally, I am 32, started working right in 2007.  I had maaaaybe $10K invested at the time.  I did buy a rental duplex in 2007 to live & rent and it lost some value over the next years.  But all-in-all I did not experience the great recession financially.

Because this poll doesn't tabulate well, I will update the percentages for each sub-question periodically:

18U: 1.5%
19-25: 8%
26-32: 28%
33-39: 29%
40-49: 22%
50-59: 10%
60+: 1.5%

Less than 50K invested: 63%
50K-100K invested: 9%
$100K+ invested: 27%

Owned home: 45%
Did not own home: 55%

« Last Edit: August 24, 2017, 08:34:57 AM by v8rx7guy »

RWD

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Re: POLL: What is your Age, and how much did you have invested in 2007?
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2017, 08:57:09 AM »
I am 32 now. I started working and contributing to a 401k in 2008 so almost nothing to lose in the stock market. Though I did invest about $7k in Prosper peer-to-peer loans in 2007 that lost about $2k due to defaults (likely influenced by the recession). We bought a house in 2008. Not quite at the peak, but it still halved in value over the next 2-3 years.

Spork

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Re: POLL: What is your Age, and how much did you have invested in 2007?
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2017, 08:58:55 AM »
While I selected "owned my own home" ... that's not entirely true.  It's just the truest answer I could pick.  We had land.  The land had a tiny metal building on it.  We lived in it.  I would not call that a traditional "home".

LovesToTravel

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Re: POLL: What is your Age, and how much did you have invested in 2007?
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2017, 09:01:04 AM »
I'm 32 now, started my first job in early 2007, so I had virtually nothing invested.  Bought a house in 2010.

Caoineag

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Re: POLL: What is your Age, and how much did you have invested in 2007?
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2017, 09:20:34 AM »
...
What do you think it took for someone to really "experience" the great recession?  I personally think it's only for people over about 35 with over $100K invested, or $50K invested and a newly purchased home.

Do you think you financially experienced the great recession?  Me personally, I am 32, started working right in 2007.  I had maaaaybe $10K invested at the time.  I did buy a rental duplex in 2007 to live & rent and it lost some value over the next years.  But all-in-all I did not experience the great recession financially.

I am almost 36, had only a little money saved and didn't buy a home until 2008.

That depends on your definition of experienced it. I experienced a year of contributing to the stock market and watching each contribution immediately lose money. At one point my account was worth half what I contributed. While I didn't have a ton of money in 2007, I kept contributing throughout and even contributed more in 2008. I bought my house in late 2008, it was a short sale. I was laid off both in 2008 and 2009 and my husband experienced a layoff as well. 2007 is when 0% interest rates on credit cards dried up and I was trying to get those paid off since up till that point I didn't pay interest on credit card debt. We went from ~80k income in 2008 to ~60k income in 2009, it wasn't until 2012 that our income hit 2008 numbers again. I think your definition is a little too focused. If the question is, did I experience the recession financially? The answer is an unqualified yes. I felt it in my investments, my income and my ability to stay employed. I also got to experience it in non-financial ways but that is not what you asked about so I haven't listed those impacts.

I would say that people with debt and people with jobs also got to "experience" the recession. But the financial effects were definitely not limited to 2007...

FireHiker

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I am 38 now, so I was 28 in 2007. I barely had anything invested; I had a 401K through work and was contributing to get the company match, and had been there since 2003. Vanguard tells me I had 31k in 2007. I did own my own home, but I had re-financed it in 2006 to buy out my XH, intending to stabilize life with my young son and then sell in a year or two. Unfortunately, the market crashed so badly that I ultimately had to short-sell. It sucked, and I will never allow myself to be in that kind of a position again. I was making decent money, but was not very financially aware and was totally blindsided. If I hadn't been so financially illiterate and had seen the signs that I THINK I would recognize now, I would have sold in the divorce, split the proceeds, and rented. Hindsight, right?

I have since re-married, we've moved twice (bought and sold, moving up), and had two more children. We have about $539k of home equity currently (home is "worth" $1.1M) and have non-home equity net worth of 716k. I would say that I definitely "experienced" the great recession. It was not a good experience, but I sure did learn from it and have since made much better decisions.

v8rx7guy

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I think in retrospect, to better capture the housing market side of the poll I should have had an option that said "I bought a home between 2006 & 2008".  Those people were often really affected.

aceyou

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I bought a 100k house in 2006 as a 24 year old out of college. Only list a hit in it because lower priced houses held value better.  I sold it in 2011 at the very bottom at a 5k loss, but bought​ a house for 225 that was going for 250 before the recession.  It's appraching 300k now. The recession likely helped me in retrospect.

Prairie Stash

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I had a better experience than most. In 2008 I was in the early stages of investing, the hard part was all the doom/gloom stories saying to hoard cash. I brazenly invested in a blue chip stock about $6k, a very large amount back then. Watching it climb in 2008 and onward reinforced buy/hold to such a degree that I can handle the next recession better.

With all the tales of woe, people sometimes forget there were winners in 2008.

MasterStache

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I graduated college in 2007. I knew a recession was happening but didn't have trouble finding a job. I started investing at that time but didn't much care about the value. I lost a few thousand the first couple years, but my mindset at the time was not early retirement or stashing huge sums of money. I just generally didn't care much. In hindsight not caring about the value was good, but spending most of what I made was bad.

We bought a house in 2009. Oddly enough the house we sold (was my wife's home when I first met her) netted us a tiny profit when everyone including myself thought it would lose money. I saw it was for sale again recently for less money. We got lucky.   

MVal

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I was just out of college in 2007 and just got my first full time job, which didn't pay much, but was ok. I had no investments but a few thousand dollars from scholarship leftovers and about $17K in student debt.

Today I'm about two months from 35 and just crossed six figures in NW, with about 85% of that invested.

StarBright

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I'm 36 and had about 20k invested at the time and was one year into my first "real" job.

The recession helped me. I was throwing extra money into my 401k with every paycheck, buying financial and auto stocks, and we bought our first house at the beginning of 2009 at a great price and got the gov. incentive check that came along with it.

I'm sure I'll stay the course in the next recession (because I am committed to doing so) but I have real money in the market now so I'm not sure how it will affect me emotionally.

Tyson

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I'm 45, I didn't have a lot invested in 2008, but I did have a condo I bought in 2006.  Which dropped in value significantly during the recession.  I just had to wait a few years till it recovered, sold it for a profit and moved to a small home.  I see index funds the same way - if it drops, just wait.  They will recover.

mm1970

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I'm in my mid 40s.  We owned our home (well, part of it), and watched its value drop by $300,000 during the recession.  Our NW dropped a bunch too.  Ouch.

But we both kept our jobs and could still pay the mortgage, so...

nouveauRiche

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Mid/late 40s. 

Had about $289,000 in 2007.  Dropped to about $204,000 at the lowest.  Virtually all of that money was in retirement savings, though.  So I basically ignored it, stopped checking Vanguard, kept contributing. 

ETA:  House value dropped a ton in 2008, too.  Don't remember specifics.  But we didn't much care since we could still afford the mortgage & we weren't interested in selling.  Now its value is ridiculously high and, while that's kinda fun to look at, we still don't much care (for the same reasons).
« Last Edit: June 23, 2017, 10:55:32 AM by nouveauRiche »

Samsam

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can this poll be edited, I totally messed up my answer...checked the wrong age. You can change that 18 to a 26-32

letired

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I'm under 35, had just barely broken 100k in a mutual fund in early 2008 (and had a 401k and IRA that didn't amount to much), no property, and had just started grad school. My experience was watching that mutual fund value drop like a rock (over 50% decrease, the 401k and IRA were less dramatic) and watch the university start scrambling for money to fund grad students.  Teaching loads increased quite a bit and time limits started getting enforced more strongly and no one who was finishing was having an easy time finding their postdoc. On the upside, I was able to scrape together some money from my stipend and invested a bit in individual stocks, which worked out pretty well.

ketchup

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I was a senior in high school when it all came crashing down (2008).  I had $0 invested, and no more than a few grand in the bank at the time.  I know my parents' investments took a nosedive.  My dad seemed to have faith in the market recovering, and wanted to double-down on investments.  My mom couldn't always sleep at night, and didn't want to contribute anything until the market recovered (out of fear, not logic of any kind).  They owned a house (bought in 2000) but had paid it off by then; I assume its value also rollercoastered.  They didn't do anything stupid though, so it all bounced back.  Their only actual struggles were on the employment side of things (marginally harder to find work, but not nearly as much as it was for some).

Milizard

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Bought my first home in 2007--an unfortunate mistake.  Got a great deal, but missed out on waaay greater deals.  Just under $100k in the 401k before it crashed.  It recovered, NBD.

wenchsenior

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Current age: 40-49/50-59
Over $100k invested in 2007 (~150)
Owned house in 2007

We experienced it...having started our adult investment lives during the early 2000s recession, we had just finally gotten our cash assets up in the 150K range when it all fell down summer/fall of 08.  We owned our own (modest) home, and had paid off about half the mortgage.

Ironically, 2008 was the very year that we had started pulling back on investing because of very costly family issues that came up. So at the same time our portfolio tanked by a third, we were reducing our investing AND we pulled 20K of equity out of our house and took on a second mortgage because we needed to purchase a second house (for a parent) AND we had to take on a new car loan because we needed to give our car to said parent.

During the initial plunge and extreme panic (fall 2008), we were fortunately at a field site in the British Virgin Islands with little internet and no television.  We'd parse the bits of apocalyptic news that dribbled in from the outside world, drink our rum and look at the sunset each evening, and note that we might be destitute by the time our field stint was over. 

But seriously, although it was a bit scary, the predominant emotion that I felt that fall and the following 2 years was absolute rage that so much of our cash was tied up in debt repayment on a car and a second home and a home equity loan.  I knew we were missing out on the fire sale of a lifetime (and in all truthfulness, had our parental 'issue' not struck during that particular time frame, we would easily be 2 years closer to FI than we currently are).  I wanted to pour money into the stock market like a drunken sailor throwing gold doubloons at whores.  I WAS SO FRUSTRATED, IT PISSES ME OFF TO EVEN REMEMBER.

On the upside, I was so desperate to buy stocks cheap, that we paid off our car, home equity loan, and massively ramped up our savings rate in about 2.5 years.  So the missed opportunity really motivated us.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2017, 11:26:39 AM by wenchsenior »

honeybbq

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I was 30, owned a home, and had over 100k invested in 2007.

The losses were quite shocking. It took quite awhile to recover mentally and monetarily. I still buy and hold, but man, I give the skunk eye to 2007.



edit: crap, I also screwed up the age poll. I answered the age I was in 2007. Whoops!

DTaggart

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I'm 40 now
Had over 100k invested in 2007
Owned our house (bought in 2003)

When the SHTF, I remember thinking and saying to my husband how glad I was that we were in the habit of living below our means and we weren't one of these people who were one paycheck away from losing everything. It solidified my commitment to this kind of lifestyle. My only regret is that I didn't find a way to free up more cash for investing at the time.

NoraLenderbee

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I'm 54 now. We had around 750K when the crash came, and had bought a house in 2004. Our net worth went down, of course, and our house value dropped a lot. However, my financial life was not affected, except emotionally. I was fortunate enough to keep my job. We did not depend on income beyond my salary, so we could ride out the recession.

I knew a lot of young people with minimal assets who were severely affected in that they could not find jobs, or could only get part-time or temp McJobs. Some lost a lot of crucial years of salaries.

One of my neighbors was remodeling their house. They had just added a second story and were depending on refinancing to pull out more cash to pay for the rest. They ended up with a completely unfinished upstairs--just framing and outer walls--for over a year. They had a block "party" to get help to put in the windows.

I knew several people who had retired or semi-retired before the crash and had to go back to work. That would have absolutely sucked.

Bracken_Joy

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Argh. I missed clicking the home one, and this isn't one I can remove my answer and re-vote. Can you update the poll for dummies like me that missed a check box?

FWIW,
28 now
Less the $50k invested in 2007
Did not own a home

I took a personal finance class the year in college, and I remember sitting and watching the S&P up on a screen taking a nose dive as my prof explained subprime mortgages. Talk about a lesson that sticks.

Jessamine

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30 now, and was still in college in 2007.  Dummy me didn't start investing in a 401k until 2011 (several years in the working world at that point) and didn't start understanding the finer points of investing until quite a few years after that when I started maxing contributions and adding to a taxable account.  I did buy a condo in 2010 at the low end of the market, though.  Still kicking myself for missing that run up in the markets from 2009. *sobs*

pachnik

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I had about $100,000.00 or a bit more invested in 2007.   

I remember sitting at work and talking about the drop in stocks with a co-worker.  Then of course there was news about it all over the media.  What I think saved my bacon was that i was receiving paper statements on a quarterly basis and by the time my statement arrived with the huge loss showing, I was kind of used to it.  So i didn't over-react i.e. freak out and sell.  IIRC Iceland lost a third of its value on paper at the time.  Really scary stuff. 

I also owned my own condo then but I am in Canada so at that time anyway we didn't have any fallout with subprime mortgages.  IIRC my real estate value was pretty stable. 

teen persuasion

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We'd bought our house in 1995, and our area experienced no boom, no bust, so that part was a non-event for us.  We been paying the mortgage down aggressively (ugly 9.75% rate), so we were nearly done at that point. 

DH had a 401k at a former employer, all invested in retirement date funds, which we watched tank.  Just left them alone and waited for them to recover.  His 401k at his then current employer was switching investment options, and somehow my choice was misinterpreted - instead of changing his new contributions to a bond fund, they moved all his funds to that fund.  At first I was livid, and was set to move things myself, but the timing was providential - his balance only took a little hit, mostly the unintended move to bonds preserved his total.  Watching things continue to drop, I opted to leave the big chunk in bonds and put all new contributions in an S & P 500 index.  It was an experiment.  The bonds essentially stayed at $24k, while the new contributions climbed with time.  Before this, I didn't really know about indexing, I was frustrated trying to pick funds by looking at past returns.  I knew it didn't make sense, but I didn't have a better plan until I learned about indexing. 

DH's employer cut the matching, and DH wanted to quit contributing.  I wanted to increase his contributions from the minimal 5% to get the match, to double it to replace the match.  I tweaked his withholdings to keep the take home roughly the same.  After that, I realized the extra tax benefits - EITC and state EITC matching, and started a plan to keep doubling his contributions when expenses dropped or income increased.  So 5% to 10% to 20% to 40%.  Oldest was starting college, and reduced AGI was a bonus on the FAFSA.

After the old 401k recovered, and I was convinced about indexing, we rolled that 401k to Vanguard into VTSAX.  A couple years later when the mortgage was gone, I pushed the 401k contributions to 55% to max it, and I opened Roth IRAs for both of us for the first time, and agreed that DH cut back and stop teaching summer school.

So in many ways 2007 was about the time we truly got serious and began making progress in retirement saving.

wenchsenior

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It's interesting that everyone keeps referring to 2007 rather than 2008 in their posts. Is it because the housing bubble began to burst in 2007 and the recession began then? Did you know  people losing houses and jobs in 2007? Because the financial crisis and stock market meltdown didn't occur until 2008...


v8rx7guy

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It's interesting that everyone keeps referring to 2007 rather than 2008 in their posts. Is it because the housing bubble began to burst in 2007 and the recession began then? Did you know  people losing houses and jobs in 2007? Because the financial crisis and stock market meltdown didn't occur until 2008...

Probably because I put it as the year of interest in the poll.  I wanted to know what people's situation was BEFORE the crash in 2008 to get an idea of how different forum users experienced the crash of 2008 financially.

prognastat

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Being 28 now I didn't really experience the crash in any direct financial way. I had 0 investments and was still in school.

The only thing that I feel was a shame is that I wasn't able to get money into the market earlier in the recovery. This was both due to being late since by the time I was in a position to save it was already 2012/2013, but even then I wasn't aware of mustachianism or informed on investing. It wasn't until 2014-2015 that I really become more aware of retirement and then MMM and bumped up my contributions and investments. I wish I could have been able to and knowledgable enough to invest heavily from 2009 on.

kendallf

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I'm 50 now, and on Oct 10, 2007, at the approximate peak, I had $183k invested in the TSP.  I had just refinanced our home and taken cash out to buy ten acres of land in the sticks for $130k.  I had an interest only ARM loan on the property.  I had a HELOC on the house.  Yeah, we were leveraged as much as I could talk the banks into.

By 03/06/09 (the approximate bottom), we had $105k invested, I was in the hole on our house, our HELOC had been closed by the bank due to declining house values, the land developer had gone bankrupt, and I probably couldn't have given the 10 acres away.

You know what?  It didn't matter much.  I just rode my bike a lot and kept paying my bills.  My TSP account recovered to 184k  by June 2010, I bought a fixer upper house Jan 2013 (after finding MMM!) and renovated it, renovated the old house and sold it, and kept saving.  I still have that property and it may just now be finally recovering in value.  Lousy investment but maybe I'll build out there yet. 

If the market tanks and I lose half again, I'll just watch.  I don't need it and I'm working until 56 anyway for retirement health insurance. 

secondcor521

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I'm 48 now.  I had bought my home in December 2006.  During the recession I was working steadily and investing maybe 10-20% of my income into 401(k)'s and IRA's and kids' college funds.

I am usually a very steady and methodical investor.  I clearly remember thinking at the depths of the crisis (I think it was the fall of 2008 when Lehman and the other banks were failing, and Congress *didn't* pass TARP one day), "Hmm, maybe this time it is different and the end of the financial system really is upon us."  I didn't sell, and continued buying, but I do remember being viscerally nervous.  I don't remember, but I think my logic was that most of the time when people say "This time is different" it isn't true; if it were true, well, I had bigger things to worry about.

slugline

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The people that would have truly experienced the recession would have been the ones that lost employment or sold assets at the bottom (by choice or not). I stayed employed, wasn't in a life situation where homeownership made sense, and did absolutely nothing with my investment accounts. So I can honestly say I didn't experience it. In fact, my net worth is about tripled since then, and I didn't even have my personal finance "ducks in a row" like I do now. So remember that Fidelity study about dead people's accounts performing best and think very carefully before making any panic transactions in response to what you read in the news.

Spork

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The people that would have truly experienced the recession would have been the ones that lost employment or sold assets at the bottom (by choice or not). I stayed employed, wasn't in a life situation where homeownership made sense, and did absolutely nothing with my investment accounts. So I can honestly say I didn't experience it. In fact, my net worth is about tripled since then, and I didn't even have my personal finance "ducks in a row" like I do now. So remember that Fidelity study about dead people's accounts performing best and think very carefully before making any panic transactions in response to what you read in the news.

This is a good point.  If you didn't sell (or better yet, if you continued to buy at the low on-sale prices) you probably came out WAY ahead.

In 2007, I was "pretired"... taking a planned 1 year sabbatical (that turned into 3 years ... because I moved to an area where my experience didn't match with the job market).  We were dying... not because our money was going to run out, but because we were living on a 'stash and wanted desperately to be investing in the down market.

Blissful Biker

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I am 45 and certainly hope to avoid another recession but am comfortable with my ability and fortitude to get through it successful.  In 2007 I owned a house and had about $500K in investments.  As the market dropped and dropped I just stayed busy with work and kids and consistently made my biweekly contributions.  Tried to keep a good attitude and focus on the pleasure of buying cheap investments.

Chairman

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1. 40s
2. 0
3. No

kendallf

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However due to the very high amount of foreclosures at the time it sometimes took the bank a year or more to actually foreclosebor short sale the houses even after people quit paying their mortgage.

This was very true in FL as well.  Some relatives of mine stayed in a house for at least two years without making mortgage payments, and were never foreclosed on.  They eventually moved and one of their friends who is a real estate agent arranged a short sale to her daughter.  No idea how the legality of that all played out..

kendallf

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This is pretty much where most of my friends where in 2007 - leveraged to the max with interest onlybARMs with huge ballon payments due at some point - all used to fund a luxury lifestyle. Problem was they all lost their jobs so eventually lost their very underwater houses too. Plus much or all their investments which they used to make their house payments while unemployed (most were in their late 30s or early 40s with kids). Hard to makeca $4k or higher house payment on unemployment.

I was lucky to have a stable gov't job.  If I had been unemployed for even a few months, my house of cards would've come tumbling down as well.  I fantasized regularly during that period about stopping all of my mortgage payments and walking away.  FL is a recourse state (the bank can come after you for the balance after short selling your house); if I had been in a non-recourse state I might've done it.

BTDretire

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I'm 60+, looking at my Vanguard account, I had $379,281 on Jan 1, 2008.
On Feb 28, 2009, I had market losses of $208,940, My balance was $235,909,
because I coninued to put money in and dividends were paid.
 My 2007 home value peaked at $275,000, and in 2009 it had dropped to $140,000*.
So over all, I was down at least $345,000, maybe more but not worth the paper shuffling to find out..
 I stayed invested and continued investing, on 6-13-17 my Vanguard account hit 7 digits.
 "It's time in the market not timing the market" Unknown

 *today's value is $160,000 to $170,000.

FIRE 20/20

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I'm old enough that I had what I thought was an enormous amount (probably only $20-50k, but it was all I had) invested back in 2000-2002 and a few hundred thousand back in 2008.  Not only that, but while the markets were crashing and the financial world seemed like it was about to end, I was laid off and it took a few weeks to find a new job.  Despite all that I was able to stay in the market.  I certainly do not think I'm special in any way - I knew a lot of other people who followed their investment strategy and kept going. 
Having been through both of those market blips I feel reasonably prepared as we head towards another recession whether it's next week or next decade.  I don't know when it's coming, but I know that it definitely is coming and I just need to stay the course.  I did twice before and I'm only going to be in a better situation for the third one of my adult life.  As long as the next one isn't brought about by the use of nuclear weapons or something similarly catastrophic I think I'll be ok. 


Fomerly known as something

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I had just over $100,000 and owned my home in 2007.  That home, yeah I finally was able to sell it last year in 2016.  It's a complicated tale but the co-op had annoying rules which didn't make it a good rental unless I was "forced to rent it."  I got lucky and had a renter for 4 years but I couldn't sell the place to an investor because of annoying co-op rules again.  I was happy to be rid of it last year.

doublethinkmoney

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I had a 401k from my high school job that I rolled over into a Roth IRA With about $2k

Just started my current job in 2006 and I probably had about $2k in there.

I also bought a house for $245k at 100 % financing that ended up tanking $100k in price and due to money and a divorce we ended up being foreclosed on.

I didn't know enough to bump my 401k investment up to the max (had it at 6% from 06-13) during the drop .... I now have it at 25% .

I didn't loose my job and had a steady income with great pay and benefits. But I definitely bought into the whole deal of "house prices always go up" and paid more for a home than I would now. Which resulted in a financial disaster for me due to the combo of recession and divorce.

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geekette

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Had about $500k in late 2007, which dropped by half.  It's into 7 figures now, since we just kept buying.  DH was laid off/retired in 2013.

We own our home, but we bought it in '93, and prices hadn't gone up much around here, so they didn't go down much either.  Nothing was selling, I'll say that.

A friend of ours moved to cash in '08, after the drop.  AFAIK, he's still in cash (and still working).

PDXTabs

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I also bought a house for $245k at 100 % financing that ended up tanking $100k in price and due to money and a divorce we ended up being foreclosed on.

I didn't know enough to bump my 401k investment up to the max (had it at 6% from 06-13) during the drop .... I now have it at 25% .

I didn't loose my job and had a steady income with great pay and benefits. But I definitely bought into the whole deal of "house prices always go up" and paid more for a home than I would now. Which resulted in a financial disaster for me due to the combo of recession and divorce.

You sound just like me in my 20s, except I put 3% down. I always put 4-6% into my 401(k) (just enough to get the match), and rarely more. Now I max it out.

A friend of ours moved to cash in '08, after the drop.  AFAIK, he's still in cash (and still working).

I know someone like this. What's the point of moving to cash AFTER the drop? Everything is 50% off!

I was 24 when I graduated college in June of 2007. I started work a couple days later and I think that I would have contributed $3600 to my 401(k) by the end of the year.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2017, 09:01:06 PM by PDXTabs »

gggggg

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I had about 30k in an old-school mutual fund during the bubble/crash, also about 20k or so in my first 401k. It all dropped by about half, like most folks' accounts. I've done alot of rearranging since with my accounts, so not sure what it would have recovered to. I also bought my first house (condo) in '04. I'm not sure what it dropped down to, as I wasn't into financial stuff back then and didn't keep track. I'm still in the same condo (paid off) today, it's gained about 20k or so over my purchase price, which is pretty miserable in this area, though I don't care as I don't plan to move.

jim555

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Avoided the crash, was in fixed income and no real estate at the time.

BlueHouse

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Age 49
162K in 401k in 2007.  Dropped to under $100k after the crash.
Bought home in 2005 for 350k on a 5/1 Interest only ARM. Value Dropped to $220. Now worth about $280k and I've been losing money on it as a rental for 5 years.
The 2008 crash shook me up a lot.  I had just recovered from the 2000 crash and was trying to start saving a lot and then 2008 happened.
I sold most of my holdings and moved into cash to avoid losing more. 
If I had lost my job, as so many others had, I would have been crushed financially just to keep making house payments.
I e learned a lot about investing and not panicking since then, but I am still very risk averse as a result of those two recessions and the effect they had on me. I have a tendency to keep too much in cash even now, but fear seems to overwhelm likely outcomes for me.
I was very lucky that I lived in an area where most people didn't lose their jobs. If I had still lived in my old state, I would have lost my job and my home. So maybe the crash of 2000 saved me from the crash of 2008.

aGracefulStomp

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I was relatively young - I got my first casual job while I was at Uni about a year after the GFC. Around that time, I read my first investing book, Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham, and recognised the GFC for what it was - a bargain sale. Immediately started investing.

I know how to ignore the panic when I have nothing to lose, but I'm curious/apprehensive about how I'll go when I have a lot invested.
 
« Last Edit: June 25, 2017, 06:28:13 AM by aGracefulStomp »

Spork

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A friend of ours moved to cash in '08, after the drop.  AFAIK, he's still in cash (and still working).

I know someone like this. What's the point of moving to cash AFTER the drop? Everything is 50% off!


I have a friend like this, too.  And there is NO convincing him that the market isn't the dumbest, most volatile, money-losing place on earth.  He dumped everything he had after the drop and vowed never to go back. 

BlueHouse

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A friend of ours moved to cash in '08, after the drop.  AFAIK, he's still in cash (and still working).

I know someone like this. What's the point of moving to cash AFTER the drop? Everything is 50% off!
Because you don't know when it's "AFTER".  You could still be in the middle of the drop.  Fear of losing everything, especially once you've been through it previously, is a pretty strong feeling.  It really wasn't until I had A LOT more money that I felt I could afford to wait out another downturn...although I haven't really been through another downturn since then, so we'll see if I can make it through without another panic.  Even so, I still try to hedge my bets by decreasing my expenses as much as possible so that I can wait out another storm without the fear.