Friday, January 25, 2008

What Happened to the Exuberant PF Bloggers?

It has been almost a year since I wrote my post about Stock Market Volatility. In that post, I poked a little fun at my fellow PF bloggers that have some very ambitious investing goals. Two such bloggers stood out in my mind. Here is what I said:

One blogger, who admits to not having a stock picking philosophy, tell us that he will turn $100k into a cool million over the next ten years. Another blogger scaled back the initial estimate of his net worth growth rate to only 30% per year. Even so, he'll be a millionaire in a little over 4 short years.

The term "irrational exuberance" comes to mind when I read blogs such as these. So, whatever became of these bloggers? Well, the first blogger stopped publishing his blog early last year. He has not been heard from since.

The second blogger has a more interesting story... His blog is still alive and well. After setting forth his goals for the year, he terminated his employment (i.e. quit his job) and ran off with a younger woman. They've shacked up together, and are engaged. He now considers her assets to be a part of his net worth... Hey, I guess that is one way to grow your net worth, huh?

Interestingly, this blogger did actually meet his net worth goal for the year. And if he had cashed out at the time, he would have been ahead. But, after a few bad equity and currency trades, he is again below the goal. He did, however, remove the goal of accumulating a million dollars in four years from his blog, finally conceding that it was overly optimistic. According to the blogger, that goal will take a couple more years.

When I wrote my post, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) had just reached its then all-time high of 12,845. To review, the DJIA continued its upward climb, and peaked well above 14,000 this past October. However, it should now be clear to most investors that we are in the midst of a bear market, and the economy is likely heading into a recession. As we all know, this decline was accelerated by the subprime mortgage fiasco.

Now is probably a good time to reiterate and underscore what I have already said to my readers: I have learned not to get too overconfident about the stock market, or my investment abilities. And I have learned to plan for the worst while hoping for the best. While market volatility used to make me nervous and worried, a diversified portfolio definitely helps in times like these. But now regardless if the market goes up or down, I feel that either direction can present a new, different set of opportunities. Look for them!


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