What was your worst investment ?

Picaro

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My worst was a 400 share investment in Apple. It sucked big time in the 1980's compared to a lot of other stocks. At least I didn't buy IBM. I unloaded it and bought gold in 1986; lots of bargains around in real estate by 1989, and I ended up with a much better return on my money by leveraging my gold to buy cheap houses and remodel them and renting them out to Air Force families from the base near here. I've done well enough with gold, mostly, so I don't bother much with anything else, especially stocks, since no one knows how much they're actually worth any more thanks to the ridiculous lack of accounting rules. Real equity is always better than imaginary equity in watered stocks.
 
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BigDave

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Investing in Target Corporation all the years i worked for Target until i became disabled and was no longer able to work. :icon_rolleyes:
 

Canon Shooter

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Mine is a story of a bad investment avoided.

When I retired from the Navy, a friend and I started building little travel guitars. They were our answer to the Martin Backpacker and the Baby Taylor, which were made by the behemoths of the acoustic guitar world.

Anyway, my friend was older than me, single, and somewhat flush with cash (he inherited a large amount of money from his Dad). His area of responsibility was primarily building, and mine was primarily sales, although he also sold and I also built.

I'd set up some distributors and dealers as far away as the UK and Australia. Every guitar we built was sold before we even started cutting the wood for it. We hired two more people to help us build to meet demand and, not long after that, we hired a third.

Things were going well.

One day, the owner said he thought I should become a partner in the legal sense, and invest in the business. He suggested I take out a second mortgage on my home and give him $50,000 to invest in the business. He said I would be a 45% partner, and that the last word on every decision would be his; he would always have the final say.

Needless to say, I didn't do it. I couldn't do it. I had a family to provide for, and I couldn't take that kind of risk with such a fledgling company.

About two months later, our UK distributor called me and said he'd like to double the size of his orders. We were shipping him 24 guitars every two weeks, and he was going through those like shit through a goose. If we sent him 48 guitars every two weeks, there's no question that he'd have sold them. Our other distributors and dealers were also steadily increasing their orders, but no doubling them like this. I started to rethink my decision about investing in the business. We could really be on to something here!

Excited, I went out to the shop to tell my buddy about the phone call and about our good fortune. His response wasn't quite what I expected:

"You call that stupid sonofabitch back and you tell him that I'LL decide how many guitars we'll send him, and he'd better like it and just do his job and sell what I decide to send him."

I was fucking stunned.

I wanted to see this business flourish and make money, and here's the owner of the company essentially saying that he wasn't interested in that. About a month after that he and I had a pretty heated argument and, better than throwing his lifeless body into traffic, I figured it would be better to just quit and cut all ties with him and his so-called "company".

Not long after, he was trying to keep the business afloat with one remaining employee, but that employee went off to Hawaii and is now a Lieutenant with the Honolulu Police Department.

The owner closed the shop we'd had (one small unit and one large unit in a business park) and tried maintaining the business at home with a shop in his garage. But he had the social skills of a cheeseburger, and he could never really connect with customers and make them comfortable with their purchase. The distributors we had all wanted to increase their orders and, when he refused, they dropped the line. His sales dropped dramatically and, before too much longer, there were no guitar orders to fill. With no orders to fill, he liquidated the shop equipment and closed the business.

I look back on that and wonder what may have happened if I'd invested. I'm sure the business would've folded as it did. But then I wonder what would've happened if I'd invested and was allowed to make decisions regarding the financial health of the business. I know a lot about all aspects of guitar manufacturing, and I know we could've been successful.

But he was a pig-headed prick, and he ended up getting everything he deserved...
 

Jackson

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I got caught in the 80's tech bubble when it burst. I held on trying to be a patriot, but finally closed up everything. I had a broker that didn't care. I was making $75,000 a month on profits alone. My broker said, there 's the bear, bull and the pig. Oink Oink :icon_cry:
 

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