Giveaway Day #2: Bundle of Investing Books!

Welcome back! Day #2 of our week of book giveaways, and up for grabs this time around is a bunch of great *investing* and financial planning books.

But first, let’s announce the winner of yesterday’s personal finance Classics!

The lucky winner is… Mark R.! BOOM! Congrats! Although really everyone won by seeing so many great $$$ tips yesterday, eh? ;) Don’t forget to pass these books forward when you’re done with them, Mark, and keep the faux Money Library going! The only library that never gets its books back – hah!

Now to today’s docket:

The Investing Books Bundle!

great investing books

A mix of classics for ya, along with some newer books that have since hit the shelves… One even with an autograph included ;) Here’s what we’ve got:

The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by John C. Bogle — “The classic guide to getting smart about the market. Legendary mutual fund  pioneer John C. Bogle reveals his key to getting more out of investing: low-cost index funds. Bogle describes the simplest and most effective investment strategy for building wealth over the long term: buy and hold, at very low cost, a mutual fund that tracks a broad stock market Index such as the S&P 500.”

The Index Card by Helaine Olen and Harold Pollack — “When University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack interviewed Helaine Olen, an award-winning financial journalist and the author of the bestselling Pound Foolish, he made an off­hand suggestion: everything you need to know about managing your money could fit on an index card. To prove his point, he grabbed a 4″ x 6″ card, scribbled down a list of rules, and posted a picture of the card online. The post went viral. Now, Pollack teams up with Olen to explain why the ten simple rules of the index card outperform more complicated financial strategies.”

The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham — “The greatest investment advisor of the twentieth century, Benjamin Graham taught and inspired people worldwide. Graham’s philosophy of “value investing”—which shields investors from substantial error and teaches them to develop long-term strategies—has made The Intelligent Investor the stock market bible ever since its original publication in 1949.”

The One-Page Financial Plan by Carl Richards — “The fact is, in a single page you can prioritize what you really want in life and figure out how to get there. That’s because a great financial plan has nothing to do with what the markets are doing, what your real estate agent is pitching, or the hot stock your brother-in-law told you about. It has everything to do with what’s most important to you….This book will help you bridge the gap between where you are now and where you want to go.”

***Links and bios above are from Amazon, and point to the latest updated books – not necessarily the exact editions being given away today which you can see in the pics. Also – links are affiliate links.***

Want these? Make sure you’re subscribed to our newsletter,
and then answer the following question:

What was the worst investment you ever made? If you’ve never invested before, what’s the worst financial mistake you’ve ever made?

Share your answers below, and we’ll announce the winner tomorrow morning! Remember – you have to have a U.S. address and make sure to be entered before 5pm EST when I’ll be randomly drawing the name – I don’t work nights anymore! ;)

See ya back on Day #3 of our book giveaways tomorrow… And sorry for blowing up your inbox if these don’t interest you!

<< UPDATE: Giveaway now over! Click here to see the Winner :) >>

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  1. LeeAnne June 19, 2018 at 5:58 AM

    Investing money through a financial advisor at a bank I used to belong to. Invested in what he said without doing research- on him or what I was investing in. Loaf half of my money due to his mismanagement. He was so shady and bad that he was actually sued by a bunch of his customers (I wasn’t part of them though :( ). Now I want to start investing again but struggling with how to invest (Roth versus traditional IRA versus a traditional brokerage account). Plus, I’m very chicken about investing still since my only previous experience was a bad one. I’m definitely working on doing more research this time around and the information I’ve gained from your posts and the responses to your posts are certainly helping me have a better understanding of options (good and bad) – thanks all for helping me on my path to FI! (Plus maybe a little RE)

  2. shannon h June 19, 2018 at 6:15 AM

    Not investing my insurance settlement….. Didn’t take long for the money to be gone.

  3. Tony D. June 19, 2018 at 6:16 AM

    My wife and I went to a person to do our taxes. After filing, he advised we should put money into an IRA to lower our taxes. We told him we ONLY had the max for one full IRA deduction. He advised that we split it up into two $1K accounts — one for Mrs. D and one for me. We agreed. What he did not disclose was that he doubled his fee by setting up two accounts. Then, he advised us to invest the $ in funds with a front end fee. We got charged more for that lesson into researching advisors and fees than with any other investment.

    Now a Bogelhead,
    Tony D.

  4. Kate June 19, 2018 at 6:18 AM

    When I was 16 I, with a friend, lied about my age (in hindsight it was pretty obvious we were children!) organised a big party in a bar and paid a deposit of $200. Note that where I’m from the legal drinking age is 18. I can’t remember what we charged for entry but we planned to make a killing! Unsurprisingly, it all went wrong. Some “bad boys” turned up, they were denied entry, the broke a window, all the underage drinkers got super drunk, someone passed out in the owners bed in the apartment above the bar… It was a disaster! Needless to say, we did not see that $200 again or any profit from the ticket sales. Amusingly, I’m now teetotal, get up to walk my dog at the time nightclubs CLOSE and work in a highly regulated sector of the financial services industry!

    1. J. Money June 19, 2018 at 2:38 PM

      HAH! Funny how time changes things :)

  5. Dee June 19, 2018 at 6:46 AM

    The worse financial mistake I ever made was going back into credit card debt after I had paid every thing off. Digging out again and making much better financial decisions but it’s so easy to fall back into that instant gratification trap. Learning to live on cash and budgeting is tough but important

  6. Kandice Smith June 19, 2018 at 6:50 AM

    Hi there! I never invested before but my worst financial mistake was trusting my financial advisor at college with student loans with high interest rates.I should have had someone read over the loan info and interests before I signed on the dotted line. So, yeah Im paying for it now.
    Living and learning.
    Peace and Prosperity Peeps!

  7. Matt O June 19, 2018 at 7:02 AM

    I’ve been lucky to avoid major investment mistakes to the downside, but with the benefit of hindsight, my biggest is definitely this: in my youth when I just started getting interested in finance and investing, I did a bunch of daytrading (stupid!). While there are a few I got out of too early (read: within a week or two) was Starbucks at $17 a share! That would have ended up being pretty nice today!

  8. Pam C. June 19, 2018 at 7:05 AM

    When I was younger, I rushed into buying a house with my new husband, because it was what I thought was the American Dream. The house needed a lot of work. None of which we were capable of doing ourselves. We also didn’t do our research and paid way too much! We ended up selling the house for a significant loss after the housing bubble burst.

  9. Darron Davis June 19, 2018 at 7:05 AM

    Investing with a former boss based on my respect for him. He transitioned from retail to Investment management, with a well known brokerage I won’t name. He took advantage of the respect he had earned from all of his previous employees, and sold a lot of us on his new employer. since my wife’s employer did not have a 401k, I decided to help him out and start an IRA for her. My “friend” promptly set up the IRA with a high expense (>1%) mutual fund, with the added benfit of a front end sales load. After 5 years, the fund returned an annualized 8%, which wasn’t bad (this was early 90’s, so it wasn’t great either). But, after fees, my wife’s IRA made approximately 3.5% annualized over the 5 years. By this time I had educated myself, and promptly moved the money (with great difficulty, thanks to my “friend” dragging the process out) into a Vanguard IRA. I will NEVER let anyone manage my money again…………..

  10. Josh June 19, 2018 at 7:10 AM

    Selling on emotion. The CEO of CSX died in late 2017 and I sold my entire holding the next morning thinking the company was going to crash and burn. The price dipped, but it’s since recovered and continues to hit 52-week highs.

    Before buying or selling, I’ve learned to do due diligence. And to trade partial shares if I’m unsure. Sometimes the best decision is to let it ride.

  11. Shannon June 19, 2018 at 7:12 AM

    Leased a new car! Thankfully actual investing has been limited to index funds.

  12. Steve S June 19, 2018 at 7:18 AM

    When I was 19 I knew everything, just like every other teenager, right? There was this girl, we’ll call her J. A girl who my parents did not like and surely didn’t approve of. But I knew everything and I was in love. After about six months of dating I needed some cash so I gave J my ATM card and PIN. Well, she came right back with cash. I called the bank (in secret of course) to check my balance to make sure I could trust her. It was all good. Or so I thought… A few weeks later J and my mother in law (yes, I would soon marry J) emptied my checking account. $3,000 is a lot to lose when you’re only 19 years old. I was furious!! I forgave her of course because mother in law “really needed the money”. We got married after dismissing the warnings from ALL my family and friends.
    I could go on and on about how many times my heart and bank account would be broken over the 3 years of marriage.
    My worst financial mistake? Not listening to my parents. Being so love struck you lose your mind and give away personal information.
    The story ends well though (for me anyway). I’m re-married to wonderful gal and have a daughter. The daughter is now 19 and thinks she knows everything now too. Full circle.

    1. J. Money June 19, 2018 at 2:43 PM

      Hooray!!! Happy ending!

  13. Mark R. June 19, 2018 at 7:24 AM

    Jay, I invested in numismatic coins from a dealer that my father used and trusted. After paying for them in advance, the dealer went bankrupt without delivering the coins to me. Total loss!

    1. J. Money June 19, 2018 at 2:43 PM

      Damn! Giving the industry a bad name out there!

  14. Sam C. June 19, 2018 at 7:24 AM

    The worst financial mistake I ever made was buying a 20 year old truck without out having it looked over by a mechanic. Come to find out it had a blown head gasket. So I had to more than double my investment in the truck and even then I wasn’t comfortable driving it. So, I sold it for $100 bucks less than I bought it for and lost all the money invested in getting the head gasket repaired. For a while after I’d see the truck on the road every now and then…it was like a knife in the heart every time. Worst financial mistake…really had to eat some humble pie.

    1. J. Money June 19, 2018 at 2:44 PM

      Oh man, that is bad seeing it everywhere, haha…

  15. Cherie June 19, 2018 at 7:27 AM

    Short term investing in biotech stocks. The “best” was when I doubled down on a losing stock. I lost around 15 or 20 percent of my savings playing that game.

  16. PaulM June 19, 2018 at 7:27 AM

    Buying a condo without doing sufficient research when I relocated for a new job. Turned out it was relatively inexpensive for a reason My lawyer didn’t inform me that it was not in the best financial shape and my HOA fees went up dramatically in the first year. Took me almost a year to sell and that was in a seller’s market. Taught me that if moving to an unfamiliar area, don’t rush to buy, do your own due diligence and factor in closing and moving costs (which I also underestimated).

  17. frank powers June 19, 2018 at 7:27 AM

    Sticking with WorldCom after it purchased all my MCI stock. Ouch!

  18. Petra June 19, 2018 at 7:32 AM

    Not in the US, so I’m not competing. But my worst investment ever was my real estate mutual fund. I had read somewhere online that one should invest in real estate for part of their portfolio to make things more stable. So that’s what I did: I quickly checked which funds were available to me in the Netherlands, selected one I liked, and … saw 10% per year losses. Got out after three years.

    Luckily it was only for part of my portfolio. It sure did stabilize my portfolio by the way, because that was in 2010-2012 or so, when the stocks went crazy. So I saw a lower return than if I had just stayed away from some random internet advice that I didn’t completely understand…

  19. Christopher Ryan June 19, 2018 at 7:40 AM

    I’ve never invested before, never really knew where to start. The worst financial mistake over ever made was racking up huge credit card debt in my early twenties and than not even attempting to pay it off. Thousands in debt sent to collectors which completely destroyed my credit making it almost impossible to do anything. Took me years to recover from that.

  20. Jason@WinningPersonalFinance June 19, 2018 at 7:45 AM

    My biggest investing mistake has been leaving funds marked for investing sitting in a no interest checking account. They money was anxiously waiting to work and compound but my lazy self kept putting off pressing two buttons.

    Waiting to invest savings instead of letting it grow is not a winning move.

  21. Yaacov June 19, 2018 at 7:46 AM

    Worst investment ever is still ongoing.
    3.5 years ago we joined a co-op to build an apartment building. On paper it looked great, $50,000 less then comparable apartments in the area. The organizers said it would take 2 years to build.
    Its been 3.5 years so far, we are supposed to move in this summer, but the date gets pusged back by two weeks everytime. Oh, and the organization was subpar, each member of the co-op has to chip in $15,000 to cover a deficit in payments to the contractor.
    After factoring in rent for the past 3.5 years we payed way more than what we would have payed back then even with interest on the extra 50K we would have needed to add to the mortgage.

    1. J. Money June 19, 2018 at 2:45 PM

      Damn!! I hope you guys can get in there soon!!

  22. Jordan B June 19, 2018 at 7:50 AM

    The worst investment I made was in individual stocks. Nothing about the individual stocks, but I didn’t understand enough to have taken the risk of dumping a bunch of money into individual stocks. I let emotions run my decision making, and seemed to buy and sell at exactly the wrong time more often than not.

    It wasn’t a complete loss though. I learned in the process (which was the goal, learn by doing), and came across many new blogs and books in the process. Now I have more diversified asset types, of which individual stocks are still a part of but to a lesser extent. And I only buy what I intend to hold

  23. Kim June 19, 2018 at 7:50 AM

    A friend of mine was making a movie and asked a few in his circle to “loan” him $1,000 – promising that when the movie got produced we would all earn a percentage of the profits. 5 years later and no dime in sight! But at least I knew well enough to consider that a gift – some of our friends still think they will actually get their money back!

    1. J. Money June 19, 2018 at 2:58 PM

      Great mindset indeed :)

  24. Stephanie June 19, 2018 at 8:00 AM

    My worst financial mistake was taking out over 100k in private student loans for art school, and also using them to finance a lifestyle I couldn’t afford.

  25. Jody June 19, 2018 at 8:04 AM

    Ooo, good selection of books today. Totally have to put my name in for this one!

    My gut reaction to your question was to say the worst investment I ever made was in my now-failed marriage. Haha! Really, though, it was 15 years with a man who loooooved to spend money and did so with vigor. So, worst financial mistake was marrying a man who wasn’t interested in the future, just immediate gratification. So much money spent and investing/saving time wasted. Ah well. So the lesson, children, is to find a partner who shares similar money habits and ideas.

    My worst investing mistake was following the conventional wisdom that a financial planner was able to understand all the complicated investing ins and outs and I wasn’t. On one hand, yes I’m glad I was putting some money away over and above my 401k. On the other hand, it was too little and not invested as well as I am doing myself now. Man, he had kittens when I moved my money to Vanguard! Working on playing catch-up now…

    1. J. Money June 19, 2018 at 2:59 PM

      Unfortunately you’re about the 80th person to mention their spouse this morning ;( My inbox exploded with jokes about their exes! :)

  26. Katie June 19, 2018 at 8:06 AM

    My worst investment was in some credit cards. I was attempting to “travel hack” and earn free airlines miles and an assortment of other “free” rewards. Needless to say,I lost track of the amount I needed to spend and ended up with no rewards and a bunch of annual fees.

  27. Suz June 19, 2018 at 8:12 AM

    My worst investing/financial mistake was not putting more away when I was younger like my father told me to. Here’s hoping our next generation listens to me and my father!

  28. Kevin June 19, 2018 at 8:14 AM

    Worst mistake was pulling money out of 401k.

  29. khrist13 June 19, 2018 at 8:14 AM

    At the age of 19, I bought my first rental property. At the age of 20, I bought my second property while attending college and working full time. The demands of the properties were too much and my career was starting to flourish so these properties started to take a back burner. Because of my neglect, I had several tenants in a row that were so neglectful of the properties, that it wiped most of the profits for 2 or 3 years. Real estate can be a wondeful investment, but the time and money demands along with worrying about them every time you leave town, ended up being the reasons I stopped investing in real estate and focused on my career and stock investing.

  30. Justyne June 19, 2018 at 8:15 AM

    I am just learning to invest in the stock market. I have never had a mishap with any other investments but they have all been relatively safe mutual funds. I starting small and just trying it out.

  31. Stephanie L June 19, 2018 at 8:17 AM

    Buying a house with no money down and paying PMI for a couple years. Also, I didn’t research first time home buyers resources so I missed out on money there. Live & Learn!

  32. Judy June 19, 2018 at 8:38 AM

    Keeping my money in the 401K default account – couldn’t believe the fees being assessed. Thankfully, they have a Vanguard account that I finally realized I should be in instead.

  33. Molly June 19, 2018 at 8:39 AM

    Taking on student loan debt ($50K+) without doing any research of potential grants, scholarships, and other ways of funding tuition!

  34. April June 19, 2018 at 8:46 AM

    Worst financial mistake: I switched jobs a few times in my 20s and rolled each of my 401ks into a Rollover IRA. I thought I was doing great, following all the financial advice to roll over my 401ks and not forget about that money. Except I didn’t know I had the option to then invest that Rollover IRA! I let that money just sit there without growing for many years.

    1. J. Money June 19, 2018 at 3:02 PM

      ACK! At least you didn’t cash it out!

  35. Jill June 19, 2018 at 8:47 AM

    Bought Freddie Mac at the peak, not understanding what the GSE did, and lost it all.

  36. J.D. Freehill June 19, 2018 at 8:47 AM

    One of the worst investments I ever made was trying to day trade with some friends back when I was a 20 year old kid in the service. With none of us having any market experience, we were always “chasing” the market. I learned a $2,500 lesson on investing.

  37. Fritz Oettinger June 19, 2018 at 9:00 AM

    At 32 I have started numerous side hustles from cutting lawns, brew tour buses, consulting, and drop shipping. Each on and others no longer existing because I quit when the cash flow got tight and my corporate job was making money. While I value the experience of those ventures, the investment of time was wasted even though I made money from them because I did not stick it out through “The Dip” before they took off as a free standing business. In addition to these great books being offered today, anyone who wants to try something new should read “The Dip” by Seth Godin and remember the lessons contained as you move forward with your goal, business, or skill. Rough times will come and that is just when things are about to get good.

    1. J. Money June 19, 2018 at 3:03 PM

      Amen, brother!

  38. Geigh Jackson June 19, 2018 at 9:01 AM

    Not educating myself on my 403(b) plan. For almost ten years my money was invested in a target fund. I try not to think about how much stronger my portfolio would be had I invested in index funds instead. Higher return and lower fees. Finally took an investing course and immediately moved my money. “When you know better, you do better”!

  39. Spencer June 19, 2018 at 9:01 AM

    I’ll roll two semi related blunders into one. Being a dirt poor new grad and finally making real money about 9 years ago, I had little or no insight into what a 401K was nor that a 4% match by my company was free money I was continually leaving on the table (and a pretty generous one at that right after the financial downturn). When I finally did smarten up, I then spent a few years forking over fees to “financial advisors” for actively managed funds. A light finally went off when I walked in to do my 6 month evaluation and I had picked out all the funds I wanted to move my money into. She said “those all look great!”. To which I responded “So, what is it you say you do here?”. That turned into the start of me moving everything away from the bank’s managed funds and my self directed low-cost low maintenance ETF portfolio. My wife and I have also adopted this strategy and mindset together (while I geek over it way more than her) for early retirement. It makes it much easier when you’re working together as a team towards a common goal that you both share.

  40. Larry June 19, 2018 at 9:02 AM

    The worst financial mistake I ever made was giving up my full ride to a top 10 engineering program in the country because I didn’t think I wanted to do aerospace engineering my whole life. I failed to see the bigger picture at the ripe old age of 18 that with that degree I could have done anything (including what I do now). So that decision to switch schools and degrees cost me an additional $25,000 in loans and an extra year in school (lost income). It took that for me to get interested in personal finance, but it was an expensive lesson.

  41. Jennifer Brown June 19, 2018 at 9:10 AM

    Early in my marriage my husband called me at work and it took me a long time to return his call. When I did I found out that he had purchased a car with a credit card access check . So one of my worst financial mistakes was not promptly returning my husband’s call.

  42. Adekunle Betts June 19, 2018 at 9:13 AM

    Car insurance. I’m adding this extra sentence because wordpress wouldn’t let me submit just two words. :)

  43. Justin June 19, 2018 at 9:16 AM

    Worst financial mistake was not taking advantage of free rent right out of college and using that to pay off my student loans. Instead I made my minimum payments and blew my money on stuff I don’t even remember!

    1. J. Money June 19, 2018 at 3:06 PM

      Haha – you and the rest of us!

  44. Blaine June 19, 2018 at 9:17 AM

    Before I learned the value of passive index investing, I bought individual stocks at long positions. The worst mistake was letting my friend convince me that Netflix was coming to an end. I’d bought most of my shares under $20 per, so selling at $65+ felt pretty good. In hindsight, I was WAY too early. :)

  45. Erin June 19, 2018 at 9:20 AM

    Worst financial mistake was credit cards. They’ve since been paid off and IF they are ever used are paid off monthly now. Wasted a lot of money in interest.

  46. Owen @ June 19, 2018 at 9:20 AM

    Hahaha. I’ve shared this before, and I can laugh about it now, but at the time it made me want to vomit, like physically vomit, I felt sick for weeks.

    TL;DR. In 2008 I lost over 50% of my downpayment by investing in Blackberry! Ugh. Still makes me sick to think about it. I had over $30,000 that I saved from two years of working and I got impatient seeing it sit in a high-interest savings account earning low interest. I put all of it into Blackberry in Sept 2008 and quickly lost over $16,000 as the company and the market went into meltdown mode. It was 100% my mistake. Never have I felt so terrible.

    Thankfully I didn’t let that lesson go to waste. It kicked off my love of personal finance and investing and I can definitely say I’ve gained much more than what I lost.

    1. J. Money June 19, 2018 at 3:07 PM

      I hope you can use that story over and over again, and somehow it earns you back your $16,000! :)

      1. Owen @ June 20, 2018 at 11:09 AM

        The experience alone has “earned” me more than $16,000.

        It was an expensive lesson, one I hope no one has to experience, but it’s had a huge positive impact on my personal finances, so it wasn’t all bad news.

  47. Paul L June 19, 2018 at 9:30 AM

    When I was a young lieutenant in the Army, the Army brought in these financial advisors who were supposed to help us learn how to invest. Their approach seemed sound and made sense but honestly I had no idea so I trusted him. He sold me the whole package, life insurance to IRA which on the face of it was okay, however, the fund he recommended was a heavily front loaded fund with excessive fees and I lost a lot of starting momentum I could have generated at the early age of 24… 2 years later he brought me back in for a check up and talked me into whole life policy… I fired him a couple of years later when I got wise to better options…

  48. J.C. June 19, 2018 at 9:32 AM

    #1) Not taking advantage of my employer’s 401k match
    #2) Investing in notes through Lending Club

  49. FascinatedbyFI June 19, 2018 at 9:33 AM

    The worst financial mistake I’ve ever made was borrowing more money from student loans than I knew I needed only to spend it on stupid shit that had no value. Now, I am stuck with paying $95,000 in student loans back.

    “If I only knew then what I know now” – a wise man/woman

  50. Chris June 19, 2018 at 9:39 AM

    I haven’t begun investing yet.. which maybe is the worst mistake?? Nah, I think having a mortgage’s worth of student loans is probably the worst financial mistake. My lovely guidance counselor sold me on the idea that “the job [I] can obtain with this degree will pay off the loans so quickly, I’d forgot I ever took them out”.. So, leaving the office starry-eyed, I took out a truckload of loans… and then the job market tanked in my field (huge over-saturation of newbies) while I was in my last year.. and now, here I am! Still with a horde of loans.

    Do I regret the degree? Heck no. Do I regret not doing more homework on loans, the job market, and questioning the advice of someone who has no right giving financial advice to a rock? Heck yes.

  51. Albert June 19, 2018 at 9:41 AM

    The worst investment I ever made was Fitbit watches. When they first came out they looked promising , and the stock was reflecting the success, stock almost doubled at some point , but after that it was all downhill. Then Apple released the iWatch and it was basically game over , my biggest mistake was not selling when i had the profit on my side , and getting greedy holding out for bigger profit, and then my second mistake was not cutting my losses short, and selling before it continue to crumble. But, good thing is we learn from our mistakes, after that i stopped investing in individual stocks and focused on ETF automated investing such as Betterment and Acorns.

  52. Deb Hanson June 19, 2018 at 9:48 AM

    The worst investment I ever made was buying my very first stock (Cisco) right before a presidential election. I didn’t understand how much elections and politics impacted the markets – even back then! I bought high and it tanked immediately after the election. Nowadays, I invest with an ear to the political arena.

  53. Mr. SoS June 19, 2018 at 9:57 AM

    My worst investment was buying the stock of a Chinese company that produced parts for energy generating wind turbines. I found that the business was easy to understand. I reviewed their financial statements which showed the company growing. I looked at their management which was a combination of American and Chinese executives, which I liked. I listened to their earnings calls. Their forward-looking statements about the future growth of wind energy in China to help the growing need for energy for the country seemed like a ripe opportunity for investment.

    As months went by and the share price of the stock dropped further and further, I wondered where I went wrong. I looked deeper into the management. I found that although the CEO was an American and was well educated, he was also the CEO of half a dozen other Chinese companies. The company kept saying that their wind turbine part business would explode, but the only thing they managed to sell were some type of o-ring for a completely different industry. At one point, I found someone who visited their factory in China only to find no one working. I am not certain what became of the company. I finally cut my losses and sold my shares. I believe the company was really a front for something else and I am not sure how they got their stock listed on an American stock exchange.

    My advice is to make sure you truly understand how a company is making their money. Understand that foreign companies are not held to the same standards with their financial statements as US companies and could be fraudulent. Take a hard look at the management to determine as much as you are able that they are honest, have integrity, and the talent to run the company. Research not only the company, but their competitors to ensure that your desired company has a durable competitive advantage and cannot be easily removed as the industry leader. Lastly, only purchase when you have a margin of safety with the price and are not buying when the price is at an all-time high. Likewise, if the company is at an all-time low, find out why and only buy if you can see that they will be able to recover from whatever event put their stock price on sale within the next year or two.

    Had I followed this advice, I never would have purchased this company in the first place and would have saved my money for much more worthy investments.

    1. J. Money June 19, 2018 at 3:10 PM

      Wow – and you did a TON of research early on too, that’s pretty impressive! I’ve never looked at a financial statement or especially hop on earning calls haha… Which is exactly why I should never invest in an individual stock again too ;) #IndexFunds

  54. Mike June 19, 2018 at 9:58 AM

    Worst investment I ever made was taking my first $2k for my just started Roth IRA and investing it in one company that my father ‘swore’ was at a low and would bounce back up. That company was Lucent and it went bankrupt and I lost all of that $2k.

    If you’ve never invested before, what’s the worst financial mistake you’ve ever made? You mean besides the story above?? lol. I would say it was not putting money into my 401k right after college and missing out on the company match and the chance to start compounding my money early on!

  55. Ashley S June 19, 2018 at 9:58 AM

    I invested in a direct marketing business. I started off great but after the first year, it just ended up costing me more and more. I won’t make that mistake again!

  56. Elise Daniel June 19, 2018 at 10:03 AM

    The worst investment I ever made was in a franchise called It’s Just Lunch which is a dating service. I can’t believe it even still exists but it sure does. The founder had quite a scheme going selling franchises to people, then forcing them into bankruptcy and taking them back. I luckily avoided bankruptcy but did lose all of my retirement and more. I have spent the last 10 years rebuilding my life and am starting to invest now. Needless to say, I am way behind on retirement savings and have to make some dramatic lifestyle changes to get where I want and need to be.

    1. J. Money June 19, 2018 at 3:11 PM

      OUCH!!! That sounds all kinds of nasty!

  57. Nick Riedel June 19, 2018 at 10:11 AM

    My worst financial mistake and something I’m still paying for is buying a used Mercedes diesel, sight unseen, from California with no warranty. Was always my dream To own one and I fell in love with the 2011 E350 body style. Needless to say my parents warned me and I didn’t listen. I am still paying for my blunder 3 years later but an almost into the clear. The amount of repairs I had to do to the vehicle set me back over 10k. Needless to say, I learned the hard way that cars are nothing but money pits and that a warranty is a good thing to have. Ended up getting my old truck back and with no monthly payment I am almost in the clear.

  58. Sam June 19, 2018 at 10:19 AM

    I took an interest in personal finance at a pretty young age, but I only got into investing recently (I’m 23). I have not yet made any terrible mistakes while investing thankfully, probably because I am invested in a target date fund that does most of the risk calculation and aversion for me. However, I definitely made quite a few financial mistakes in college. The biggest one was not passing organic chemistry…. three times. I paid triple tuition for that class on the second two attempts and didn’t even end up needing that class for my degree. Whoops.

    1. J. Money June 19, 2018 at 3:13 PM


  59. Leslie Storms June 19, 2018 at 10:27 AM

    I have been passive aggressively following this blog & J & family for at least 3 years, and I am not sure what the problem is I have watched from the side lines as he grew his family’s wealth and wondered why can’t I get my fiances back on track)…… So I have a couple of financial mistakes to admit to 1) not following the advice given for free from this blog!! 2) Purchasing two homes & then quitting my day time job to become a landlord while in the midst of a renovation. 3) Using my 401k (because I left the job and when it came time to disperse the funds I took them to live off of instead of reinvesting… DUHHHH at least invest half no i took the whole enchilada (90,000.00) & sunk it into two homes & frivolous nothings..and then had to pay the taxes on that XXXX so needless to say I hope to post more comments as I start to do my research more cleverly & rebuild my stacks with & for two toddlers in tow!!!

    1. J. Money June 19, 2018 at 3:14 PM

      Yikes!! At least you’re still here reading $$$ blogs even if you’re hiding over there ;) Glad we got you to come out today!

  60. Britt June 19, 2018 at 10:41 AM

    It wasn’t the investing in a whole life insurance policy, it wasn’t holding on to the whole life policy way longer than I should have, it wasn’t even the front loading funding of the whole life policy – it was listening to others instead of myself and my own research and not making myself heard.

  61. Alex Lantsman June 19, 2018 at 10:42 AM

    I invested $30k in a company XYBR, they were making/promoting a ‘wearable computer’. This was before the smart phone was introduced. Turned out that the were fudging all their #s to make the company seem profitable. When this came out, in a matter of a few short days I lost all the money I invested. After they got sued, lost and liquidated, approximately 10 years later I received a check for $400. yupppp!

  62. Rob June 19, 2018 at 10:44 AM

    Too many to list out. Most recently lost a bundle on Valeant in 2017 but made up for it on Virgin Atlantic. This is all in my play money/gambling account.

  63. Carolyn June 19, 2018 at 10:51 AM

    When I left one of my jobs, I rolled my 401k over into a Schwab IRA but I never invested the money in mutual funds. I kept it all in cash because I was afraid to make a mistake. Of course, I made the biggest mistake by leaving the money in cash for 10 YEARS!! I cringe to think about how much money I could have made over that time. The only upside is that I didn’t lose anything when the market crashed in 2008.

  64. Stevo June 19, 2018 at 10:51 AM

    Opening a Macy’s credit card to save like 10% on a $35 leather wallet.

    And then forgetting to pay the first month’s bill…

    Immediately ended up paying more than I would’ve saved! Luckily it was a cheap lesson learned. Probably protected me from future disasters, and at least I still have the wallet 6 years later :p

    1. J. Money June 19, 2018 at 3:15 PM

      That is good you still use the wallet, haha…

  65. Richard Pettit June 19, 2018 at 10:53 AM

    Two bad mistakes. One – Neglecting my 401k and having my investments go to a money market account with near zero growth. The worst part is my employer contributes 10% to my account regardless of what I put in. I could have two or three times as much in the account had I been actively involved. Two – Over stretching to buy a house using creative financing that involved interest only payments. It was a great thing right up to 2008!

  66. Kristopher lee June 19, 2018 at 10:55 AM

    My worst investment mistake was not buying company stock at my job. I work at a home improvement store and back in 07-08, the construction market was way down. This caused the company where I worked stocks to plummet. Back then, the stock was down to $19 a share. The price per share just crossed $200 the other day.

  67. Amber Rodgers June 19, 2018 at 11:14 AM

    My worst mistake was failing classes for varies reasons while having student loans. Had to retake a few meaning more student loans. My student loans could be a few thousand less if I hadn’t :(

  68. Rahul June 19, 2018 at 11:17 AM

    My worst investment or financial decision was to loan my family hell lot of money around 200k to sustain their business and then take all the stress , anxiety which comes along with dealing with family.

    I got the money back not in cash but in property share so my liquidity is stuck and have lost 6 years of opportunity cost in a bull market :(

    Dont think I can ever recover that potential growth on money.

    1. J. Money June 19, 2018 at 3:16 PM

      I’m sorry to hear that :(

  69. Chris June 19, 2018 at 11:20 AM

    When I first started investing after college, I did a lot of chasing stocks in companies I had never heard of. Dreams of riches and all, not that I was working with enough money to actually be rich. I learned a lot, and luckily didn’t loose to much in the end.

  70. Kelly June 19, 2018 at 11:26 AM

    I’ve never invested personally…. I keep meaning to start…gets pushed off…. & I have a had time budgeting monthly as is……
    Pulling money from a Roth RA to pay off cc debt..only to go back into debt 4 years later for a fabulous Disney vacation.. I DO regret the debt but not the vacation…. if that makes sense… we had MOST if the vacation paid before we went..the hotel.. most of the extravagant dinners…but other things once we got blown to bits… & I REFUSE to dip into retirement fund again… but now medical bills as well… it just never ends does it…..

  71. Ellie Falls June 19, 2018 at 11:31 AM

    I bought big lots stock during the recession as speculation. I freaked out and sold right before it went up. I was right, but couldn’t trust myself and lost money.

  72. Bob June 19, 2018 at 11:56 AM

    I wasted money on Prepaid Legal

  73. Bonnie B June 19, 2018 at 12:11 PM

    My most foolish financial mistake was buying a piece of land as an investment. The purchase itself wasn’t the mistake, but putting the down payment on a credit card and taking out a 3 year interest only mortgage was the mistake. Did I mention I did this in 2004? When I failed to flip the property before the loan ballooned at the end of 2007, I had to refinance to a P&I mortgage at three times what I had been paying. I finally sold the lot at a loss in 2013, grateful to close the book on that massive stupid mistake.

    The next time I invest in real estate I’ll do it much differently!

  74. Erin June 19, 2018 at 12:36 PM

    Removing money from 401K! Not a good look.

  75. Katherine R. Axt June 19, 2018 at 12:40 PM

    Worst financial/investment decision I ever made was not investing more for such a long time! I had thousands of $$ just sitting in a savings account for 5 years before I finally came to my senses and put that money to work for me!

  76. Bodio June 19, 2018 at 12:46 PM

    NOT investing in the market at all for most of my life and letting the savings simply sit in the bank-account. That’s the worst mistake I’ve made, and working hard to not do so ever again.

  77. O June 19, 2018 at 12:48 PM

    This one’s easy! Well, I haven’t been investing for long at all – just messing around on Robinhood for not quite two years now. In my first few months things went okay, I made some decent trades. Literally just guessing and testing to learn what works and what doesn’t. Well, I invested in a biotechnology sequencing company that I have a personal interest in as a scientist, and I know they’re doing some revolutionary stuff from a science and development and methods perspective. All that is great, except turns out the market doesn’t like them as a company… which is something I know nothing about. I bought them at $13-14 dollars or so, then they suddenly dropped to $9… and I made the dumb mistake of buying MORE in the hopes that it might go back up.
    Spoiler alert: it didn’t. It’s been between $2-4 for over a year now. I think I managed to sell those shares off on a peak, so closer to $4, but I definitely wanted to be rid of them ASAP after that embarrassment. Damn business people and their money priorities :P
    So… Oops! Good thing that in the grand scheme of investment things, I spent very little – both in quantity and relative to the total (small) amount of money I was playing with.

    1. J. Money June 19, 2018 at 3:19 PM

      yeah, and maybe you’ll win a few books cuz of it – hah!

  78. Jeff S June 19, 2018 at 12:56 PM

    Using credit cards to pay for stupid stuff I didn’t really need with money I didn’t have. I thought I would just pay it back next month. Stupidist thinking ever!!! It took me several years to get out of that cycle and cost me thousands of dollars in interest charges. I would kill to have all that interest money back and have it sitting in investments and making me money. At least my kids have learned from my mistake.

  79. Danny June 19, 2018 at 12:58 PM

    My worst investment mistake was being too conservative too early, especially after the great recession. It wasn’t until finding this community that I found out the power of index investing :)

    1. J. Money June 19, 2018 at 3:19 PM

      It took me way too long too – and I’m *IN* this industry! :)

  80. Spartan44duck June 19, 2018 at 1:00 PM

    I believe in being invested with my employer. About 2 years ago I switched jobs and decided to sell all my investment ‘old’ company and invest it in ‘new’ company. Within a month ‘new’ company prices dropped by 30% and ‘old’ company was absorbed in a merger with a new stock price 400%+ than what I sold for. I still believe in being invested with my employer but will make sure not to steal funds from other funds to do it

  81. Liz June 19, 2018 at 1:14 PM

    Biggest mistake: not aggressively paying on student loans during residency (or even minimally during school!).. cheers to adding another “year of school”s worth of interest onto the total balance.

  82. Matt H June 19, 2018 at 1:36 PM

    My worse investment would have to be VLCM. I was a young surfer kid and thought they were the coolest brand. All my friends wore their clothes and so did I. I didn’t know how to research stocks so I just keep buying all the way up to the peak. I basically did the exact opposite of what you’re supposed to do while investing. I kept VLCM as it fell over $30 a share while selling my good investments.

  83. Cindy June 19, 2018 at 1:38 PM

    Dear J. Money,
    My worst financial mistake was going back to get a Master’s Degree when I was struggling financially. I was a single Mom, with 4 kids at home after I got divorced. Ex-husband was making GOOD money when he walked out, but he waited until he was unemployed before he filed. Therefor, my child support was minimal. We went from doing ok, to food stamps, really quickly. BUT, I knew how to fix this! I’m a smart girl (cough, cough). I borrowed money to get a Master’s and about 90% of the way through the damn thing, my employer said, O! SORRY! wrong Master’s! So, now I have 75000 in debt and it didn’t change my income AT ALL! useless damned thing. Where was Dave Ramsey 30 years ago when I needed him? (oh, yeah, the internet wasn’t born yet). The things I know at 60 that I wish I had known at 30 make me grind my teeth.

    1. J. Money June 19, 2018 at 3:22 PM

      Dang!!! Lots of bad news wrapped up in that one!

  84. Kelly Sar June 19, 2018 at 1:46 PM

    Worst financial mistake I ever made: During college, signing a lease 12 months in advance for an apartment with roommates who turned out to be terrible and having to move out 4 months early and enter into a new monthly lease in order to not lose complete sanity.

  85. Mark June 19, 2018 at 2:37 PM

    My worst investment move was to cash out my retirement fund from my Company when I changed jobs and not roll it over. I paid penalties on that made the move even more stupid. I needed money to move from California to Washington. I had other ways to borrow that money with far less cost.

  86. Winnie June 19, 2018 at 2:46 PM

    My worst financial mistake had to be loaning money to my then-boyfriend to help him stay in college. It was a decision I made out of love at the time, but it spiraled into $14K that I never saw a dime of and finally wrote off as a gift. It took me a few years, but I finally got to a place where I no longer harbor resentment towards him or myself. I realize now that was a lifetime commitment move, not a college sweethearts on the rocks move, but at least it left me generous enough to have my husband’s back when he needs me (I met my husband when I finally opened my heart to forgiveness). I am fortunate to still be in good financial shape despite that mistake in my late teens / early twenties.

    1. J. Money June 19, 2018 at 3:23 PM

      And it’s always better to make mistakes out of *love* vs hate or greed or any other vice out there :)

  87. Lynn Telford June 19, 2018 at 3:34 PM

    Co-signing a truck with my now EX-boyfriend!!! I don’t think I can remember any other time that my Dad had called me so many names or tell me how disappointed he was in me that I had co-signed the loan!

  88. Miriam June 19, 2018 at 3:55 PM

    My worst financial mistake was not investing earlier. I wish I’d started back in my early twenties, but it wasn’t on my radar, and when I heard about putting away money for retirement my thought was, “why would you even do that?” Now I wonder what I was thinking. I’m 34 and just starting to invest now… but better now than 44, right?

  89. Renea June 19, 2018 at 4:05 PM

    My worst investment? I haven’t truly invested any money (outside of my 401k), but I did let my emergency fund sit in a regular schmegular checking account for almost 5 years before I wised up and learned about money markets/ high interest savings accounts. I felt like such a fool.

  90. QueerFI June 19, 2018 at 4:17 PM

    My worst mistake was paying a fee, for a service I didn’t use, for 15 months. I didn’t have anything attach to the account and the emails were going to an old account. I didn’t think there was anything to worry about. Alas, I checked the account in May and boom I lost 150$. I closed the acct and promised myself I’d never let it happen again.

  91. Kris June 19, 2018 at 4:39 PM

    A horse. I probably could have bought a house instead with all the money I spent on board/lessons/competitions…..

  92. Sam June 19, 2018 at 4:45 PM

    Worst financial mistake? Simple really. Not educating myself early enough to increase the impact of my decisions. Saving, investing, taking risks, all easier without a family to support. Now it’s still possible, just harder and I’m even more keen to not let opportunities pass me by!

  93. Sam June 19, 2018 at 4:50 PM

    Worst financial mistake? Not starting early enough. Investing, saving, taking risks, all much easier when you are younger. Now I have a family to support its harder- not impossible. Just have to be more creative with time and steady with the lessons. P.S. This list is probably some of the most recommended books to me on finance. Will read them all in the next year or so, regardless of whether I win!

  94. Beth June 19, 2018 at 4:53 PM

    Not saving more of a settlement I got from volkswagen…… what a waste. It went to debt though.

  95. Beth June 19, 2018 at 4:54 PM

    Buying a car that I couldn’t afford…. I should have saved more money.

  96. J. Money June 19, 2018 at 5:01 PM

    ***Giveaway now over! Winner will be announced tomorrow morning!***

  97. Andrew June 19, 2018 at 5:26 PM

    My worst investment ever made was putting a little over a grand in a penny stock in college. Doubled the first hour and lost 99.9% of that investment in the next two days….live and learn…live and learn

  98. Rachel Rich June 19, 2018 at 7:33 PM

    What was the worst investment you ever made? If you’ve never invested before, what’s the worst financial mistake you’ve ever made?

    Can’t say I’ve made any bad investments. Although my fiance has allowed a management team to invest her 401(k) for her, and the fact that she pays so much in fees and doesn’t see that great of a return makes my eye twitch. I consider that a bad investment on my part…

  99. Sara June 19, 2018 at 7:41 PM

    I invested in my marriage to the wrong man. Every penny went out the window, and he didn’t flinch at carrying a mortgage, a car payment, and CC debt around $20K. No student loans, thankfully, because “school is dumb”. His mom called me before we got married to warn me that that’s just how her sweet son lives his life.

    Thank goodness for second chances!

  100. Jodi Renaud June 19, 2018 at 8:17 PM

    It was the year 2000 and my husband had just died. His friend was a financial advisor so I went to him. I put a lot of money in the stock market…well..i don’t really remember how much I or in I just remember I lost about $4,000 shortly after. I also completely paid off my condo which he told me not to do because he said I could make more in investments instead of pay off the house. Funny thing is…right now that is true with stocks going through the roof I wish I had not paid off the house and kept more for investing. But since none of the banks will give me a home equity loan now because I only work part time and I just changed jobs….oy.

    1. J. Money June 21, 2018 at 7:21 AM

      At least you live in a PAID OFF HOUSE!! That’s huge! :)

  101. Kyris June 19, 2018 at 8:18 PM

    Easy one! When we were investor newbies and trying to set up our Solo 401K for our business, we ended up using a commission based financial planner. BIG MISTAKE #1. They encouraged us to put our 401K in Oppenheimer (BIG MISTAKE #2) which we found out shortly was one of the most expensive routes we could have taken. (We did move the 401K to Vanguard eventually.) They also sold us on a REIT, (BIG MISTAKE #3). The REIT in itself wouldn’t have been such a bad choice except we bought in at the top of the real estate market – right before the crash – and ended up losing a ton. Lessons learned and we’re about 18 months from a fully funded retirement now. Ages 50 and 56 respectively.

  102. Kelli June 19, 2018 at 10:21 PM

    We’ve been funding my husbands Roth IRA for the last 4 years but kept the money sitting, uninvested, until the last couple of months. I just had no idea what I was doing, so it sat. I am disappointed we missed out on last year’s awesome growth, but glad it’s at least funded now and working for us.

  103. jenny benny June 19, 2018 at 11:19 PM

    the worst thing i did was buy freddie mac stock right before the collapse at the suggestion of a family member. That $3000 is still worth nothing today.

  104. andrius June 21, 2018 at 2:25 AM

    The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by John C. Bogle
    my last read book.
    (now reading russian book : “Nikolai Starikov Crisis: How is it done”)
    my investing books which i read often are USA or Germany written.
    What can i comment about C. Bogle book? This book is just about one simple think at all:
    invest to index fund for low cost and historical about 10% profit= 4% dividends + 6% index growth. I do not like that kind of books, but i get this book from wife on Fathers day so i read it.
    In book agitate buy Vanguard index fund :) It is not bad fund, but it is more