Never Ever Ever Claim to be “Perfect”


By Carlos Portocarrero

Today I want to highlight a post I wrote earlier in the year that, in retrospect, was just plain crazy. It was titled My 401(k) Rollover was Perfect. If you’re lazy, I’ll spare you: it was about how “perfect” my 401(k) rollover went when I went from my last job to my current job. Why did I think it was so perfect? I gloated that, while the S&P was “down 4%” I was “up 8%” because of the time I had been out of the market rolling over my 401(k). Essentially, I was taking credit for all the paperwork and bureaucracy involved in switching providers.

Real smart. Shall we go to the chart?

You see that red dot WAY at the top? That’s where I patted myself on the back. Appropriately enough though, here is the image I used for that congratulatory post:

Which is appropriate because my statement now reads something to the effect of -42%. Awesome! Was this the karma gods frowning upon my gloating or is this the market gods going through a little temper tantrum?

I don’t care, all I know is that I’m not retiring for a VERY long time. So screw you market gods! As for the karma gods…I shall sacrifice a cow in your honor tonight (I’ll get it with mushrooms and swiss cheese on a sesame-seed bun). Hopefully that will make up for my stupid, stupid, stupid decision to call myself “perfect.”

Other things I said in that post that were ridiculous? How about this doozy: I accidentally timed the market to perfection.”

Ouch! How stupid was that one? At least I sort of made up for it with this jewel: The lesson to learn here is an old one but good one: you can’t time the market.”

So if I wrote something that stupid relatively recently, how can anyone trust anything else that’s on this site? That’s part of the fun! If you can find the other 17 instances of stupidity, email them to me, and then send me a cooler picture than the one of a yellow SUV doing a cartwheel, you get a prize.


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