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Ask HN: What was your worst $1000 investment?
13 points by awiesenhofer 10 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 25 comments
Similar to r0rbits thread, and inspired by SmellTheGlove. Let us learn from past mistakes and ask: What was your worst investment?





A few years ago decided I want to be part time photographer. Bought bunch of gear mostly to look the part, then I realized I didn’t enjoy taking photos for clients or especially at events. Sold everything a year later, lost about $1,000. Though don’t regret it as I got some decent photos and some interesting experiences from it.

Wedding ring. I could have spent $10k on it and the marriage still would have failed.

Fun fact: Spending more on engagement rings, the wedding itself, or a honeymoney is correlated with higher rates of divorce[1].

[1]: https://www.shape.com/blogs/sex-and-love/study-shows-engagem...


I think this would also apply to most investments - if it costs much higher than the average, it's likely to be bad.

That's more of a sad fact, depending on the person I guess.

I made some "fun" investments during college: CHS Electronics[1], and Met@box[2]. In CHS Electronics I was actually up 100% at some point and entered a sell order, but changed my mind and cancelled it. Hours later the stock tanked and ultimately became worthless.

With Met@box, I was actually 99% sure that it was a scam, but I thought I could "ride the wave" and sell before it would collapse. Valuable lessons were learned.

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CHS_Electronics

[2]: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metabox


OK, I bit on the best investment thread. Now time to throw myself under the bus. I challenge you to top this:

The summer between high school and college (or somewhere around that time), I put most of my savings from my part time job into WCOM @ $25. I'm probably a little older than the median HN demo, so I'll just leave this here for you.[1]

The good news is, I never did have to pay a commission to sell that stock. Obviously, I didn't have a lot of money, but it was probably about $1000 that I invested and promptly lost.

[1]: http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/dailypix/2002/Jun/30/world...


About $6000 into a "MVP" for starting my own cafe.

I later found out that most people who start restaurants lose money. You'd make something like $100k sales and $101k costs a month. The game is in trying to change sales or costs by 5% or so.

A lot of restaurants don't shut down for this reason. They're all really close to being rich and they all invest so much into it that it's worth trying out another year.

That's why they're not killed by the free market. There's a lot more out there than there should be.


I invested $1500 in my wife's company stock pre IPO and after multiple dilutions and company failure, it is worth $5 today.

Lesson: don't invest in things you don't know.


My first MVP. Blew through about 1.5 to 2k on it and had zero sales. Most of the yhings I bought were unecessary at the time, such as a 5 year hosting plan. Year by year would've been fine and I would have had extra money.

An LSAT prep class. My test scores stayed the same.

Altcoins, if I left it in btc I would have 5x more, now Im about even in dollars :)

Anytime I put more than $1,000 into repairs on a used car, I regretted it.

Why?

I have a used car. if I put $1,000 into repairs for it and get 12 months out of it. I win.

Can I lease or buy an equivalent car for $1000/yr, $83 a month? Usually not.

If I could, how much would the value deprecate in a year? More than $1,000? Most likely

$1,000 into a used car can be the wisest thing. I pretty much drive my cars till I hit 250,000 miles. It takes another $4k to usually go from 200k-250k usually because timing belt, valve cover and expensive routine maintenance comes up. But $4k to drive 50k miles? Totally worth it.


Why? Because when a used car needs $1000 in repairs, it may need another $1000 very soon. You don't necessarily get a year after the first $1000.

So you have to try to figure out, is this car still solid except for the thing that needs $1000 to fix, or is it starting to fall off a metaphorical cliff? And you never know. But sometimes the car feels less and less solid, and you can tell that it's time to get out.

Is that time the first $1000 repair? Not necessarily. (I've spent $1000 on the 100,000 mile maintenance on a Honda Odyssey twice, and not regretted it. I've also spent closer to $3000 on an unexpected transmission rebuild, and I haven't regretted it... so far.) But it's not a completely stupid rule of thumb that, if most repairs are $200 or $500, the first $1000 repair is a time to at least seriously re-evaluate the vehicle.


I dunno, I'm no car expert, but both times I've put $1,000 into a used car in my life, it ended up being worth about that much or less, even after the repair. Now it just feels like too much to me.

It's a known fact that a car's value always depreciates. You can't expect a car to be worth the repair you put on it.

Agreed. I bought an old volvo for $2000 about 7 years ago. I'd say I average about $1000 in repairs every year. I'd call that a great investment.

Volvos are solid cars.

Thats why I learned how to work on my own cars

College textbooks.

Mutual Funds (the greatest scam ever) - why back when I was young and stupid :-)

Wait what? How so? You really need to provide a story.

GE stock.

Depends on your timing. In late 2008 or early 2009, I saw GE below $7/share, and I knew it was an insanely low number, but I didn't have any spare cash, and I didn't have the guts to borrow money to buy it.

In retrospect, I should have put some of my IRA money into it - not a lot, maybe a few percent.




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