MONEY: Ignore the 5% “rule” at your own financial peril

http://tinyurl.com/q2c7fp

Tales From Lehman’s Crypt
By LOUISE STORY and LANDON THOMAS Jr.
Published: September 12, 2009

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“I spent a long time being very angry,” says Mr. Schaefer, the former Lehman executive turned gas station owner. “Angry for working so hard and doing so much. More importantly, for my family and all the time I was away traveling — the time I put in away from them. Now all that money I earned, the money paid in stock, is gone. I can’t go back and remake it.”

*** and ***

When Lehman closed its origination business, Mr. Linton lost his job. Rich and single, he has pursued a life of leisure since then — sailing in his 37-foot boat, playing jazz trombone and, at the moment, taking a week to learn how to fly Russian fighter jets and gliders in New Mexico. He briefly considered attending culinary school.

Although Lehman laid him off in early 2008, his departure turned out to be a boon for Mr. Linton. Being forced out convinced him to bet against the firm’s stock as a counterweight against the Lehman shares he still owned, which protected him when the stock’s value plummeted. Combined with a well-timed sale of his Manhattan apartment and a stream of income from real estate investments, the moves gave him financial padding that frees him from job worries.

“I have been fortunate to have some nice toys,” he says. “And they are all paid up. It’s a nice situation to be in.”

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I don’t understand a lot of things.

I didn’t understand how smart people, with dependents, working on Wall Street, don’t have life insurance. 91101 exposed they didn’t.

I don’t understand how these ex-Lehman people, who worked on the Street, have all their portfolios so heavily weighted with Lehman. Guess they never heard of options or derivatives.

I don’t understand a lot of things. Wall Street’s “rules of thumb” have been time-tested. Ignore them at your own peril.

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2 Responses to MONEY: Ignore the 5% “rule” at your own financial peril

  1. Khürt says:

    “I don’t understand how these ex-Lehman people, who worked on the Street, have all their portfolios so heavily weighted with Lehman”.

    Most likely the same reason every buys into the market when stocks are going up and sells when they are going down. Whatever happened to buy low, sell high?

    • reinkefj says:

      One reason is, I believe, like many Wall Street firms, bonus are paid in restricted stock. You have to hold it for a period of time. That “locks” them in. That being said, I believe the could have optioned themselves some protection from a complete collapse.

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