Obviously I did not stay an indexer.
So I was let go from the big bank in 2009. They had billions of dollars in losses, and they got some of it from me and a few thousand other employees.
I was making 401(k) contributions until the end. I also contributed to my IRA and my taxable account. I did not start dividend investing for another year. I wound up making back some of the money I lost when stocks hit their low in March 2009. More because I was lucky than because I was good. Mostly because I misunderstood the 60-day rule. (Reminder: This site has a disclaimer.)
I thought the 60-day rule meant that I only had 60 days after leaving my job to roll over my 401(k) to a traditional IRA. If I did not do it by then, I would have to wait until retirement age.
You can do a direct rollover or an indirect rollover. In a direct rollover, you open an IRA account, and then your 401(k) provider sends the funds to your IRA account. In an indirect rollover, your 401(k) provider writes a check to you. From that point, you have 60 days to put it in an IRA account. If you do not do it within 60 days, you have to pay taxes and penalties. So I put my 401(k) money into a traditional IRA.
During this time I was doing more reading as well. The indexes were not doing too well. I wondered if there was an alternative to indexes. But active investing was a bad idea. What to do?