How did you overcome your fear of investing?

Have a question about your personal investments? No matter how simple or complex, you can ask it here.
Post Reply
Topic Author
Soberterrain
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:13 am

How did you overcome your fear of investing?

Post by Soberterrain » Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:46 am

I am new to this site, and I would like some reassurance.

I am middle-aged, and a decent saver, earner, and retirement investor. I max out tax-advantaged accounts, and invest in an age-appropriate mix of stock and bond index funds. Objectively, I have an 80% solution.

Yet reviewing my portfolio and thinking about investing, fills me with uncharacteristic dread. This fear stems from my father’s imprudent, impulsive investments bankrupting my family when I was 10. I know I am not my father, and that I will not make the same mistakes.

My fears are neither rational nor even complex. They amount to no more than short unfinished sentences like “I’m worried I’ll lose money and...” They rarely even get that far. They’re usually just a tightness in my chest when I go to click the Bogle Heads bookmark, but then click on a tech news site instead.

Have you also felt this paralysis? Did you have to breathe deeply just to finish your first post here? More than advice, I think I just need to hear that others have felt similarly afraid but somehow overcame.

Thank you.

User avatar
prudent
Moderator
Posts: 6744
Joined: Fri May 20, 2011 2:50 pm

Re: How did you overcome your fear of investing?

Post by prudent » Fri Jun 21, 2019 6:57 am

Welcome!

We grew up poor and the fear of losing on an investment was a big thing when I started out. What reassured me was learning more, and understanding that while there is risk, a thoughtful, time-tested strategy was very, very likely to succeed over time. And also tuning out the noise of the financial commentators was a plus.

PTGuy1
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:01 am

Re: How did you overcome your fear of investing?

Post by PTGuy1 » Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:11 am

To me it always seemed like almost as much risk not to invest. Learning about solid/wise investing is important. Educating myself about investing, and thinking about my life, goals, etc in general and how investing assists that, has been rewarding. Best of luck to you.

racy
Posts: 227
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:38 am
Location: Nebraska

Re: How did you overcome your fear of investing?

Post by racy » Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:23 am

You say you've already got an age appropriate mix of stocks and bonds. So, maybe you just need to take Jack's advice:
"John C. “Jack” Bogle's advice for defined contribution plan participants is not to open their account statements until right before they retire and ignore the market."
https://www.pionline.com/article/201406 ... retirement

User avatar
Wiggums
Posts: 1374
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:02 am

Re: How did you overcome your fear of investing?

Post by Wiggums » Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:27 am

Welcome to the forum.

For me, I don’t watch shows that talk about the market. I know that my AA and index funds will provide market returns. I focus on my family and not do much time on the portfolio. I buy and hold the three fund portfolio.

Good luck to you...
Last edited by Wiggums on Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 8305
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: Hawaii No Ka Oi , N. Arizona

Re: How did you overcome your fear of investing?

Post by Sandtrap » Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:31 am

Soberterrain wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:46 am
I am new to this site, and I would like some reassurance.
2
I am middle-aged, and a decent saver, earner, and retirement investor. I max out tax-advantaged accounts, and invest in an age-appropriate mix of stock and bond index funds. Objectively, I have an 80% solution.

1,3
Yet reviewing my portfolio and thinking about investing, fills me with uncharacteristic dread. This fear stems from my father’s imprudent, impulsive investments bankrupting my family when I was 10. I know I am not my father, and that I will not make the same mistakes.

My fears are neither rational nor even complex. They amount to no more than short unfinished sentences like “I’m worried I’ll lose money and...” They rarely even get that far. They’re usually just a tightness in my chest when I go to click the Bogle Heads bookmark, but then click on a tech news site instead.
4
Have you also felt this paralysis? Did you have to breathe deeply just to finish your first post here? More than advice, I think I just need to hear that others have felt similarly afraid but somehow overcame.

Thank you.
Though somewhat lacking an "actionable question", I'm going to share some thoughts that may be helpful to you:

Our family grew up dirt poor on a farm. But with ambitious parents who stumbled (a bit as your parents did) but strived, things improved. (Not as much as the TV Show "Beverly Hillbillies" but significant).
1
The source of fear is lack of trust.

And, the sources of distrust are; unfamiliarity, lack of knowledge, lack of successful example and mentorship (intellectual and academic understanding are not enough).

2. The actionable solution is to "compartmentalize".
a.) Fear and emotion comes from the past, like haunting smoke. See it. Okay. There it is. Been there.
b.)Then. Logic. I have an 80% solution that is working great all by itself and will provide for my needs whether the "past haunts me or not". I am not my father. (Luke? Just a touch of humor)
c.) The forum focuses on what can be put on a spreadsheet, what is "actionable" and substantive. And, so, immerse yourself a bit into it. It does not have to motivate you to any action at all. But, for now, is education, familiarity, and confidence building when you realize that there are a zillion others here in the same boat with the same paddles.

3
It sounds like you have an "80% solution" that sounds like a good foundation even as it is. There are no "perfect strategies" here. Only the ones that work the best long term for each person.
Actionably: when you "feel" up to it. Post a "portfolio review". Likely it will only confirm that you have a sound financial strategy already. And, there will be suggestions if you want to make it even better or tweak it.
Asking Portfolio Questions
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewt ... =1&t=6212

Let's focus on things that "can" be done.

4
Without being too presumptuous, we have all been there, including myself (likely in huge amounts due to my skittish nature). :shock:

Okay. Now.
In order to keep your post "alive".

***Do you have an actionable, substantive question, per forum guidelines that you can enter at the bottom of your post?

***Suggest you add that in at the end of your post, you can edit it with the pencil icon upper right.

j
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know

finite_difference
Posts: 1431
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:00 pm

Re: How did you overcome your fear of investing?

Post by finite_difference » Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:51 am

I think you have to have faith in people and their talents to be a successful investor.

Not blind faith.

Look around you. There are smart and hardworking people everywhere. We are surrounded by technological marvels, many of which we take for granted and don’t even know how they really work. Think about the progress in terms of science, quality of life, and knowledge that has been made since you were a child.

But, is the world perfect? Are there still things that need to be improved? If so, don't give up on all those smart and hardworking people.

There’s a great quote from an investor, who describes observing the complex movements of the city beneath him from his skyscraper apartment. “See all those hardworking people? By owning an index fund I am investing in and benefiting from all of their hard work.” (Paraphrasing.)
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh

BarbBrooklyn
Posts: 390
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:33 am
Location: NYC

Re: How did you overcome your fear of investing?

Post by BarbBrooklyn » Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:52 am

Without getting all therapeutic, I think your issue that you've got "investing" and your feelings about your dad all tangled up.

What your dad was doing was not investing. He was chasing a unicorn of a get rich quick scheme. I somehow doubt he was " invested" in mutual funds. What he was doing was gambling the rent money.

I think you'd be wise to set your portfolio and forget it until you are within a few years of retirement. Don't listen to anyone telling you about "trends".
BarbBrooklyn | "The enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."

User avatar
bertilak
Posts: 6742
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:23 pm
Location: East of the Pecos, West of the Mississippi

Re: How did you overcome your fear of investing?

Post by bertilak » Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:59 am

Back in the '80s I realized I was neglecting my future. I had the opposite fear of yours -- I was in fear of NOT investing!

So maybe your "cure" is to contemplate what happens if you DON'T invest.

P.S. 30-some years later I'm doing fine.
Last edited by bertilak on Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your gizzard. -- Squire Omar Barker, the Cowboy Poet

User avatar
Tycoon
Posts: 1500
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:06 pm

Re: How did you overcome your fear of investing?

Post by Tycoon » Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:00 am

My father twisted my arm.
Emotionless, prognostication free investing. Ignoring the noise and economists since 1979. I see the world as it is; not how I wish it to be.

Jack FFR1846
Posts: 9926
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am

Re: How did you overcome your fear of investing?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:04 am

Invest in broad based, low cost mutual funds and then act like the 2nd most successful group of people observed by Fidelity in their 401k plans. Those people forgot they even had an account.

You might ask me: "Hey Jack....why wouldn't I want to be in the most successful group according to Fidelity?". Well, the most successful investors were......dead.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

jojay
Posts: 123
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:09 am

Re: How did you overcome your fear of investing?

Post by jojay » Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:18 am

I haven't.

In truth, getting educated is the key. If you understand how the game is played, learn the rules and stay clam, it is a much easier process.

User avatar
greg24
Posts: 3628
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:34 am

Re: How did you overcome your fear of investing?

Post by greg24 » Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:45 am

The best way to overcome your fear is to actually invest.

Create a Vanguard account and set up a monthly automatic investment. If you are nervous, pick a small amount. $100 a month.

Start investing that $100 a month in a boring, low-cost index fun. Over time, I imagine you'll become more comfortable and will be able to increase your monthly amount to $200. And so on.

jojay
Posts: 123
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:09 am

Re: How did you overcome your fear of investing?

Post by jojay » Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:54 am

One more thing, please?
Investing is like learning a language. You can't expect to learn the entire language in a day. Same thing with investing.
A completely unknowledgeable,just starting out young person asked me the other day if I shorted stocks? Hmm. Looking at completing college before getting out of the second grade.
Relax. Learn. Be patient. Treat failures as gained knowledge. Don't even ever try to time the market.

User avatar
Earl Lemongrab
Posts: 7270
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:14 am

Re: How did you overcome your fear of investing?

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Fri Jun 21, 2019 4:52 pm

At the age of 50, I spent a good part of a year reading books (Bernstein, Ferri, Swedroe, etc.) and investing web sites. I developed an asset allocation and investing plan. I then implemented the plan, changing most of the investments in my 401(k) and buying funds in taxable with cash.

I managed to do that nicely at the top of the market in 2007. I followed the plan, kept investing new money, harvested tax losses (there were a lot) and rebalancing.

I retired early in 2018.

User avatar
abuss368
Posts: 15165
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Where the water is warm, the drinks are cold, and I don't know the names of the players!

Re: How did you overcome your fear of investing?

Post by abuss368 » Fri Jun 21, 2019 5:57 pm

Soberterrain wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:46 am
I am new to this site, and I would like some reassurance.

I am middle-aged, and a decent saver, earner, and retirement investor. I max out tax-advantaged accounts, and invest in an age-appropriate mix of stock and bond index funds. Objectively, I have an 80% solution.

Yet reviewing my portfolio and thinking about investing, fills me with uncharacteristic dread. This fear stems from my father’s imprudent, impulsive investments bankrupting my family when I was 10. I know I am not my father, and that I will not make the same mistakes.

My fears are neither rational nor even complex. They amount to no more than short unfinished sentences like “I’m worried I’ll lose money and...” They rarely even get that far. They’re usually just a tightness in my chest when I go to click the Bogle Heads bookmark, but then click on a tech news site instead.

Have you also felt this paralysis? Did you have to breathe deeply just to finish your first post here? More than advice, I think I just need to hear that others have felt similarly afraid but somehow overcame.

Thank you.
I placed confidence in Jack Bogle, Vanguard, and the Bogleheads who I figured have a deep knowledge of investing.
John C. Bogle: "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

Fallible
Posts: 6989
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:44 pm
Contact:

Re: How did you overcome your fear of investing?

Post by Fallible » Fri Jun 21, 2019 6:38 pm

It seems from your description that, while you "know" you are not your father, you still feel the emotional effects of his mistakes, as expressed in "uncharacteristic dread," "worried I'll lose money," "tightness in my chest," and "paralysis."

You've already dealt with your fear quite well, learning from his mistakes and avoiding them, so the question is whether your fears are persistent enough to threaten your future financial and emotional well-being. Only you and perhaps others who know you best can determine that, but I hope the experiences of others here will also help.

As for my experience, I put off investing in the market until, through reading and learning, I finally began to understand its advantages despite the risks. i also discovered Jack Bogle and low-cost indexing, which fit well with my frugal nature. Some 30 years later, I'm still in the market, still reading and learning.
"John Bogle has changed a basic industry in the optimal direction. Of very few can this be said." ~Paul A. Samuelson

livesoft
Posts: 67846
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: How did you overcome your fear of investing?

Post by livesoft » Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:00 pm

I guess that unlike the OP who had an early bad experience my early experiences were always positive: Crash in 1987 worked out OK, 2000 worked out great, 2008 was wonderful as well. Sure, our portfolio has dropped almost a million dollars, but by that time, I was inoculated against caring about it. I've even made it a rule that if things drop a lot, then I absolutely must buy more equities.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

Grt2bOutdoors
Posts: 21109
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:20 pm
Location: New York

Re: How did you overcome your fear of investing?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:28 pm

abuss368 wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 5:57 pm
Soberterrain wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:46 am
I am new to this site, and I would like some reassurance.

I am middle-aged, and a decent saver, earner, and retirement investor. I max out tax-advantaged accounts, and invest in an age-appropriate mix of stock and bond index funds. Objectively, I have an 80% solution.

Yet reviewing my portfolio and thinking about investing, fills me with uncharacteristic dread. This fear stems from my father’s imprudent, impulsive investments bankrupting my family when I was 10. I know I am not my father, and that I will not make the same mistakes.

My fears are neither rational nor even complex. They amount to no more than short unfinished sentences like “I’m worried I’ll lose money and...” They rarely even get that far. They’re usually just a tightness in my chest when I go to click the Bogle Heads bookmark, but then click on a tech news site instead.

Have you also felt this paralysis? Did you have to breathe deeply just to finish your first post here? More than advice, I think I just need to hear that others have felt similarly afraid but somehow overcame.

Thank you.
I placed confidence in Jack Bogle, Vanguard, and the Bogleheads who I figured have a deep knowledge of investing.
Trust, but verify. Always. Otherwise, you could find yourself to be a lemming heading over the cliff, just like all the "know it alls" who lost their shirts in the huge tech crash of 2000.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

User avatar
arcticpineapplecorp.
Posts: 4276
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:22 pm

Re: How did you overcome your fear of investing?

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:42 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:04 am
Invest in broad based, low cost mutual funds and then act like the 2nd most successful group of people observed by Fidelity in their 401k plans. Those people forgot they even had an account.

You might ask me: "Hey Jack....why wouldn't I want to be in the most successful group according to Fidelity?". Well, the most successful investors were......dead.
while the sentiment is correct that investors who handled their portfolios less have tended to do better than those that frequently handled their portfolios (I believe there was a Michael Mobaussin study that found that) the notion of a "fidelity" study that found deceased investors did best is bunk and been debunked several times (but still needs debunking apparently):
Allow me to quote from the New York Times.

Here’s how to get better returns in your retirement account: Pay as little attention to it as possible.

That was the conclusion of a study by the investment giant Fidelity, according to a 2014 article on Business Insider. The article relayed the transcript of a Bloomberg program in which the well-known money manager Jim O’Shaughnessy said that people who had forgotten that they had accounts outperformed everyone else.

Fidelity, which has received inquiries about the study ever since, without knowing why, told me this week that it had never produced such a study.

Oh man that’s great. Somebody made the whole thing up.

http://financialuproar.com/2016/08/30/r ... tors-best/
Better to quote Bernstein and others who've said "A portfolio is like a wet bar of soap. The more you handle it the smaller it gets." I think that gets the point across well enough.
"May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live" -- Irish Blessing | "Invest we must" -- Jack Bogle

User avatar
goodenyou
Posts: 1800
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:57 pm
Location: Skating to Where the Puck is Going to Be..or on the golf course

Re: How did you overcome your fear of investing?

Post by goodenyou » Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:50 pm

I don't think I've overcome my fear in investing. I manage my fear with an asset allocation that helps to mitigate severe swings in my portfolio. I still have moments when the this time may be different doubts enter my mind. Like others have said, living through the ups and downs of markets strengthen your resolve. Having time and functioning humans capital sure does help.
"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge" | "The best years you have left are the ones you have right now"

User avatar
arcticpineapplecorp.
Posts: 4276
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:22 pm

Re: How did you overcome your fear of investing?

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:58 pm

Throughout life there will be some things that are outside of your control, like how your investments perform. Don't worry about what you can't control. Focus on what you can control, like understanding how much to save/invest, keeping costs as low as possible, living below your means, and avoiding borrowing whenever possible, unless it's for a business that generates enough income to pay back your loan and leave a profit. If you do those throughout your life, you will have done all that you can, and that should be well enough.

there are said to be 4 money scripts, any of which, many people unwittingly follow:
money avoidance
money worship
money status
and money vigilance

https://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/th ... ripts.html

which are you?

sounds like you won't repeat the sins of the father. that's good. i think others have much to teach us. not only what to do, but sometimes, what NOT to do. You may make other mistakes, but that's unavoidable. Learn from them, don't repeat them and keep moving forward. Slow and steady wins the race.
"May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live" -- Irish Blessing | "Invest we must" -- Jack Bogle

Beehave
Posts: 546
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:46 pm

Re: How did you overcome your fear of investing?

Post by Beehave » Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:09 pm

One way to overcome fear of loss is to train yourself tolook forward to downturns as opportunities. There are various common parlances for this including "rebalancing" and "buying low and selling high." One term which seems out of favor and which has in the past drawn outright criticism in these pages is "keeping some dry powder." But that phrase seems a propos to me in this situation.

The Dry Powder Solution Proposal for your investment blockcaused by fear of loss.

Open an account specifically for this purpose. Assuming it is a post-tax account, buy te minimum possible (at Vanguard $3000) of Total Stock Market and put $3000 or so into a money market fund. Every time there is a 500 point drop from a point at which you bought some stock, move two or three hundred dollars from money market to stock. Every time there is a 10% rise from where you last bought stock, sell some stock. Of course, you may pick different values for buying and selling. If you do this, you start to view the gyrations of the market as opportunities rather than calamities.

This is not to suggest that investing in stocks is risk free. But habituating yourself to an asset allocation (ratio of stocks to bonds + cash) and to rebalancing helps set you into a frame of mind where risk is perceived not only as risk, but also as opportunity. To me, a key difference between being rich and poor is that in tough times the poor must liquidate assets at low prices and the well-off can accumulate at low prices. That's the dry-powder concept.

Hope this helps - - if you do invest keep your asset allocation at a ratio with which you're comfortable. If it is very low, that's fine - - see if using this method makes you more comfortable.

Best wishes.

User avatar
whodidntante
Posts: 6154
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:11 pm
Location: outside the echo chamber

Re: How did you overcome your fear of investing?

Post by whodidntante » Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:14 pm

While I believe that almost everyone would be better off by having money invested in the stock market, it is possible to save for financial goals without participating in the stock market. It's just that you'll have to save much more, and inflation will tend to erode what you do save. You could also invest in a business, like rental real estate. That is also risky, but somehow people seem more comfortable with real estate risk than equity risk.

Point
Posts: 169
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:33 pm

Re: How did you overcome your fear of investing?

Post by Point » Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:47 pm

When I started it was with stocks, not indexes, but the same solution applies.

I modeled several portfolios in yahoo finance and followed them for a couple of years. Over that time I read up on companies and stocks and learned how to invest, and how to follow all the company news daily. That informed me to the point that I was no longer guessing or speculating, all using ghost portfolios.

Developing the reading and learning skill, and modeling my actions in ghost portfolios gave me the discipline I needed to use
moving forward. I use that same discipline now with indices.

And using the boglehead approach, I don’t anguish over market fluctuations.

pkcrafter
Posts: 13534
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 12:19 pm
Location: CA
Contact:

Re: How did you overcome your fear of investing?

Post by pkcrafter » Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:57 pm

Soberterrain wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:46 am
I am new to this site, and I would like some reassurance.

I am middle-aged, and a decent saver, earner, and retirement investor. I max out tax-advantaged accounts, and invest in an age-appropriate mix of stock and bond index funds. Objectively, I have an 80% solution.

Yet reviewing my portfolio and thinking about investing, fills me with uncharacteristic dread. This fear stems from my father’s imprudent, impulsive investments bankrupting my family when I was 10. I know I am not my father, and that I will not make the same mistakes.

My fears are neither rational nor even complex.

——————————————
What is your allocation, and what do you hold
When times are good, investors tend to forget about risk and focus on opportunity. When times are bad, investors tend to forget about opportunity and focus on risk.

MathWizard
Posts: 3508
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:35 pm

Re: How did you overcome your fear of investing?

Post by MathWizard » Fri Jun 21, 2019 9:33 pm

I have always been risk averse, so it surprises people when
I have a had a high equity allocation for most of my investing life.

I do not think of stock investing as speculation, but as owning part of s company, and getting income from that.

What is better, to be the worker or tge owner ?
I've been the worker, and someday I will not be able to work then
I'll have to be an owner .

Cuervo_loco
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:45 pm

Re: How did you overcome your fear of investing?

Post by Cuervo_loco » Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:47 am

Soberterrain wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:46 am
My fears are neither rational nor even complex.
Let me see if I can quantify my perspective on my personal investments and my internal acquiescence to my own limitations:

I’ve inherited two things: ADHD and anxiety. Those two conditions do their best to ensure that I spend as much time possible researching a financial/investment topic before buying in and then immediately regretting that action. Follow that with a gnawing desire to check in, second guess, and over analyze minutiae and you basically have ‘me’.

So, knowing what my limitations are I can then temper them with my PLAN. Thankfully this site has an investment primer which I used, and has a plethora of good people who are genuinely interested in a common goal. I still don’t understand the complex math or depths of the investment world but I don’t really need to when following my plan.

I also learned that when I invest directly in stocks (vs indexes) that I’m much more anxious. I found that a good brokerage/IMCO has a bead on the index and a good passively managed fund will generally shield me from the worry of any specific company or sector. It’s nice having peace of mind. I just look for opportunities to rebalance or refine my allocations as necessary.

I now find it humorous to read the many conflicting news articles. Same day: highest ever SP500; SP500 closed down - the end is near! Pick one, guys!

My AA: Recommended three fund.
80 Stocks / 20 Bonds
Further: 80% US Total Stock Index VTSAX / 20% International Total Stock Index VTIAX
Bond: Total US Bond Index VBTLX

Also have a TSP with 50% L2050 fund and 50% C Fund.

rossington
Posts: 149
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2019 2:00 am
Location: Florida Suncoast

Re: How did you overcome your fear of investing?

Post by rossington » Sat Jun 22, 2019 3:24 am

IMHO...I would strongly recommend the advice of Taylor Larimore and the Three Fund Portfolio (viewtopic.php?f=10&t=88005 ) to relieve your stress. His time tested wisdom gained from experience is invaluable!! Then: examine the Bogleheads Wiki thoroughly and create an AA that you can SWAN with. Nobody wants to lose money by taking risk...but you can't make money unless you take risk...just determine what your risk level is.
"Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." Winston Churchill.

tibbitts
Posts: 9152
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: How did you overcome your fear of investing?

Post by tibbitts » Sat Jun 22, 2019 6:45 am

Soberterrain wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:46 am
I am new to this site, and I would like some reassurance.

I am middle-aged, and a decent saver, earner, and retirement investor. I max out tax-advantaged accounts, and invest in an age-appropriate mix of stock and bond index funds. Objectively, I have an 80% solution.

Yet reviewing my portfolio and thinking about investing, fills me with uncharacteristic dread. This fear stems from my father’s imprudent, impulsive investments bankrupting my family when I was 10. I know I am not my father, and that I will not make the same mistakes.

My fears are neither rational nor even complex. They amount to no more than short unfinished sentences like “I’m worried I’ll lose money and...” They rarely even get that far. They’re usually just a tightness in my chest when I go to click the Bogle Heads bookmark, but then click on a tech news site instead.

Have you also felt this paralysis? Did you have to breathe deeply just to finish your first post here? More than advice, I think I just need to hear that others have felt similarly afraid but somehow overcame.

Thank you.
I don't understand your issue. You say you are already investing - something about 80%. What's that mean? You're worried about 20%?

User avatar
tennisplyr
Posts: 2291
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:53 pm
Location: Sarasota, FL

Re: How did you overcome your fear of investing?

Post by tennisplyr » Sat Jun 22, 2019 7:10 am

Obviously, fear can be very paralyzingly, why not do a little reading on overcoming it. A book I read a long while ago is "Feel the fear and do it anyway."

www.amazon.com/Feel-Fear-Do-Anyway/dp/0345487427
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

epictetus
Posts: 551
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 6:43 pm

Re: How did you overcome your fear of investing?

Post by epictetus » Sat Jun 22, 2019 7:20 am

what does "80% solution" mean? 80% in stocks? that is a high allocation of you are middle-aged.

one thought: put X amount of years of your expenses in bonds/cash. and then invest the rest however you like. that way, no matter what happens with the amount you have invested, you know you have X years of expenses in cash/bonds. that might help address the fear of losing everything
Focus on what you can control

prairieman
Posts: 138
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:17 pm

Re: How did you overcome your fear of investing?

Post by prairieman » Sat Jun 22, 2019 7:54 am

I still have lingering fear from the dot com bubble and housing crisis and so am probably more conservative than I need to be (50/50). But learning how to invest conservatively helped me to overcome most of that fear.

Quaestner
Posts: 178
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:39 pm

Re: How did you overcome your fear of investing?

Post by Quaestner » Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:16 am

Soberterrain wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:46 am
They amount to no more than short unfinished sentences like “I’m worried I’ll lose money and...”
It helps me to think of the money I've invested as "spent". I've bought bits of businesses, and I trust other smart people to do their best with the business they run. Not thinking of my portfolio as dollars, but as shares has helped me. Also, replacing that sense of dread with FOMO - a different fear - helps too! :D

Post Reply