Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

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JimmyJammy
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Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by JimmyJammy »

I have a problem. I am spending way too much time watching the market and messing with my holdings. (I've even been swing trading here and there).
BUT, I want to spend more of my time on other things, like boosting my job skills, related education, and creative projects.

Currently, I am furloughed from my job (as of March) which was the trigger for this state of affairs. Without the structure of my job, it has been easy to get pulled into the stock market game every morning.

The other factor is the market volatility in the midst of this pandemic plus valuations that at least appear to be very stretched while the economy is struggling. This makes me want to watch the market like a hawk.

But, again, I'd rather be doing other things.

Perhaps I just need some assurances that will help me psychologically? How do you just walk away?

I'm 44 and my allocation is 60% US stock, 18% Foreign stock, 12% Bond, and 10% "cash" or cash equivalent.

Most of the holdings are typical Vanguard index funds (VTSAX, VTIAX, VBLTX). I do have a bunch of individual stocks too (mostly FAANGM) which represents about 20% of my portfolio.

With this latest Fed-fueled market surge, I'm up to $1.9M in market value. I feel lucky that it's up that high but nervous I could lose 35% quickly. But, I keep reading articles that are more pessimistic about bonds than stocks so I haven't adjusted AA towards more bonds as a result. Maybe I should just go into the least risky bonds and high yield savings. I don't like how CDs tie up your money.

The 10% cash is not small and so I also get feelings of FOMO watching the market climb and climb with Robinhooders making crazy $.

So, this is a portrait of some mild addiction.

Maybe part of the solution is to set Sell Stop limit orders on some of my individual stocks to guarantee I won't lose money on them?

Anyway, any advice is appreciated.
retired@50
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by retired@50 »

JimmyJammy wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:16 pm I have a problem.
...
Anyway, any advice is appreciated.
You need a hobby, and fast.

Take up a mentally and/or physically engaging hobby like photography, wood-working, tennis, or something to occupy your mind. If you have to spend your time learning about f-stops and shutter speeds for photography, or learning about miter joints or mortise and tenon joints for woodworking, or improving your backhand in tennis then maybe you'll be able to step away from the computer.

Regards,
This is one person's opinion. Nothing more.
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Taylor Larimore
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Post by Taylor Larimore »

JimmyJammy:

I went back to look at a few of your earlier posts. Yes, you have an (unfortunate) addiction.

I have not touched my portfolio or contacted Vanguard (except to rebalance and withdraw) in many years. My simple total market index portfolio has given me a long worry free and comfortable retirement. You can read its many advantages here:

The Three-Fund Portfolio

Please read my "Simplicity" link below.

Best wishes.
Taylor
Jack Bogle's Words of Wisdom: "In my view, owning the market and holding it forever is the ultimate strategy for winners."
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle
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cashboy
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by cashboy »

i read and watch everything I can. the trick is to only watch and read it - but not act on it. it becomes easier as time goes by and you see all of the 'noise' for what it is - 'noise'.

look at the last six months. big drop. by staying the course i am back where i started (more or less).

if you do not have an IPS consider writing one and sticking to it. i have one and it helped me these past months.

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Investm ... _statement
Three-Fund Portfolio: FSPSX - FXAIX - FXNAX (with slight tilt of CDs - CASH - Canned Beans - Rice - Bottled Water)
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JoeRetire
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by JoeRetire »

JimmyJammy wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:16 pmAnyway, any advice is appreciated.
Set it, and forget it. Revisit no more often than once per year.

You are welcome.
It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | And I feel fine.
clip651
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by clip651 »

Where do you get your market news? Remove that app from your phone. Or stop watching that channel, reading that newspaper online, or whatever. That won't solve the whole problem, but it may be one piece of it. For instance, I dropped cable TV, and now only get antenna channels. No more 24 hour cable market "news."

Finding something else to do will also help. Options are different during the pandemic, but work on your work skills, take online classes, start learning a language, start a new skills based hobby, or something. You get to decide how to use your time. Pick some things you want to use your time on, and do more and more of that.

Also consider either letting the individual stocks ride (stop watching them and just hold them if they are quality companies), or sell the stocks and move to all index funds so there is nothing to watch. You'll have to consider capital gains, taxes, etc, if you want to sell the stocks if they are in taxable. Stop reinvesting dividends if you want to decrease your individual stock holdings, and redirect dividends to your index funds.

Pick a long term asset allocation, make a well thought out plan, make an IPS (investment policy statement) and put it in writing. The plan should be something that can be easily implemented without constantly watching the markets. For instance, plan to buy and hold total market index funds in a proportion of XX% stock and XX% bonds, investing as money becomes available, and rebalance yearly in a certain month, that sort of thing.

Investment policy statement page from the wiki:
https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Investm ... _statement

Don't worry about what the robinhooders are doing - some will make money, some will get burned, etc. What they do doesn't matter to you and your life. You have a good nest egg going. It's entirely possible to mess that up with trading. Since you're asking for help breaking the addiction, you need a plan that doesn't involve much trading at all.

Just some thoughts, good luck,
cj
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Sandtrap
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by Sandtrap »

Solution
Move into a house with large acreage and lots of stuff to mow and maintain.
Buy a tractor and riding mower and more equipment to fix.
Make a long list of home and property improvements.
Spent all of your free time at Home Depot and Lowes until the staff greets you by name.

That should do it.
No time or energy for any addiction.
j🐴
Last edited by Sandtrap on Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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junetree
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by junetree »

If you can't sleep at night and you're worrying too much, then you might want to consider adjusting your portfolio to match your new risk tolerance. Risk tolerance can change over time due to various reasons and your portfolio should reflect that if you want to feel more comfortable.
clip651
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by clip651 »

JimmyJammy wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:16 pm
With this latest Fed-fueled market surge, I'm up to $1.9M in market value. I feel lucky that it's up that high but nervous I could lose 35% quickly. But, I keep reading articles that are more pessimistic about bonds than stocks so I haven't adjusted AA towards more bonds as a result. Maybe I should just go into the least risky bonds and high yield savings. I don't like how CDs tie up your money.

The 10% cash is not small and so I also get feelings of FOMO watching the market climb and climb with Robinhooders making crazy $.
These sentences above tell me you may not be comfortable with your asset allocation. Yes, your holdings can drop quickly if you hold a lot of stocks and the market drops. That's the risk of holding a lot of stocks. Personally, I predict that the market will continue to fluctuate, some up and some down, unpredictably - that's what the stock market does. Hopefully more up than down in the long run, but no guarantees. If you're not comfortable with that, hold more bonds. You have to figure out how much stock exposure you can handle. But the idea is to figure it out, and then stick with that (e.g. 60% stocks or whatever), and not vary it because this or that is happening (or is "going to happen" in the market.

An intermediate bond fund, such as total bond or an intermediate treasury bond fund is a common bond recommendation for a balanced portfolio. CDs and high yield savings are fine too. If you're not totally happy with any of those options, you can have a mixture, splitting your fixed income part of your portfolio into a bond fund, some CDs, and some high yield savings. Each has advantages and disadvantages in terms of liquidity, but all provide good safety and cushion the portfolio in dropping markets. If you're worried about CDs tying up your money, you can do a ladder, or look for no penalty CDs, or just check the early withdrawal terms.

Stop reading articles on what bonds are going to do in the coming months and years. You can look at my join date - people were saying then that bonds were hopeless because there had been a long bond bull market, yada yada. I was helping my parents at the time, who needed a conservative asset allocation, and we collectively held our noses and bought them the appropriate amount of bonds for their portfolio. Bonds have done fine since then, though yields are still very low (they went up a bit slowly, and then back down quickly, as it happens). But just because there are articles saying X, Y, Z will happen next, doesn't make it true. Bonds will be much more stable than stocks, that is why we hold them in a balanced portfolio.

Figure out the right asset allocation for you, and stick with it.

best wishes,
cj
clip651
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by clip651 »

OP, I just looked at your post history. This was you in 2013, wanting to break your addiction to individual stocks:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=126471&p=1855313#p1855313

Where do you want to be 7 years from now? Still spending tons of time on trading? Or spending time living your life?

If the ideas posted on your threads aren't helping, consider counseling or some form of therapy for addiction, since that's what you think you have.

best wishes,
cj
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JimmyJammy
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by JimmyJammy »

clip651 wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:15 pm OP, I just looked at your post history. This was you in 2013, wanting to break your addiction to individual stocks:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=126471&p=1855313#p1855313

Where do you want to be 7 years from now? Still spending tons of time on trading? Or spending time living your life?

If the ideas posted on your threads aren't helping, consider counseling or some form of therapy for addiction, since that's what you think you have.

best wishes,
cj
Yeah, it's gone in waves. It started in 2008/2009 with the market volatility then and lasted through mid-2010. Then It came back in 2013 mildly. But I had a good run for 5 or so years before this March 2020 panic. What helps is having a job in an office instead of being home.
I do have plenty of other interests/hobbies and I'm just in pain about this market distraction getting in the way.

But thanks to all who have posted. It's definitely helping my thought process.
Last edited by JimmyJammy on Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Topic Author
JimmyJammy
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by JimmyJammy »

It also doesn't help that I have an enabler, a fellow furloughed ex co-worker who is very much into trading stocks.
Katietsu
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by Katietsu »

Well, I have heard a rule of thumb that you should be spending an hour a week for each individual stock that you own researching and following. Combine that with a very aggressive leaning asset allocation would make me spend a lot of time following the market too. Though, I guess this is a chicken and egg dilemma. With the furlough, would this be a good year to realize some of the cap gains in the individual stocks and get you out of a legit reason to be closely following your investments?
bondsr4me
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by bondsr4me »

Get out of the house and do something to occupy your time.
Go to the YMCA...workout...swim....do yoga....play racquetball or pickle ball.
But get away from the TV.
Also, 20% individual stocks is IMHO way to high...cut it down to no more than 5%.
Keep the majority of your investments in index funds....VOO is a good one...I like VOOG or VUG.
Above all, forget trying to trade the market...stay invested.
Wishing you well.
otinkyad
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by otinkyad »

One of the behavioral benefits of just owning the market is that there’s very little to do. Eventually the financial news just gets boring. I also have a rule in my IPS that I can think about whatever I want, but I can’t do anything.
k b
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by k b »

Take 100k from the recent profits and use this to “play” the market and feed your addiction. Make sure the rest is in a balanced portfolio.

Plus, spend your time on other aspects of financial and retirement planning - W&T, health, hobbies, etc.
manatee2005
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by manatee2005 »

1. How old are you?
2. When do you want to retire?

Go to your online brokerage account and enter the password wrong 3 times. That should look you out of your account.
Now that you can’t log in, it will be easier not to look at it.
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ruralavalon
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by ruralavalon »

Read a book, watch a movie, go for a walk. Take up fishing, hunting, camping, scuba diving, golf, tennis, hiking, swimming, exercise, etc.

Any activity will do, pick something you enjoy or try something new.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started
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Dargo
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by Dargo »

Just like when you are married...look.but don't touch :wink:
Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans..John Lennon
texasgal47
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by texasgal47 »

My strategies for dealing with investment anxiety:
1. Maintain a boglehead portfolio of the usual funds and have a much smaller amount in "play money" as others have suggested.
2. Reread John Bogle's books (or other boglehead books) or watch old interviews of Mr. Bogle on you tube. That is my "security blanket" and gives me perspective that "spring" will again return.
3. Limit views of my portfolio. I never log on when the market is down. After the decline in 2008, I only looked at my portfolio once for the remainder of that year and kept myself busy with other activities. Used that strategy also until toward the end of 2009.
4. Reduce your overall portfolio allocation to a level where you feel less anxious. My AA was 40/60 until I retired at 70, then upped it to 60/40 when I felt more secure and my numbers were larger. Currently at 2.9 M at 73. You have to respect yourself as an individual and take care of your needs. My dad was born in 1919 so went through the depression and never would touch stocks, just CD's and MMF. He kept things at his comfort level and everything turned out fine. Dad was a blue collar tradesman who eventually went part-time until age 90 because he loved his work, passed in 2016 at 97 and left $500,000 to mom who is now in assisted living. What a role model! We don't need near the funds that we think we do.
5. Continue to log onto this forum when you need some hand holding. We all need that from time to time for whatever reason.
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by abuss368 »

When investors can learn to tune out the market noise they will lower the risk to a portfolio from constantly wanting to tinker and make changes.

Stay the course. Don't do something, just stand there. Thank you Jack Bogle!
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000
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by 000 »

Find a new hobby. Like reading books. Or exercising.
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CyclingDuo
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by CyclingDuo »

JimmyJammy wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:16 pmAnyway, any advice is appreciated.
Sounds like you have had plenty of time - beyond the initial shock for all of us regarding the pandemic and shutting down of a good chunk of the global economy - to be over stimulated by what is known as non stop financial porn with opinion articles, live market tv coverage with various opinions and thoughts from the hosts and guests, this article, that article, this post, that post, spending way too much time and energy trying to guess the market's direction and individual stocks' direction, what the economy is or isn't doing and on and on until you have cooked yourself into a non-stop pot of boiling over-thinking stew. :shock:

You are not the only one who has had oodles of time at home over the past 5 months as many of us have been in a similar situation (even if we have been working from home).

5 months have gone by where you could have read a huge stack of books, watched gobs of things on Netflix, Amazon Prime, AppleTV, etc... - not to mention working on all of the items you listed that are in need of your attention:

•boosting my job skills
•related education
•creative projects

It's never to late to attack that list and move on.

Sounds like having a buddy/colleague who is an active trader or self-proclaimed stock market guru is not the guy you want to be hanging around with unless you ban discussion on stocks.

You may be a very good candidate to turn over your account to a manager in spite of the fee(s) involved simply to save yourself from yourself. :beer

That's probably what I would recommend based on this recent pot of over-thinking stew seems to have been brewing for a good 7 years or more at this point. Let somebody else manage it so you can live with yourself and enjoy this one journey known as life that we get. Focus in on getting a new job and creating an income again.

CyclingDuo
"Save like a pessimist, invest like an optimist." - Morgan Housel
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JimmyJammy
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by JimmyJammy »

CyclingDuo wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:30 pm
JimmyJammy wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:16 pmAnyway, any advice is appreciated.


You may be a very good candidate to turn over your account to a manager in spite of the fee(s) involved simply to save yourself from yourself. :beer

That's probably what I would recommend based on this recent pot of over-thinking stew seems to have been brewing for a good 7 years or more at this point. Let somebody else manage it so you can live with yourself and enjoy this one journey known as life that we get. Focus in on getting a new job and creating an income again.

CyclingDuo
I think you nailed it. If I can't get off the screen, then I need to turn this over to a pro. Then at least I'll have someone else to blame if it goes south. :)

I had a great job and I wasn't really looking at the portfolio more than here and there for 5 or so years. But then I got furloughed in March, I played the market (with decent profit) and then my friend gave me a stock tip and I made a quick bundle and that opened the flood gates further.

I know I can beat this thing. I can't go cold turkey though. This week, I've decided to only look at it from 2:30p to 4pm (market close) and I will not mess with individual stocks any more (just let the existing ones ride for the most part).

Hopefully, I will get re-employed soon and that will help things immensely.
MostlyABogleHead
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by MostlyABogleHead »

You need a way to fill up your time. If you are interested in music, I suggest learning to play an instrument (I suggest taking up Violin). Hours of fun and to get good at it, you need to put in concentrated effort for many hours a day. That combined with physical exercise and preparing for your next job will keep you occupied during these tough times.
abc132
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by abc132 »

I think the trick is to recognize how little those you are watching know. You are hoping for some big secret or tip from the financial news, and it just doesn't exist. The smartest people in the world generally have no idea what is going to happen, and they generally only make money by finding short term inefficiencies in the market and exploiting them, and there is no way this information is shared while the exploiting is good.

You can keep your basket of FAANG if you like the rush of beating the market, but there is really nothing for you to be trading based on financial news. Financial plans are independent of news entertainment information.
LearningAlot
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by LearningAlot »

cashboy wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:43 pm i read and watch everything I can. the trick is to only watch and read it - but not act on it. it becomes easier as time goes by and you see all of the 'noise' for what it is - 'noise'.

look at the last six months. big drop. by staying the course i am back where i started (more or less).

if you do not have an IPS consider writing one and sticking to it. i have one and it helped me these past months.

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Investm ... _statement
I agree 100% with cashboy, retired 3 years ago, learned from the Bogleheads the importance of an IPS, educated myself
and developed one for myself, I stick to it no matter what, news of the day no longer impacts me emotionally, I sleep
well now, as always, thanks to Bogleheads!
h82goslw
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by h82goslw »

My newest addiction....this helps me spend less time watching market news. You should try it

bringatrailer.com
Kelrex
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by Kelrex »

Any time you repeatedly engage in a behaviour that you don't want to be engaging in but can't stop yourself, it's something you should be concerned about.

If this is a 7 year plus history of engaging with your investments in this way, then I would recommend some kind of mental health help. It can be very, very difficult to break these kinds of longstanding neural-behavioural patterns without adequate support.

If it was as easy as just not doing it and getting a hobby, you probably would have done that by now.
lostdog
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by lostdog »

I'm in the same position BUT I don't trade or take any action on my portfolio.

It's a fun topic to read about and just another one of my hobbies.

Just as long as you don't take action, you're fine. If this is agonizing to you then walk away and find a different hobby.
DownToThis
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by DownToThis »

The fantasy football season should be starting soon, always a good way to occupy your time (and scratch that itch)!
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by Dottie57 »

Dargo wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 7:20 pm Just like when you are married...look.but don't touch :wink:
I look every day at S&P 500 index, but not my balance. My asset allocation is good for my age and circumstances.

Loooking at balances can cause a lot of anxiety. It can wear you out. Investing is a long journey. Look elsewhere for fun and entertainment.
Nowizard
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by Nowizard »

Delete your portfolio from your computer and all financial sites, including this one after determining you have a reasonable allocation. Simply put, it is the anxiety that leads to action in an effort to quell it. If you are asking how to get beyond it without expressing at least short term anxiety, it is not going to happen, so accept the anxiety and move on with other things. Unfortunately, with the Covid stuff, many of us have more time to think since typical activities have been curtailed. Some of us are looking more, too, but without acting or increased anxiety.

Tim
Mr. Rumples
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by Mr. Rumples »

If its a mild addiction treat it like one. There are several approaches, but perhaps set up some test / watch portfolios (on Morningstar for example) and tinker with them. I've done that for years. In the end, the difference between holding and tinkering is not that great.

Or you could try another approach to the test/watch scenario. Years ago, in the late '80's, the Wall Street Journal use to have a running "contest" as it were pitting experts against darts thrown at stock symbols hung up on the wall. I tried this. It was pretty much a wash except for the lucky hit I got on BOH (Bank of Hawaii); alas, it was only a game and I did not buy it but that's hindsight of course.
Financologist
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by Financologist »

Take control.

Allow yourself one market gander per day and decide the time in advance.

During the height of volatility a few months ago I decided I would not be looking at the market during trading hours. Instead I allowed myself one look after the market closed every day. It saved me a lot of turbulent emotions and seemed to make it easier to stay the course.
deltaneutral83
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by deltaneutral83 »

I never understood the "Just use 5% of your NW and play around to scratch the itch." This is not a viable solution for 98% of market/media suckers. While we're at it, just have a couple drinks to satisfy the craving of the smell, said no one ever.

OP, hand you assets off to an adviser and lock yourself out of the accounts.
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Stinky
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by Stinky »

000 wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:44 pm Find a new hobby. Like reading books. Or exercising.
I’ve taken up assembling 1,000 piece puzzles. While listening to classical music, and turning off all “alerts” on my phone.

The hours just slip away .....
It's a GREAT day to be alive - Travis Tritt
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Clever_Username
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by Clever_Username »

I'll second the calls for you finding a hobby.

Also, evaluate your need to take risk. If the only way you have a chance to reach your retirement goals is high stock allocation, that's one thing. If you don't have that need, consider a more conservative allocation -- it'll swing a lot less, maybe that'll reduce your worry.
"What was true then is true now. Have a plan. Stick to it." -- XXXX, _Layer Cake_ | | I survived my first downturn and all I got was this signature line.
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KingRiggs
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by KingRiggs »

Buy a copy of Sid Meier's "Civilization VI" game...

One more turn...one more turn...

Problem solved.
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ActionJackson
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by ActionJackson »

I suffer from the exact same thing. I've been trying to time the markets for months now. I was lucky enough to miss the recent COVID dip, and also lucky enough to miss the eventual rise :x

But, the most successful period in my investing life has been when I bought a stock or a fund and I literally forgot about it. I've decided I'm going to spend what little free time I have on personal projects that might turn into a side business. Going to try and lose my login to vanguard.

You know what is great? my wife never touches her funds, I mean she doesn't even care what it is doing. We looked at her vanguard account recently and it was impressive what a few years of a balanced fund that literally just sits there can do.
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Stef
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Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:13 am

Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by Stef »

Get rid of people who are constantly talking about the market. I know it's easier said than done. I have a very good friend that constantly talks about the market, really 24/7. I really stopped caring about what's going on but I still know exactly what's happening by getting messages in Whatsapp for 16 hours per day from him :D
quantAndHold
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:39 pm

Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by quantAndHold »

It’s like gambling. There’s a dopamine rush every time you check the market. It really is hard to break that. You pretty much need to get off that dopamine treadmill cold turkey. Set your portfolio up so that you only need to look at it once every few months. Stop following the market news. Go dark on social media (that’s another dopamine hit). When your market player friend wants to discuss the market, tell him you’re not doing that, and change the subject.

It *will* be hard for a few days. You will have times when you’re bored. It’s those bored times that will give you the space to do something else with your time. Right now, the desire for the dopamine hit is taking away your desire to do anything that doesn’t provide that rush.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
whereskyle
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Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:29 am

Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by whereskyle »

JimmyJammy wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:16 pm I have a problem. I am spending way too much time watching the market and messing with my holdings. (I've even been swing trading here and there).
BUT, I want to spend more of my time on other things, like boosting my job skills, related education, and creative projects.

Currently, I am furloughed from my job (as of March) which was the trigger for this state of affairs. Without the structure of my job, it has been easy to get pulled into the stock market game every morning.

The other factor is the market volatility in the midst of this pandemic plus valuations that at least appear to be very stretched while the economy is struggling. This makes me want to watch the market like a hawk.

But, again, I'd rather be doing other things.

Perhaps I just need some assurances that will help me psychologically? How do you just walk away?

I'm 44 and my allocation is 60% US stock, 18% Foreign stock, 12% Bond, and 10% "cash" or cash equivalent.

Most of the holdings are typical Vanguard index funds (VTSAX, VTIAX, VBLTX). I do have a bunch of individual stocks too (mostly FAANGM) which represents about 20% of my portfolio.

With this latest Fed-fueled market surge, I'm up to $1.9M in market value. I feel lucky that it's up that high but nervous I could lose 35% quickly. But, I keep reading articles that are more pessimistic about bonds than stocks so I haven't adjusted AA towards more bonds as a result. Maybe I should just go into the least risky bonds and high yield savings. I don't like how CDs tie up your money.

The 10% cash is not small and so I also get feelings of FOMO watching the market climb and climb with Robinhooders making crazy $.

So, this is a portrait of some mild addiction.

Maybe part of the solution is to set Sell Stop limit orders on some of my individual stocks to guarantee I won't lose money on them?

Anyway, any advice is appreciated.
Lose the individual stocks. You will worry less. Can't spend all day just watching VTI.
"I am better off than he is – for he knows nothing and thinks that he knows. I neither know nor think that I know." - Socrates. "Nobody knows nothing." - Jack Bogle
GMT-8
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Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:11 pm

Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by GMT-8 »

Find a friend like mine who lost all his money in the stock market by trading on margin.

Or like my former brother in law who lost 10 million of his 11 million portfolio in a year, divorced and became an alcoholic.

That willl help break you of the habit, albeit the hard way (on them).

I second SandTrap's approach. Get a big yard and you won't have time to worry about silly market activity - you'll be trying to set the GopherHawk trap to get those pesky rodents in your lower 40.

Best of luck,

GMT
J295
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Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:40 pm

Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by J295 »

Change is simple, but not easy. Treat this like you would any other addiction.
brad.clarkston
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Location: Kansas City, MO

Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by brad.clarkston »

J295 wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 2:15 pm Change is simple, but not easy. Treat this like you would any other addiction.
Ouch I'd think a methadone clinic would be a bit harsh at this point but what do I know? :twisted:
jake01
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:59 pm

Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by jake01 »

Sandtrap wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:03 pm Solution
Move into a house with large acreage and lots of stuff to mow and maintain.
Buy a tractor and riding mower and more equipment to fix.
Make a long list of home and property improvements.
Spent all of your free time at Home Depot and Lowes until the staff greets you by name.

That should do it.
No time or energy for any addiction.
j🐴
This post is very true. I never realized how much free time I had until I bought a house on 10 acres with 90% of it irrigated. Property improvements alone will have you not looking at any websites except youtube when trying to figure out how to fix something. I have only had time to look up how to fix a pump, sprinkler head, kill algae in your pond or when trying to figure out how much pressure you lose in an irrigation line as you gain elevation.
jtdavid
Posts: 157
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 12:21 pm

Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by jtdavid »

Make a concerted effort to simplify your portfolio. I suggest moving all your IRAs to LifeStrategy or Target Retirement funds. Less to fiddle with.
achillesheel
Posts: 68
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2020 2:19 pm

Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by achillesheel »

jtdavid wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 2:38 pm Make a concerted effort to simplify your portfolio. I suggest moving all your IRAs to LifeStrategy or Target Retirement funds. Less to fiddle with.
I wonder if a combination of things might help.
1. Selling all or meaningful portions of individual stocks. For me, it's the individual holdings that make me pay attention. Ergo, getting rid of those may help. Then simplify to target date fund, lifestrategy, etc and live your life.
2. Seeking professional help. You're not a failure for seeking such counseling, etc, for an addiction that pops up from time to time. A good counselor can help your best self (i.e. not your watch stocks all day long self) rule and stay in charge.
3. Hobby/avocation/good thing needed. Redirecting your efforts into a good thing and getting absorbed in that, should help tremendously. Think about the good you can do for other people or for yourself, with your free time.
EDIT: no. 4, as other posters have said: IPS, which states a goal for how frequently you'll check your investments.

Just trying to state a possible bottom line here. If you've got an addiction, you need to move on multiple fronts to break the daily cycle.
Last edited by achillesheel on Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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geerhardusvos
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Re: Help me break my addiction to watching the Market / Worrying

Post by geerhardusvos »

JimmyJammy wrote: Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:16 pm I have a problem. I am spending way too much time watching the market and messing with my holdings. (I've even been swing trading here and there).
BUT, I want to spend more of my time on other things, like boosting my job skills, related education, and creative projects.

Currently, I am furloughed from my job (as of March) which was the trigger for this state of affairs. Without the structure of my job, it has been easy to get pulled into the stock market game every morning.

The other factor is the market volatility in the midst of this pandemic plus valuations that at least appear to be very stretched while the economy is struggling. This makes me want to watch the market like a hawk.

But, again, I'd rather be doing other things.

Perhaps I just need some assurances that will help me psychologically? How do you just walk away?

I'm 44 and my allocation is 60% US stock, 18% Foreign stock, 12% Bond, and 10% "cash" or cash equivalent.

Most of the holdings are typical Vanguard index funds (VTSAX, VTIAX, VBLTX). I do have a bunch of individual stocks too (mostly FAANGM) which represents about 20% of my portfolio.

With this latest Fed-fueled market surge, I'm up to $1.9M in market value. I feel lucky that it's up that high but nervous I could lose 35% quickly. But, I keep reading articles that are more pessimistic about bonds than stocks so I haven't adjusted AA towards more bonds as a result. Maybe I should just go into the least risky bonds and high yield savings. I don't like how CDs tie up your money.

The 10% cash is not small and so I also get feelings of FOMO watching the market climb and climb with Robinhooders making crazy $.

So, this is a portrait of some mild addiction.

Maybe part of the solution is to set Sell Stop limit orders on some of my individual stocks to guarantee I won't lose money on them?

Anyway, any advice is appreciated.
Oh no! Did you see what the market did today? :wink: :twisted:

Only you can break or establish habits for yourself.
VTSAX and chill
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