How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

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heyyou
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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by heyyou » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:00 pm

What they said above.
Note that the media need to have attention getting headlines every day. Those thousand point drops are now within the normal volatility of 4% of 25,000, but they are reported as THOUSAND POINT DROP!!! in order to gain attention.

J.P. Morgan, a financier who died in 1913, when asked what the market will do next, answered "It will fluctuate."
The dark of night follows the light of day. Your heart and your breathing stop, then restart in each of their cycles. We run, then we stop to rest. There is rush hour traffic, then it clears, to be repeated again and again. Fall and winter follow the warmth of summer. There is much in our lives besides markets, that go up, then slow or stop before starting up again.

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Rick Ferri
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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by Rick Ferri » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:09 pm

Has there ever been a time in your life when the stock market has not recovered from a downturn? I’ve been asking people this for 30 years and have only received one answer, “No”.
The Education of an Index Investor: starts in darkness, finds enlightenment, overcomplicates everything, embraces simplicity.

3funder
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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by 3funder » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:16 pm

I pray...for the market to get clobbered so I can chuck more money into it for the long-term.

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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by walterbird » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:30 pm

I kept it together by doing nothing, but not sure if that was the right action.
I was a little surprised by the downturn

I am retiring in two years. My allocation is 35/15/50 US/Intern/Bond in a lazy portfolio. I am taking SS at 62. Every two weeks I auto enroll $900 into a cash fund in my 401k and $250 into a cash fund in my Roth. On the 7th of each month i decide what 3 funds to contribute to based on the allocation that day. On February 7th when i looked at my allocation, and saw that I would need considerably more than that day's contribution of $2,500 to get the US stock back to 35%, I froze and did nothing. So I did not follow my plan.

After some thought, i can't decide if not contributing was the right coarse of action, and $2,500 was not a lot of money, but at the time it seemed like a gamble. My amended plan is to wait until March 7th to resume making contributions.

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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by pkcrafter » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:51 pm

Rick! Great to see you on the board.

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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by MichaelRpdx » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:59 pm

Rick Ferri wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:09 pm
Has there ever been a time in your life when the stock market has not recovered from a downturn? I’ve been asking people this for 30 years and have only received one answer, “No”.
Considering your profession that indicates you've asked thousands of people. Even correcting for survivorship bias this is significant. :P
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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by itstoomuch » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:27 pm

For you OP, at age 34, a market correction, collapse would be the best thing for you. You can acquire shares are a more reasonable price.
For me, at age 68, a Market correction, collapse (if I was heavy in S/B) would not be a good thing. I want to decumulate at a high price.
In 2008, I was scared because we were about ready to retire and then we couldn't, with a -40% balanced portfolio. But by Nov 2008, I realized that this was perhaps a once in a lifetime opportunity.
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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by rgs92 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:11 am

You know, if the market did not have wrenching drops, everyone would rush in and drive prices to levels where there would be little value in investing, so long term returns would be tiny. So these drops are necessary to get good long-term performance.

High returns and a monotonically increasing investment just cannot co-exist.

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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by rixer » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:16 pm

It used to be tougher for me until I went with a balanced fund. For me, it's so much easier this way. We feel that it's the safest way for us and it keeps the risk at a certain level so it actually takes the emotional aspect out of it.

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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by BlackHat » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:23 pm

You just have to ignore the news and accept the market return for what it is. If you can't change it, accept it.

Just remember that nothing is permanent until you sell.
“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” -- Confucius

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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by mjb49 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:34 pm

I took time to develop my investment policy statement. I know it is the best plan for me and I will stick with it through the ups and downs of the market. Sell high buy low...

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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by pennstater2005 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:43 pm

I’m in the accumulation phase. That’s easy cause I rarely look.
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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by midareff » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:51 pm

midareff wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:23 pm
Gray... it's a market and that is what markets do. The last eight years is not what markets should be expected to do.
BTW, Peter Lynch in his book "Beating the Street", copyright 1993 cited 33 prior modern time instances where the market has dropped 10% or more, I think at the time he also cited 13 occasions the drop was 20% or more. That was as of 25 years ago, so there you go, it's a market and these little hiccups should be expected and call them OPPORTUNITY!.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:42 pm

There is no substitute for experience on the roller coaster. After a few really wild rides, one adapts to the point where almost everything is quite minor and elicits a "ho hum" reaction.

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Toons
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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by Toons » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:53 pm

Why let "outside" events affect how you feel.
It lies between the ears
:happy
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celia
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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by celia » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:04 pm

The first bear market you experience can be really rough on you, but it's not as bad the third or fourth time.

But what's funny, is that you most likely have less money to lose when you are younger and experiencing the first one.
Often your net worth is a lot more by the third or fourth time.

So, I think it is a matter of looking at the big picture, not what is happening this year.

Tamalak
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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by Tamalak » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:11 pm

You don't have to emotionally keep it together. Go ahead and panic as much as you like. Just don't touch the sell button.

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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by tesuzuki2002 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:12 pm

limeyx wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:59 pm
GrayS26 wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:59 pm
thanks
Don't look or watch the news ?
The market swung??

DrGoogle2017
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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:58 pm

First cut is the hardest, after that you get baptized, your emotion will be dulled.

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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by 3feetpete » Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:53 pm

After you have seen the market swing enough times you learn that the downturns are only temporary. No problem as long as your timeframe for needing the money is far off. If you are close to or in retirement the stakes are higher and that's where your asset allocation gives you calmness. Stocks are up and you sell stocks to cover living expenses. Stocks are down and you sell bonds instead. You get your expenses covered and you rebalance at the same time.

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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by gcinnh » Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:34 pm

I find that it helps to pull up a 1,3 and 5 yr chart of market performance and u quickly see this is just a normal blip and is noise in a long term strategy. Start at the 30 day chart and u will get depressed

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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by denovo » Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:23 pm

Rick Ferri wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:09 pm
Has there ever been a time in your life when the stock market has not recovered from a downturn? I’ve been asking people this for 30 years and have only received one answer, “No”.
If you broaden your view outside the U.S. stock market, the answer is yes.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

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StormShadow
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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by StormShadow » Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:24 pm

GrayS26 wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:59 pm
How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?
I watch Netflix.

limeyx
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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by limeyx » Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:25 pm

tesuzuki2002 wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:12 pm
limeyx wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:59 pm
GrayS26 wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:59 pm
thanks
Don't look or watch the news ?
The market swung??
I didn't say that :)

jminv
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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by jminv » Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:46 pm

Practice and a long-term perspective. I don't agree with not reading the news because I like to stay informed. I'll admit, it still bothers me on big swing days because I can figure out at a glance that I've 'lost' what is really quite a lot of money, eg, today $50k (I checked because of your post). Sometimes I think, well, that would have been a nice vacation home after a run of a few bad market days like earlier this month. You can't time the market though, it's really no use trying, so it's more or less out of your hands. I was more of a pessimist in my younger years and have become more of an optimist in my mid 30s, in any case, I don't need the money for a long time. If you're not already, you'll do better in life and be happier if you try to see the positive in things, something it took me awhile to realize. This extends to long-term boglehead investing because if you don't you'll end up with much less in retirement than you could have had. In the meantime, I'll keep riding the waves.

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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by eldinerocheapo » Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:04 pm

I like to tune out the noise, pundits, and the talking heads reading their daily tea leaves, and remind myself that the system we have in place has been very successful due to our consistency of investing, and that it's only one of several sources of investments we have.

I firmly believe risk will be rewarded over time, and those that treat the market like a game or casino, are gonna get burned. Also, there comes a time when the days left to us are more valuable than dollars, and spending quality time with friends and family means more to me than the temporary gyrations of the market. It's not really worth my time to even worry about it.

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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by shanefairman » Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:47 pm

Personally I find just keeping loose track of the market to be sufficient. The market will have good days and bad days. After a while you should stop caring.

My investment plan is 100% equities. I really don't care what the market is doing anymore. The only thing that concerns me is my savings rate. The market could stay as a bull market for the next 10 years (although highly unlikely) or crash tomorrow. Either way I'm not significantly changing my plan. The only thing that could really prompt me to take action is a major market crash; in that event I would find a way to reduce our budget to buy more equities at a discount since I always love to buy things when on sale.

A great way to steel your resolve is to look at a graph of the total stock market over a really long term. Even the major market crashes such as the depression, black Monday, the tech bubble, the great recession just look like minor speed bumps. Once you realize the only decision that matters is making sure your savings rate will meet your goals the rest of it is a moot point.
“You must not only think for yourself, you must plan for yourself, and you must plan ahead, and you must live up to these plans. You must know exactly what you want to do.” -George Carlin, Boston Rant

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randomizer
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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by randomizer » Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:59 pm

I haven't been through any big swings yet (started in 2013, so most I've seen is about a 10% drop), but here are the things I am doing to maximize my chances of staying the course without falling apart emotionally:
  • Pick an asset allocation I can live with given my need, willingness, ability to take risk (in my case, that's 75:25).
  • Have a large emergency fund to meet my cashflow needs (ranging from the "possible" to the "unlikely").
  • Read as much market/financial/economic history and theory as I can to prove to myself that the unexpected has a way of happening (recent example that I've been reading: Mandelbrot's "The Misbehavior of Markets", but also Nassim Taleb's "Fooled by Randomness", "The Great Depression: A Diary" by Benjamin Roth, "The Downfall of Money" by Frederick Taylor, "When Money Dies" by Adam Fergusson, "Where Are the Customers' Yachts?" by Fred Schwed, "A Fool and His Money" by John Rothchild, "Devil Take the Hindmost" by Edward Chancellor etc etc.)
  • Read books on behavioral finance to educate myself about common mistakes (eg. "Your Money and Your Brain" by Jason Zweig etc).
  • Go back and read old threads on here from 2007-2009 to see how people reacted then.
  • Have a well-defined IPS that says what I should do when the s**t hits the fan (specifically, rebalance and tax-loss-harvest).
  • Totally ignore the financial press.
  • Listen to the wise voices on this forum.
  • Meditate.
Edit: I added a reading list to my wiki page; I see I've read quite a bit now and I still barely know anything!
75:25 AA / Expected retirement: 2097

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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by Johnnie » Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:18 pm

I just peek every day when it's going up - and run and hide when it's going down. I know what it's going to say so why look. Eventually when it looks safer I peek and usually think, "Oh, that isn't too bad." Many roads to staying the course. :D :beer
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2015
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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by 2015 » Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:31 pm

I...

1) Began by reading Every. Single. One. of Taylor Larimore's Gems (and could just as easily have stopped there);
2) Have read hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of books in a wide, wide variety of subjects outside the fields of investing, economics, and personal finance;
3) Have read much of this board over the past several years;
4) Now ignore any post or thread stinking of any behavioral finance violation (which accounts for a lot);
5) Have no idea what the financial press, "experts", "well-respected" bloggers or authors have to say because they...yawn...add no value;
6) Engage in lethargy bordering on sloth when it comes to managing my simple, low fee 3 fund PF; and
7) Tap dance throughout my retirement day as a result.

TonyDAntonio
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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by TonyDAntonio » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:17 pm

When I was working it was, "Hey, stocks are on sale. Glad I'm accumulating". In retirement it's, "Glad I built that multi year cushion of ibonds, savings bonds, money markets, guaranteed interest, and cash fund."

Find what works for you because the market will swing wildly.

RRAAYY3
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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by RRAAYY3 » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:22 pm

1. Accept that the market is nonsensical BS that ultimately trends up
2. Remind yourself of #1
3. Only invest money you don’t need short term (within 3 years is my cut off)
4. Accept that the market is nonsensical BS

That’s pretty much my strategy

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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by MotoTrojan » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:55 pm

tibbitts wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:16 pm
GrayS26 wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:59 pm
thanks
That's not the question you intended to ask. You want to know about market downturns, not market swings.
Eh, you could argue a large swing up could also make it difficult to stick to your plan/AA due to emotions.

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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by RRAAYY3 » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:58 pm

RRAAYY3 wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:22 pm
1. Accept that the market is nonsensical BS that ultimately trends up
2. Remind yourself of #1
3. Only invest money you don’t need short term (within 3 years is my cut off)
4. Accept that the market is nonsensical BS

That’s pretty much my strategy
I forgot #5 ... buy more shares when everyone else is freaking out

Looks like I’ll be able to lower my overall cost basis in International soon - that’s where my next buy goes and then I move on with life, because I only worry about what can control

It’s going to go up. It just does - and it will continue to do so because people are greedy.

Or the world will end. Whatever - if that happens your asset allocation is irrelevant

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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by Rick Ferri » Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:54 am

denovo wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:23 pm
Rick Ferri wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:09 pm
Has there ever been a time in your life when the stock market has not recovered from a downturn? I’ve been asking people this for 30 years and have only received one answer, “No”.
If you broaden your view outside the U.S. stock market, the answer is yes.
If you believe the US government is going to nationalize all public companies and close the stock markets, your best investments would be ammo and a Bible.
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RNJ
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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by RNJ » Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:42 am

Have an asset allocation that fits your risk tolerance. That said, you'll have to experience a serious downturn before you really have a sense of what that risk tolerance is.

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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by retire57 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:52 am

1. Don't look or
2. Rather than examining your porfolio's total value, look at the number of shares you own. See how they accumulate more quickly when they are on sale.

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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by munemaker » Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:54 am

Education and experience.

Keep your head down, avoid the news and don't peek.

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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by staythecourse » Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:57 am

Rick Ferri wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:09 pm
Has there ever been a time in your life when the stock market has not recovered from a downturn? I’ve been asking people this for 30 years and have only received one answer, “No”.
My dad used to tell me the same thing growing up.

This is why I am MORE concerned about having money each month from my job to pay my monthly liabilities (mortgage and food being the biggest) then what happens to the markets. What happens to the market good OR bad doesn't really make a difference as that money is earmarked for FUTURE consumption unlike my monthly income. If the market goes up 5% or down 5% in any single day who cares?

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

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Toons
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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by Toons » Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:05 pm

Accepting the fact that volatility is an "inherent" attribute when it comes to investing in the equity markets.
No volatility No Risk No Reward.
If was easy ,everybody would be rich. :mrgreen:
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by 3CT_Paddler » Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:14 pm

Rick Ferri wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:09 pm
Has there ever been a time in your life when the stock market has not recovered from a downturn? I’ve been asking people this for 30 years and have only received one answer, “No”.
Two thoughts...

Japan seems to be trying hard to be an exception to that rule.

People had the same mentality about the housing market... "It's never gone down!"

I agree with your conclusion overall. Bonds, specifically shorter term high quality bonds, serve as a hedge against the outcome that stocks do not recover from a major recession.


As far as how you keep it together... you go through a major recession like 2008. Anything less than financial Armageddon (it was not outside the realm of possibilities in 2008), you know that it will work out in the long run. It might take years to recover, but you have the patience to wait that long.

The bigger issue with investing in 2008 was all of the job losses and lower incomes overall. Great time to invest, if you had the capital to do so... many people didn't. It was a societal margin call.
Last edited by 3CT_Paddler on Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

staythecourse
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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by staythecourse » Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:17 pm

Toons wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:05 pm
Accepting the fact that volatility is an "inherent" attribute when it comes to investing in the equity markets.
No volatility No Risk No Reward.
If was easy ,everybody would be rich. :mrgreen:
Not only that, but profit and loss are the same thing. They are simply two sides of the same coin called volatility. When something goes up we rejoice, but the same volatility of asset class x makes it go down the same amount. Basically, you can't have one side of a two sided coin and as the investor you have to accept that.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by Sheepdog » Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:26 pm

I have seen a time like the present before, haven't I? Be calm, friends, this too shall pass. This may take a while or may just be a blip, but be prepared....including your emotions.
People should not say everything they think. They should think about everything they say.

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Toons
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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by Toons » Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:28 pm

Sheepdog wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:26 pm
I have seen a time like the present before, haven't I? Be calm, friends, this too shall pass. This may take a while or may just be a blip, but be prepared....including your emotions.
Thanks Sheepdog for reminding me of one of my favorites

"This Too Shall Pass" :thumbsup :thumbsup
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by jnet2000 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:50 pm

Don't look at your accounts. Seriously.
"You really don't need leverage in this world much. If you're smart, you're going to make a lot of money without borrowing" Warren Buffet

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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by 220volt » Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:10 pm

To me the only thing that does it is having a sizable cash at all times. Lot more than needed. For one: It helps me sleep better. And 2. Allows me to buy more when things go south. I've got cought naked (no cash) many times when market was down and having no cash to rely on or to buy more, was very uncofortable.
I don't care if that cash is not doing anything or losing to inflation, It helps me manage my own risk and sanity.
"If I had only followed the advice of financial analysts in 2008, I'd have a million dollars today, provided I started with a hundred million dollars" - Jon Stewart

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Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by RRAAYY3 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:18 pm

220volt wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:10 pm
To me the only thing that does it is having a sizable cash at all times. Lot more than needed. For one: It helps me sleep better. And 2. Allows me to buy more when things go south. I've got cought naked (no cash) many times when market was down and having no cash to rely on or to buy more, was very uncofortable.
I don't care if that cash is not doing anything or losing to inflation, It helps me manage my own risk and sanity.
And that’s all that matters ... do what works for you. I’m slowly building back up my cash reserves after buying a new car paid in full and “buying the dip” in February - which hasn’t turned out too well yet, but whatever that money is for 20 years from now

I never understand why cash is so ridiculed on here .. especially with interest rates rising/high yield savings accounts

azanon
Posts: 1777
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:34 am
Location: Little Rock, AR

Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by azanon » Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:20 pm

tibbitts wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:16 pm
GrayS26 wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:59 pm
thanks
That's not the question you intended to ask. You want to know about market downturns, not market swings.
I wouldn't be so sure. Being under-invested in stocks during a bull run can also probably be pretty distressing.

User avatar
220volt
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:33 pm
Location: USA

Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by 220volt » Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:27 pm

RRAAYY3 wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:18 pm
220volt wrote:
Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:10 pm
To me the only thing that does it is having a sizable cash at all times. Lot more than needed. For one: It helps me sleep better. And 2. Allows me to buy more when things go south. I've got cought naked (no cash) many times when market was down and having no cash to rely on or to buy more, was very uncofortable.
I don't care if that cash is not doing anything or losing to inflation, It helps me manage my own risk and sanity.
And that’s all that matters ... do what works for you. I’m slowly building back up my cash reserves after buying a new car paid in full and “buying the dip” in February - which hasn’t turned out too well yet, but whatever that money is for 20 years from now

I never understand why cash is so ridiculed on here .. especially with interest rates rising/high yield savings accounts
Yep, I have all my cash in Capital One 360 (1.50%) and I don't even look at my cash position just sitting there as a "loss", but as an investment in my well being. That money keeps me happy knowing it's there, so i can concetrate on other things. So I think of it as a good investment since it still gives me great "phsycological" return. Return on investment doesn't have to be all monetary.
"If I had only followed the advice of financial analysts in 2008, I'd have a million dollars today, provided I started with a hundred million dollars" - Jon Stewart

tylerherman
Posts: 61
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:07 pm

Re: How does one emotionally keep it together during market swings?

Post by tylerherman » Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:46 pm

Follow the number of total shares you own and not they’re worth. The lower the price the more you get.

Also there is no reason to follow the market, so just stop doing that.

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