HomerJ wrote: ↑Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:45 pm
cpan00b wrote: ↑Tue Apr 07, 2020 12:36 pm
I've been all about staying the course but man is this market irrational. If it goes up another 2-3% to S&P 2850 I'll finally break even which is enticing me to sell everything out and sit on the sideline with cash. I'll still be out 3 years worth of investing gains at that point but at least no losses? If I truly believe that market will go back down to at least S&P 2200 with Q2 and Q3 earnings results...
Stock money should be long-term money.
Quit worrying about Q2 or Q3.
Having 2-2.5 years of expenses in bonds (which at my young-ish age of 35 and after a market decline is almost 25% of my portfolio) is wonderful. I am at such a place of peace not caring about short-term stock performance. I feel secure. If I lose my job today, I know that I can take a step back, breathe, and not worry. My bills will get paid, my family will get fed, and I will not have to sell a single stock to do so for at least 2 years, probably more like 2.5. Depends on COBRA premiums, really. But I digress.
Listening to wise Bogleheads back in 2009 when I joined here telling me to always hold bonds was probably the best investment decision I ever made. One of the first thing I read when learning about investing was Bogle's advice about holding age in bonds. Yes, I could have had more stocks in a long bull market and ultimately a larger nest egg today. But I also could have panicked a few times when I was scared that I was going to lose my job (not due to recession, but due to company being sold to a private seller and my current company sold to private equity). I could have had sleepless nights. I could have sold half my stocks for bonds in March of 2009 and never got back in at my current AA. Who knows what I would have done? It's easy to say in hindsight, but at the moment, nobody knows what they'll do until they're in the situation. At that point, it is too late.
Retiredjg rings a bell here. She always seems to recommend at least 20% bonds. I have seen here do it a thousand times and it hits home every time I see her post it to a new member.
The feeling of missing out slightly on gains with a healthy bond/cash allocation is far better than the feeling of a stock-heavy portfolio tanking 30%, fearing job loss, and wondering how long you'll be able to feed your family and how much of a loss you'll take on your equities that you fear you'll have to sell.