how to deal with it [regret over past investing choices]

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fvaldes
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how to deal with it [regret over past investing choices]

Post by fvaldes » Sat Apr 11, 2015 5:58 pm

How do you deal with past bad decisions regarding money?

Regrets and fretting over how different it could have been is killing me to the point I can hardly function.

I am now versed in Bogle way of investing but back in 2008 I wasnt.

I was sitting on about 1.5million and DIDNT INVEST AT ALL after the housing bubble came and went.

Instead I moved money to different crappy CDs and let it sit there doing almost nothing. I was 30.

Fast forward to today and had I invested that amount into the same three fund portfolio I hold right now ( with only $250,000 )
I would have been able to retire at 36 with over 4,000,000 in the bank.

This is killing me.

Instead, I didn't invest and wasted A LOT OF $$$. Not all of it but a good half. Getting married, traaveling, a car, getting divorced, etc

I had about 750K after everything was said and done. Bought a house cash and about year ago I started learning more about the Bogle method
and I bought a 75%/25% 3 fund portfolio.

60 domestic stocks, 15 int stocks and 25% bonds.

I plan on holding for the long term and adding more cash as soon as a decent correction hits. ( I have $250,000 cash waiting )

I am far from broke but knowing what I could have today had I known more about investing is killing me everyday.

How do you guys deal with the "had I", "if I ", etc?

I could have followed my dreams at 36 and never have to worry about $ again. But I blew it.

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cheese_breath
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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by cheese_breath » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:07 pm

Treating depression isn't the forte of the members here, but there are professionals in that field who may be able to help you.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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vitaflo
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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by vitaflo » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:11 pm

fvaldes wrote: How do you guys deal with the "had I", "if I ", etc?
I realize I'm still better off than 99% of people my age (you are too). Perspective matters. Also, you learned an important lesson the last several years, one you may not have learned if thought you were "done". It would hurt a lot more had you blown $4 million, and ended up here when you were 46 asking the same questions.

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Rob5TCP
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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by Rob5TCP » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:15 pm

The money adds to but is not the cause of your depression.
You need to seek professional help (as mentioned) -
That should be a start in helping you accept what happened.

Your in better financial shape than 95-99% of the people your age.
To focus on what could have been is always counter productive.

When I was a grad student at Berkley - 30+ years ago) I was offered the house in
San Francisco I shared with other students for 95k. Not buying was my big mistake.
My folks were backing me, but I didn't want the responsibility. That is
worth at least 2 million today (probably much more).

Your always going to have could have/should have; but you take the
"mistakes" as well as the successes. But getting professional help should
be your first step.
Last edited by Rob5TCP on Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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packet
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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by packet » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:17 pm

We can do nothing to change the past, leave it behind you, focus forward.

I'm 10 years older than you and you're ahead of me financially. I didn't make the same mistakes... so... which one of us should have regrets?

:beerCheers,
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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by Fallible » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:22 pm

vitaflo wrote:
fvaldes wrote: How do you guys deal with the "had I", "if I ", etc?
I realize I'm still better off than 99% of people my age (you are too). Perspective matters. Also, you learned an important lesson the last several years, one you may not have learned if thought you were "done". It would hurt a lot more had you blown $4 million, and ended up here when you were 46 asking the same questions.
I think this is the kind of thinking the OP needs because it is what he has lost, at least for now - perspective. Nothing is all bad, remember the good, accept that this is really all that can be done anyway, and move on.
John Bogle on his often bumpy road to low-cost indexing: "When a door closes, if you look long enough and hard enough, if you're strong enough, you'll find a window that opens."

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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by HoosierJim » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:22 pm

You could have bought AAPL at $12 (split adjusted in 2008) and now it's $128/share - so your 1.5 million would be 15 million OR, you could have gone to Harvard and loaned Zuckerberg the money to start Facebook and would be multibillionare OR you could have been run over by a truck in 2009. :oops:

So if you are going to fret and regret - might as well go big. If a friend was bi*$#ching and moaning made the comment:

"I shoulda bought AAPL in 2008 and and I can't get out of bed in the morning due to the dread", what would say back?

Seriously, the point it learn from mistakes and move ahead.

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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by rec7 » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:24 pm

Buying CD's instead of some of the things I have done would look very smart. LOL I spent several years in the market and made less than people in CD's.
Last edited by rec7 on Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by RadAudit » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:24 pm

If you are going to play "woulda, shoulda, coulda", it's going to drive you crazy. Literally.

Unless you have a time machine, you can't go back and get a do over. Learn from your mistakes. It's called experience.

You can only control what you do today. You have the time and money to make this come out OK in the end. Use it.

If you are honestly having trouble moving on, talk to someone who can help you turn this around.
FI is the best revenge. LBYM. Invest the rest. Stay the course. - PS: The cavalry isn't coming, kids. You are on your own.

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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by rec7 » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:30 pm

Once I met a man that was a millionaire he told me he would trade it all for the heart he had at 18. Money is good but without your health it is not very useful.
Disclaimer: You might lose money doing anything I say. Although that was not my intent. | Favorite song: Sometimes He Whispers Jay Parrack

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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by cricket49 » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:36 pm

We all make mistakes.

After 2008 I lost 30-40 percent of my portfolio invested mainly in the mutual funds. Everybody I knew at this time was scared, scared to leave the money where it was, scared to take the money out. So I left the money in and did nothing. It took a few years but the money came back and now it looks better than ever.

I did not start contributing again to my employer retirement plan for two years after 2008 because the recession took it's toll on all of us emotionally and financially.

In the years since the recession my portfolio bounced back and grown in leaps and bounds.

Is my asset allocation where it should be? No. I found this site and my goal for the next six months is to consolidate my brokerage accounts and move the money to a more balanced lower risk portfolio.

Money is relative. You might lose 1,000 in your investments but you save 1,000.00 when you negotiate the next vehicle purchase.

I don't look back, but forward. When I sell a stock there is no point in checking the price a week after I sold.

No regrets. You learn from all your mistakes.
Expect the best. Prepare for the worst.

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BL
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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by BL » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:52 pm

How many years do you plan to wait if it doesn't go down? Adding 1/12 or 1/24 per month on a schedule would be a start. Follow your Bogle plan or else just get a tax-managed balanced fund if that is more comfortable.

Divorce is very expensive,as you have learned.

Consider getting a physical and follow through with depression treatment if needed.

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prudent
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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by prudent » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:52 pm

I agree with HoosierJim.

You think you made one screw-up? You made THOUSANDS of wrong decisions, just like we all have. You didn't buy Apple, you didn't buy Tesla, you didn't buy put options on Lehman Brothers before they folded, and on and on. Heck, you didn't buy put options on Lehman Brothers and THEN plow your millions of profit in to call options on Apple stock. And I've heard there were penny stocks that went up 10,000 fold! You could have been in the 3 comma club! But let's be realistic here... you're fixating on one pretty darn insignificant thing - you stood pat.

Ain't nobody who has batted 1.000 in their finances. Some have swung for the fences and lost it all. Some sat on the sidelines and avoided losses and then missed out on gains. Who among us couldn't look BACK and say they could have made more money by doing this or not doing that? Stop looking back!

Here's my own example: years ago I decided I would start to collect gold coins. Coins that are $3,000-$5,000 today I could have bought for $500-$1,000. I bought a couple, but not anywhere near what I intended to do, for a number of reasons. I'm surely not looking back with regret. I made choices, and moved on.

What is the smart thing for anybody to do? Make choices based on what we know that are compatible with our risk tolerance. It sounds like that's what you did at the time. Why was that a mistake? Just because a different choice would have made more money? All any of us can do is act on what we know today. Focus your thoughts and actions on that.

I wish you the best.

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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by LadyGeek » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:53 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Finance (Not Investing) forum (behavioral finance). Yes, there's an entire subject dealing with the emotional side of investing.

Please stay focused on the investing aspects (personal finance). Medical discussions are off-topic.
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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by mac808 » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:54 pm

What if you had invested it all in 2007?

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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by MN-Investor » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:12 pm

Your actions, like many people in 2008, were a result of ignorance and a natural aversion to further loss, not stupidity. As much as you berate yourself with "I should have known!" how could you have? During your 20s, the stock market was going up and up. When it dropped, you did the natural thing and moved to safe investments. If the stock market was still sitting in the $6,600 range, would you still be so angry with yourself? Who, in 2008, was predicting that the DOW would hit 18,000 within six years?

Fortunately, ignorance is treatable and that is exactly what you are doing now.

There's a section in the Boglehead Wiki entitled "Behavioral pitfalls." I strongly recommend that you take a look at it. It discusses typical reasons that smart people make wrong decisions, including loss aversion. That will help you as you move forward to avoid further behavior mistakes.

As they say, To err is human. Every one of us makes mistakes we regret. But start embracing the things that you are doing right. Reward yourself by doing fun things now and make your life a joy. At the end of the week, ask yourself, "What did I do for fun this week? What can I look forward to this next week?" Basically, live for now while letting your money grow for the future. You're doing things right now, and, really, that's all you can do.
The key to success - Save early, save often, invest well.

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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by JLJL » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:15 pm

Please give more details about your financial history for better insight.

I recommend you take a relatively cheap (by your wealth standards) vacation to a Caribbean island. On the way from the airport to the resort look out the window. Then remind yourself that you are one of the richest people on the planet by miles. You have more money and more opportunities than most. Move on and use them wisely. You haven't screwed up too badly at all.

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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by Xyz214 » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:15 pm

I realized I missed out on the gain towards the end of 2011 so I started educating myself by hanging out in here everyday and also read over ten books recommended in the wiki. Then, I felt more comfortable but not enough to invest everything at the same time. What I did was to put 20% of the cash to work immediately and DCA the remaining over the span of 12 to 18 months. Initially when the market is going south, I felt really nervous and over time I started seeing it as buying opportunity.
I'm 37 for your reference.

If you only have time to read one book, read "Investor's Manifesto" by William Bernstein.

Best of luck.

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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by Louis Winthorpe III » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:16 pm

Financially, you've been blessed to say the least. That glass is much more than half full, but if you see it as half empty, changing your perspective is easier said than done. Some pop psychology that I heard somewhere might help: every day list a few things you're thankful for. People who feel grateful tend to be happy and optimistic. If you spend a few minutes every day thinking about what you're grateful for, eventually it's supposed to make you more naturally see the positives in your life. I don't know if that approach will work or not because I've never needed to consciously practice it. I've naturally felt very fortunate for a long time, and I am very happy, but maybe that trick will help you. I hope it does.

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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by Louis Winthorpe III » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:20 pm

JLJL wrote: I recommend you take a relatively cheap (by your wealth standards) vacation to a Caribbean island. On the way from the airport to the resort look out the window. Then remind yourself that you are one of the richest people on the planet by miles. You have more money and more opportunities than most. Move on and use them wisely. You haven't screwed up too badly at all.
That's good advice. It's easy to forget how rich Americans are. According to one published study I read, the median income for the planet is less than $5 per day. Half of all people get by on less. According to a different study, an income of $40,000 puts you in the top 1% of all earners on the planet. Everyone here is very wealthy in comparison to most of the world.

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fvaldes
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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by fvaldes » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:30 pm

JLJL wrote:Please give more details about your financial history for better insight.

I recommend you take a relatively cheap (by your wealth standards) vacation to a Caribbean island. On the way from the airport to the resort look out the window. Then remind yourself that you are one of the richest people on the planet by miles. You have more money and more opportunities than most. Move on and use them wisely. You haven't screwed up too badly at all.
Thank you all for the wonderful advice.

Looking at the situation differently surely helps a lot.

I understand there are a lot of possible "what ifs" but it hurts the most when I was able to generate that much cash so young and lose so much of it.
It makes me wonder if I will be able to do it again at all. Im in online sales and marketing and the industry is harder than ever.

It is funny you mention that caribbean vacation. I was born in one of those islands and I was poor. Not having enough to eat poor. So I am sure a lot of these feelings come from having that experience.

Regarding the cash reserves waiting to be placed into the 3 fund portfolio:

I understand doing that is market timing. However, putting EVERYTHING in now after those 6 years run seems just wrong.

What would be the smartest thing to do today?

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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by sschullo » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:33 pm

I lost a million when I was in my 50s!, during the 2000 crash and I don't regret a bit. It was a learning experience and wrote a book about it and just finished another because of the 403(b) experience, by making mistakes all along And doing some things right too. Only a few bogleheads came out of the cradle, never made big mistakes, highly talented and are multimillionaires by the time they are in the 30s, and also have a high paying fantastic job that they love and are respected by all.
Instead, we are regular folk or as playwrite George Bernard Shaw said that most of us "live in quiet desperation." I deal with it by trying to help others not make the mistakes I made and it has been terrific experience. I am also lucky to be healthy and alive, despite having a cancer scare 15 years ago and getting wounded in combat in "Nam." back in the day.
You will be fine! You are young and learning this stuff 25 years before me. Congratulations!
Last edited by sschullo on Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by Jill07 » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:34 pm

Please put things in perspective. Are you healthy? You have more money than most people in this world. Why not try volunteering and helping others? Get some professional help for the depression. Stop thinking about the ‘what ifs.’ Maybe if you had invested the way you think you should have.. you would also have been hit by a bus and not be able to walk today. My point is that things are random and you have no way of going back.

If it helps, try to think “things happen for a reason.. I may not see the reason at this moment.. but I will see it soon.’ Maybe not having all that money will make you a better person… a person who is destined to help others? Who knows.. just move on and do some good in this world. Get out of your own head. Money isn’t everything and you have plenty.

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fvaldes
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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by fvaldes » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:41 pm

sschullo wrote:I lost a million when I was in my 50s!, during the 2000 crash and I don't regret a bit. It was a learning experience and wrote a book about it and just finished another because of the 403(b) experience, by making mistakes all along And doing some things right too. Only a few bogleheads came out of the cradle, never made big mistakes, highly talented and are multimillionaires by the time they are in the 30s, and also have a high paying fantastic job that they love and are respected by all.
Instead, we are regular folk or as playwrite George Bernard Shaw said that most of us "live in quiet desperation." I deal with it by trying to help others not make the mistakes I made and it has been terrific experience. I am also lucky to be healthy and alive, despite having a cancer scare 15 years ago and getting wounded in combat in "Nam." back in the day.
You will be fine! You are young and learning this stuff 25 years before me. Congratulations!

very inspiring... thanks for sharing.

I would have loved to be one of those "millionaires in their 30s" though.

But just like you and the poster above said it...

I do have a lot to be thankful for.

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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by 3504PIR » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:50 pm

[OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek]

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stemikger
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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by stemikger » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:52 pm

This is David Bach's method and I think it's a bit cheesy, but he it just might work.

Write down all your regrets and call them If Onlys.

If Only you invested the money right after the crisis

If Only you didn't put it all in CDs, etc.

You get the picture. Write as many as you can think of and then make a decision to burn them. Make a ceremony out of it. Promise yourself after you burn them, they are done with and no longer can weigh you down. As Warren Buffett has often said we can only live life forward. Good Luck.
Last edited by stemikger on Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by stemikger » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:53 pm

3504PIR wrote:[OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek]
Wow. Talk about Tough Love.
Choose Simplicity ~ Stay the Course!! ~ Press on Regardless!!!

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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by 3504PIR » Sat Apr 11, 2015 8:01 pm

stemikger wrote:
3504PIR wrote:[OT comment removed by admin LadyGeek]
Wow. Talk about Tough Love.
You're right, and I apologize but the word depressed threw me. Sorry about that but the op should move on without looking back IMO.

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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by StevieG72 » Sat Apr 11, 2015 8:14 pm

I have similiar regrets, you have to try not to dwell on them AND do not make the same mistake moving forward.

I had a good deal of money sitting on the sidelines because I did not know how to invest. I met with a " financial advisor" that could have derailed the process further.

Luckily I read up on investing and now know enough to be dangerous!

I now invest as much as I possibly can without disrupting my cash flow for fixed expenses.

Sounds like you still have some money on the sidelines that you need to invest.

Hindsight is 20/20 , everyone would have done things differently if they knew exactly how the market would behave. Stop beating yourself up over it!
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.

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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by Kenkat » Sat Apr 11, 2015 8:37 pm

Life is full of regret if you let it creep into your thoughts. But the past is the past - you cannot change it so you must let it go and move on.

I try to remember that I am going to go to sleep tonight in a comfortable bed, with a roof over my head, safe and with (more than) enough to eat for the day. Many don't have even that.

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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by sschullo » Sat Apr 11, 2015 8:46 pm

fvaldes wrote:
sschullo wrote:I lost a million when I was in my 50s!, during the 2000 crash and I don't regret a bit. It was a learning experience and wrote a book about it and just finished another because of the 403(b) experience, by making mistakes all along And doing some things right too. Only a few bogleheads came out of the cradle, never made big mistakes, highly talented and are multimillionaires by the time they are in the 30s, and also have a high paying fantastic job that they love and are respected by all.
Instead, we are regular folk or as playwrite George Bernard Shaw said that most of us "live in quiet desperation." I deal with it by trying to help others not make the mistakes I made and it has been terrific experience. I am also lucky to be healthy and alive, despite having a cancer scare 15 years ago and getting wounded in combat in "Nam." back in the day.
You will be fine! You are young and learning this stuff 25 years before me. Congratulations!

very inspiring... thanks for sharing.

I would have loved to be one of those "millionaires in their 30s" though.

But just like you and the poster above said it...

I do have a lot to be thankful for.
You are welcome. Thanks for writing.
I also got a private message from another BH about my post. It's those little things that make my day.
Public School K-12 Educators: "Ask NOT what your annuity sales person can do for you, ask what you can do to be a Do-It-Yourselfer (DIY)."

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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by R2D2 » Sat Apr 11, 2015 8:52 pm

Maybe I missed something, but putting the money into CDs back in '09 was actually a pretty profitable move, right? You basically bought a bunch of medium- to long-term bonds (with some embedded optionality) and interest rates took a (further) dive.

I think you did just fine!

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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by TradingPlaces » Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:09 pm

A few random comments:

- if you think you have depression, you should seek treatment. The circumstances that you describe could have caused depression (divorce, financial loss, regret),

- if you think about these issues a lot, that could either ignite, or deepen your regression. There is a documented link between rumination and depression. When you ruminate over past issues, you extend the pain and suffering,

- depression can cause you to make more mistakes, as depression reduces effective decision making. Thus, the best thing you can do is to seek help,

- I agree that you can not change the past. However, examining past mistakes in a healthy manner can help make better decisions in the future. However, there is a fine line between examining past mistakes and dwelling on them. Striking the right balance is an art and skill,

- a lot of well-meaning folks who come back and comment, stating that the OP is doing better than 95% of the people out there. That is not helping. The circumstances of the 95% of the people out there have nothing to do with OP. So if OP is doing better than 95% people out there, that means he is doing worse than 5%, and probably a lot worse than 1%. So, should the OP focus on the fact that he is much worse off than 1% of the population? No. Any comparisons, made in positive or negative, are not going to help the OP, and could possibly deepen the depression, regret, and poor decision making.

OP: money only can not make you happy. There are documented, empirically demonstrated methods on how to achieve happiness. These methods can differ from a therapist to another, and from one patient to another. This field is very much an empirical field, so you need to seek help, and try somethings that have a good chance of working out.

Things that can generally help you:

- establish good routines, like sleep, waking up, going to work, having regularity in your day,
- structure helps initially,
- exercise, eat healthy and well,
- hobbies that you enjoy, or used to enjoy,
- friends, and relationships,
- treat yourself,
- don't forget to take time off,
- achievements.

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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by pennstater2005 » Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:17 pm

kenschmidt wrote:I try to remember that I am going to go to sleep tonight in a comfortable bed, with a roof over my head, safe and with (more than) enough to eat for the day. Many don't have even that.
This rings very true to me. I try to think about this often as it helps to keep things in perspective.
“If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.” – Earl Wilson

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Re: how to deal with it [regret over past investing choices]

Post by deepvalleys » Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:27 am

I realize that reading about investment mistakes is entertaining, probably more so than reading about success. Maybe because I can feel better about myself and my mistakes. It is more easy to like a person that has made a mistake and moved on. People who did everything right in their life, are often annoying.

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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by obgyn65 » Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:34 am

+1. I would stick to CDs.
rec7 wrote:Buying CD's instead of some of the things I have done would look very smart. LOL I spent several years in the market and made less than people in CD's.
"The two most important days in someone's life are the day that they are born and the day they discover why." -John Maxwell

TerryDMillerMBA
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Re: how to deal with it [regret over past investing choices]

Post by TerryDMillerMBA » Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:00 am

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery."

KlangFool
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Re: how to deal with it [regret over past investing choices]

Post by KlangFool » Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:19 am

TS,

1) I lost half of my whole life savings due to stock trading in Telecom bubble. I am still writing off the capital loss after 10+ years.

2) My friend worked for Enron for 22 years. Enron affair wiped out all his 401K and took away 1+ million about half or more of what he saved. He survived and retired last October.

3) One of my co-worker earn 10 millions when the company was sold. He put all his money in CD instead of stock during Telecom bubble. It turns out that he is a smarter person than all of us.

KlangFool

dc81584
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Re: how to deal with it [regret over past investing choices]

Post by dc81584 » Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:30 am

Honestly, you can still retire early and blow most people out of the water. Yes, you could have a lot more money, but you can still accumulate millions without lifting a finger. Beating yourself up for too long is counter-productive. Hindsight is ALWAYS 20/20.

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pennstater2005
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Re: how to deal with it [regret over past investing choices]

Post by pennstater2005 » Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:37 am

deepvalleys wrote:I realize that reading about investment mistakes is entertaining, probably more so than reading about success. Maybe because I can feel better about myself and my mistakes. It is more easy to like a person that has made a mistake and moved on. People who did everything right in their life, are often annoying.
Have you seen all of the "2 comma club, hit one million, paid off my mortgage" threads? People don't seem to annoyed by those. In fact, quite the opposite. I know it's not exactly what you are talking about.
“If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.” – Earl Wilson

SgtSlaughter
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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by SgtSlaughter » Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:50 am

HoosierJim wrote:You could have bought AAPL at $12 (split adjusted in 2008) and now it's $128/share - so your 1.5 million would be 15 million OR, you could have gone to Harvard and loaned Zuckerberg the money to start Facebook and would be multibillionare OR you could have been run over by a truck in 2009. :oops:

So if you are going to fret and regret - might as well go big. If a friend was bi*$#ching and moaning made the comment:

"I shoulda bought AAPL in 2008 and and I can't get out of bed in the morning due to the dread", what would say back?

Seriously, the point it learn from mistakes and move ahead.
I owned Apple shares in 2002 right after the crash. Wish I kept them. I also owned Ford debt in 2009. When It was down at 2.5 from 25 a share. Goldman Sachs approached me to buy my position. Wish I had the brains to keep buying more of the debt. It would have paid 100% intrest @ 2.5. 4 years later the debt was trading at 26 a share. I bust my ass traveling every day and I don't have much to show for it. Having 500k in my roth would have made changing careers easier.

I feel like a total failure every day.

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Bulldawg
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Re: how to deal with it [regret over past investing choices]

Post by Bulldawg » Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:00 am

Sounds like the OP has a lot on the ball by accumulating 1.5m at age 30. Also sounds like he's experienced some life lessons concerning market swings , timing, divorce, etc. Future looks bright to me considering his age, remaining nest egg, life lessons learned , and discovering Bogleheads !
" IN GOD WE TRUST " ( official motto of the United States )

richyg12
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Re: how to deal with it [regret over past investing choices]

Post by richyg12 » Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:00 am

It might not help much but I remember a saying.

If you were in a group of 100 random people who all wrote down their personal issues , problems and miseries on a piece of paper and passed them around for all to read - you would be mighty pleased when you got your piece of paper back at the end and unlikely to want to swap it.

All the best.
Last edited by richyg12 on Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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blueblock
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Re: how to deal with it [regret over past investing choices]

Post by blueblock » Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:02 am

My Big Mistake was that, for about 10 years, I contributed only enough to my 401K to get the match. I "needed" the money for spending, and retirement was so far off....

As I got older and could see retirement as a not-that-far-away goal, I realized what a poor strategy I'd been following. I increased my contribution rate a bit, and found that it didn't hurt, then a bit more, until it finally dawned on me that the only correct and beneficial thing to do was to hit the maximum, which I've done for about the last 15 years.

So, yes, I'm retiring (this month) later than I might have, but it has never occurred to me to regret what I can't change anyway. Instead, I have watched the magic of compounding and been amazed, I have realized how good it feels to live frugally and I have really enjoyed learning about investing. A little like Monty Python, I have tried on focus on "the bright side of life."

One more thought, based on my advanced age (63), what feels to you like a huge mistake will become less so in time. It's like looking at the 3-month graph of the Dow (or whatever) as it's plunging, and you're thinking, "OMG, when's it going to stop, we're all gonna die!" It's just so immediate. But look at that same crash from a 10-year perspective, it's more like "Well, that was a dip, wasn't it." Time really is a wonderful healer.

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Nicolas
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Re: regret and depression...how to deal with it

Post by Nicolas » Sun Apr 12, 2015 9:02 am

sschullo wrote:I lost a million when I was in my 50s!, during the 2000 crash and I don't regret a bit. It was a learning experience and wrote a book about it and just finished another because of the 403(b) experience, by making mistakes all along And doing some things right too. Only a few bogleheads came out of the cradle, never made big mistakes, highly talented and are multimillionaires by the time they are in the 30s, and also have a high paying fantastic job that they love and are respected by all.
Instead, we are regular folk or as playwrite George Bernard Shaw said that most of us "live in quiet desperation." I deal with it by trying to help others not make the mistakes I made and it has been terrific experience. I am also lucky to be healthy and alive, despite having a cancer scare 15 years ago and getting wounded in combat in "Nam." back in the day.
You will be fine! You are young and learning this stuff 25 years before me. Congratulations!
It was actually Henry David Thoreau who said that, in Walden: "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation", not Geo. Bernard Shaw.
Last edited by Nicolas on Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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staythecourse
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Re: how to deal with it [regret over past investing choices]

Post by staythecourse » Sun Apr 12, 2015 9:09 am

I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but your financial issues have NOTHING to do with putting money in CD vs. investing in a bogleheads approach.

You lost money through poor decisions and divorce. That is not the same as, "I only have x amount as it was in CD's vs. y amount in a 3 fund approach.". The difference is very IMPORTANT to understand as the risks of you making the same mistakes are still there unless you learn and admit to yourself.

If you have a 3 fund or 10 fund portfolio won't matter is you don't learn from your mistakes. For example, you mentioning you are waiting for a correction to deploy the rest of the money makes me feel you STILL don't understand the fundamentals of good investing. No good investor (boglehead) or not would advocate market timing.

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

Professor Emeritus
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Re: how to deal with it [regret over past investing choices]

Post by Professor Emeritus » Sun Apr 12, 2015 9:11 am

If you anguish over past decisions, please seek professional help, it out of our expertise , the domain of the group etc.

Best wishes

However , if the question is whether you are "up to" making future investments, that is a more complicated issue.

On of the reasons for index investments is the personal recognition that the investor is "no smarter than anyone else".
That part is easy. I know I am no smarter than anybody else.

But the fundamental Bogle claim is that NO BODY who is willing to sell their services to you
is smarter than the collective of the marketplace.

That is why even if you are anguished over past decisions, it does not affect your ability to invest wisely today.

Good luck

sawhorse
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Re: how to deal with it [regret over past investing choices]

Post by sawhorse » Sun Apr 12, 2015 2:31 pm

Here's a question. If you made the exact same investment (or lack of) decisions and were happily married this entire time, would you feel the same?

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fvaldes
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Re: how to deal with it [regret over past investing choices]

Post by fvaldes » Sun Apr 12, 2015 5:32 pm

sawhorse wrote:Here's a question. If you made the exact same investment (or lack of) decisions and were happily married this entire time, would you feel the same?
I think the answer to that would be yes. My divorce is really what bothers me the least out of all these factors.

It could have been a lot worse if I had kids, etc....

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Re: how to deal with it [regret over past investing choices]

Post by dumbbunny » Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:35 pm

fvaldes wrote:How do you deal with past bad decisions regarding money? Regrets and fretting over how different it could have been is killing me to the point I can hardly function. I am far from broke but knowing what I could have today had I known more about investing is killing me everyday. How do you guys deal with the "had I", "if I ", etc? I could have followed my dreams at 36 and never have to worry about $ again. But I blew it.
If you play woulda, shoulda, coulda and other "what-ifs" games in your head, please don't forget that with your fortune you could have made some decisions that might have been unfortunate Maybe the sports car you bought can't handle a curve and you are injured for life or you harm someone else. Maybe you decide to travel more and your plane crashes. Maybe. Just maybe. Be thankful for what you have and what you don't have.
“It’s the curse of old men to realize that in the end we control nothing." "Homeland" episode, "Gerontion"

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