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

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inbox788
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Re: how to deal with it [regret over past investing choices]

Post by inbox788 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:14 pm

Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. You might be the definition of pessimist.
How did you come upon $1.5 at age 30?
Despite some tumultuous years, you seemed to have retained half of that. In 2008/9, many folks in the market were in a similar situation, down nearly 50%.
You found this site.
How did you come upon another $250,000 recently?

Were you waiting for a correction back when? Still waiting for it now?

What type of work did/do you do? Did you have steady jobs in the past? How are your career prospects going forward? You've got many years ahead of you and making the best of them.
fvaldes wrote:I was sitting on about 1.5million and DIDNT INVEST AT ALL after the housing bubble came and went.
...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 )

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.

...
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 )

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

Post by sawhorse » Wed Apr 15, 2015 5:13 pm

Like all regret, investment regret sucks. Unlike other types of regret, you can put an exact number on it and know precisely how it would have turned out if you had acted differently. With other types of regret, you wish you acted differently, but you can't say for sure how it would have turned out if you had acted the other way. That makes investment regret harder to swallow for some people--not myself, but I can understand the people who feel that way.

In terms of your regret, I don't think I can say anything that others haven't said, so I'll give you some unsolicited advice moving forward.

It may be tempting to invest all your money now to recoup the difference and particularly to invest it in risky assets. This would be so dangerous. You regret not earning, but not losing, nominal value due to your inaction. That's painful enough. Know what'll be really really painful? Regretting losing nominal value, a lot of it, due to your action.

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

Post by myrrh » Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:01 am

As far as what to do now - I would put your money in the market. Yes it's near an "all time high" and there hasn't been a correction in awhile, and it may drop 50% tomorrow. Or it may go up 15% this year and continue going up and up for years. No one knows. And if you believe that on average it goes up - most people do - then just get it done. "Time in the market is better than timing the market".

There is a story about Bob the terrible market timer who only bought stocks during market peaks, but never sold, and he still did great and retired comfortably. I am having trouble with the search function but maybe someone else can find and link the story.

Personally I put a big (for me) chunk of money in the market in 2007, right before the big 2008 crash. But I didn't sell and kept investing. And I'm way better off today than if I hadn't put the money in the market at all.

Hope this makes you feel better. I realize it's very hard but just bite the bullet. Or if that's too hard then DCA over a year or two. At least you will be getting back in. :happy

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

Post by M_to_the_G » Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:42 pm

These words changed my life, and I offer them to you now: There is no such thing as failure, only feedback. You did *not* "fail" in your previous choices. You only received feedback. There is no such thing as failure, and no one has ever failed at anything; they've only received feedback for future reference.
"It’s basically the plot of 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.' If you stick around, doing nothing, while everyone around you ****s up, you’re going to win big." - John Oliver

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

Post by stemikger » Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:04 am

Posted by Inbox788
Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Although Einstein is credited for this quote, I always thought he said it too, he never actually said it. It's still a great quote but not from Einstein.

Here is the link below:

http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/03/9-alb ... ally-fake/
Choose Simplicity ~ Stay the Course!! ~ Press on Regardless!!!

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

Post by stemikger » Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:10 am

myrrh wrote:As far as what to do now - I would put your money in the market. Yes it's near an "all time high" and there hasn't been a correction in awhile, and it may drop 50% tomorrow. Or it may go up 15% this year and continue going up and up for years. No one knows. And if you believe that on average it goes up - most people do - then just get it done. "Time in the market is better than timing the market".

There is a story about Bob the terrible market timer who only bought stocks during market peaks, but never sold, and he still did great and retired comfortably. I am having trouble with the search function but maybe someone else can find and link the story.

Personally I put a big (for me) chunk of money in the market in 2007, right before the big 2008 crash. But I didn't sell and kept investing. And I'm way better off today than if I hadn't put the money in the market at all.

Hope this makes you feel better. I realize it's very hard but just bite the bullet. Or if that's too hard then DCA over a year or two. At least you will be getting back in. :happy
In theory the experts say it is better to lump sum, but for the average person, it may not be the best. The market is definitely at an all time high and we haven't seen a real correction for quite a while now and no one knows when it will come, but rest assured it will come because that is what the markets do. I would hate to see someone put a large sum in and that correction happens tomorrow. Even though they know in 5, 10 or 20 years it will not matter, it still may turn them off from investing and it still may cause they sleepless nights. Even Warren Buffett suggests the average person should just buy the index but buy it over time.
Choose Simplicity ~ Stay the Course!! ~ Press on Regardless!!!

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

Post by beardsworth » Fri Apr 17, 2015 7:24 am

We have a list of not-very-important financial decisions over the years that we wish we'd done differently, but they were inconsequential and not worth current fretting. However, we also have two or three real whoppers that still make us cringe whenever we think of them.

What's done is done. We take comfort from knowing that we did the best we could, given our values, priorities, and money situation at the time, and that in each case we talked it over and made a consensus decision, so that, whatever the outcome, the choice was not "imposed" by one spouse on the other and (the most important thing of all) did not divide us from one another.

We also take comfort in the realization that we can't think of any person in our acquaintance, not one, who hasn't done something along the way to screw up in the realm of money. That's life. The task is to minimize, though probably never be able to completely eliminate, the weird things that money does to the mind. On that note, it's helpful to focus on all the things that matter in life that really don't require much money, if any.

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max12377
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Re: how to deal with it [regret over past investing choices]

Post by max12377 » Fri Apr 17, 2015 11:45 am

I think we have a choice of what to focus on. I recall a seminar where the presenter said to look around and notice everything around you that is red. So participants did so. Then he asked them to close their eyes. Once their eyes were closed he said.. "Ok.. tell me everything around you that was green"

The point is, I think, to not let yourself get too focused on and crushed by the regret of the past such that you miss out on other opportunities that may be presenting themselves to you right now.. I admit this can be harder said than done. I have a lot of royal screw-ups in my life, and not just financial ones.

Try to live in the present and appreciate what you have right now.

Best of luck!

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

Post by Dulocracy » Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:48 pm

I am a year older than you are without that windfall. I did not start saving until a few years ago. You know in the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" when Mr. Potter tells George Bailey "You are worth more dead than alive" (thereby causing him to consider suicide)? Yeah, that is me... worth more dead than alive. You can NOW invest that money. I can NOW save for retirement. It is not about what you could have done or should have done. It is about what you are going to do to make life wonderful for yourself and for your family.
I'm not a financial professional. Post is info only & not legal advice. No attorney-client relationship exists with reader. Scrutinize my ideas as if you spoke with a guy at a bar. I may be wrong.

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

Post by sschullo » Sat Apr 18, 2015 6:13 am

Nicolas 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!
It was actually Henry David Thoreau who said that, in Walden: "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation", not Geo. Bernard Shaw.
Thank you!
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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stemikger
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Re: how to deal with it [regret over past investing choices]

Post by stemikger » Sat Apr 18, 2015 6:55 am

I vote this thread as the best for 2015. I sometimes notice people seeking help here and every now and then they get negative advice instead of being encouraged. I'm glad to see this thread because it encourages people to never give up and not beat yourself up for making mistakes or just having bad luck.

Kudos to all the folks on this one who helped others stay encouraged.

Especially sschullo. Also, thank you for your service to this Country.
Choose Simplicity ~ Stay the Course!! ~ Press on Regardless!!!

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

Post by sschullo » Sat Apr 18, 2015 7:22 am

stemikger wrote:I vote this thread as the best for 2015. I sometimes notice people seeking help here and every now and then they get negative advice instead of being encouraged. I'm glad to see this thread because it encourages people to never give up and not beat yourself up for making mistakes or just having bad luck.

Kudos to all the folks on this one who helped others stay encouraged.

Especially sschullo. Also, thank you for your service to this Country.
You're welcome stem. Just doing what I can to help this young investor stay the course and never give up. Mistakes are great lessons--we own them and nobody can take that away. As older folks, I think its our duty to inform people that its going to be okay. As you said, the trick is not to dwell on them and that's hard going through a mistake as its painful. Its amazing as I look back on how many mistakes we all make from time to time and it easily covers up the right decisions too.
Have a great day,
Steve
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: how to deal with it [regret over past investing choices]

Post by Carefreeap » Sat Apr 18, 2015 11:16 am

sschullo wrote:
stemikger wrote:I vote this thread as the best for 2015. I sometimes notice people seeking help here and every now and then they get negative advice instead of being encouraged. I'm glad to see this thread because it encourages people to never give up and not beat yourself up for making mistakes or just having bad luck.

Kudos to all the folks on this one who helped others stay encouraged.

Especially sschullo. Also, thank you for your service to this Country.
You're welcome stem. Just doing what I can to help this young investor stay the course and never give up. Mistakes are great lessons--we own them and nobody can take that away. As older folks, I think its our duty to inform people that its going to be okay. As you said, the trick is not to dwell on them and that's hard going through a mistake as its painful. Its amazing as I look back on how many mistakes we all make from time to time and it easily covers up the right decisions too.
Have a great day,
Steve
+1 Great Post!

I feel that part of my role on the financial website forums is to share the lessons (mistakes! :wink: ) I've learned along the way so that someone can learn from my experience.

Hindsight is always 20/20. I remember how bad it felt to watch everything drop in value in 2007. So much so that I stopped opening my 401k/457 statements for about a year and a half. At the same time our real estate investments tanked. Then my mom died and I spent 8 months negotiating with her idiotic bank to do a short sale of her condo that was upside by $300k. My MIL was diagnosed with cancer again. Then the company DH worked for closed its US operations and laid 10s of thousands of people off. We took the job offer to relocate to Europe but it took nearly five months to find a credit worthy tenant to rent our house...with a negative cash flow. We were burglarized twice within months of moving to Europe. Then our investment bank fired us since we moved overseas. They threatened to sell all of our long held stocks and send a check to our U.S. P.O. Box in AZ thus generating thousand of dollars of capital gains. Saying that it was a stressful time of our lives was an understatement. Looking back it's surprising that we didn't make more mistakes! :?

We sat on the cash proceeds of the proprietary mutual funds for about a year. And just kept banking our taxable dividends and royalties. In 2010 we paid off the mortgage on the house we planned on making our primary again and bought back into some mutual funds in anticipation that DH's contact would not be renewed in 2012. In hindsight we would have been much better off not paying off that mortgage. We should have refinanced the mortgage and invested the money. We would have come close to doubling that money; or about $450k.

As I remind myself when we've made other investment mistakes, it could have been a lot worse. We still have a roof over our heads and enough to eat. A lot of people don't have that. The financial mistakes we've made are clearly first world problems. 8-)

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

Post by dratkinson » Sat Apr 18, 2015 3:48 pm

You are well ahead of me. I didn't find this method until I was 58: retired and no earned income.

The only person you are competing against is yourself. Are you better today than you were yesterday? You are, but only if you take what you now know and look forward.

You can't keep looking back. You gotta let it go.
d.r.a., not dr.a. | I'm a novice investor, you are forewarned.

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

Post by FrugalInvestor » Sat Apr 18, 2015 4:02 pm

We've all made mistakes. Most of us were something else before we were Bogleheads.

The important thing is what you do from here on out, not what you did yesterday.
IGNORE the noise! | Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify. - Henry David Thoreau

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

Post by chessmannextmove » Sat Apr 18, 2015 4:53 pm

By forgetting about it. "You'll get em next time tiger!"

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

Post by stemikger » Sun Apr 19, 2015 6:45 am

sschullo wrote:
stemikger wrote:I vote this thread as the best for 2015. I sometimes notice people seeking help here and every now and then they get negative advice instead of being encouraged. I'm glad to see this thread because it encourages people to never give up and not beat yourself up for making mistakes or just having bad luck.

Kudos to all the folks on this one who helped others stay encouraged.

Especially sschullo. Also, thank you for your service to this Country.
You're welcome stem. Just doing what I can to help this young investor stay the course and never give up. Mistakes are great lessons--we own them and nobody can take that away. As older folks, I think its our duty to inform people that its going to be okay. As you said, the trick is not to dwell on them and that's hard going through a mistake as its painful. Its amazing as I look back on how many mistakes we all make from time to time and it easily covers up the right decisions too.
Have a great day,
Steve
:sharebeer
Choose Simplicity ~ Stay the Course!! ~ Press on Regardless!!!

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

Post by sschullo » Sun Apr 19, 2015 7:17 am

sschullo wrote:
Nicolas 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!
It was actually Henry David Thoreau who said that, in Walden: "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation", not Geo. Bernard Shaw.
Thank you!
PS Speaking of Thoreau, one of my most favorite quotes also in Walden, which applies to OP: "What demon possessed me that I behaved so well." In the context of reflecting on his life and regrets.
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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volleyballfwtx
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Re: how to deal with it [regret over past investing choices]

Post by volleyballfwtx » Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:13 am

myrrh wrote:There is a story about Bob the terrible market timer who only bought stocks during market peaks, but never sold, and he still did great and retired comfortably. I am having trouble with the search function but maybe someone else can find and link the story.
Bob is the world’s worst market timer.

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

Post by LadyGeek » Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:31 am

How about this 29 page thread on a real-life Boglehead situation: A different approach to asset allocation
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MathWizard
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Re: how to deal with it [regret over past investing choices]

Post by MathWizard » Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:39 am

You are sitting on money and have to make decisions on what to do with it and getting frozen by indecision.

One of my wisest decisions was to make fewer decisions.

I set my contributions at work and have them automatically invest for me. (Back when the ROTH limits
were only $2K, I also had contributions to a taxable account automatically invested.)

Then I only had to make the decision once, and review as needed in case I want to increase.

Forget waiting for the market to go up or down, and focus on a steady effort. This will simplify your
life, and get your mind of the finances.

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

Post by dratkinson » Sun Apr 19, 2015 2:57 pm

Remembered later. Can search forum for "worst investing/financial mistake" to find topics. The wisdom freely given to you was purchased dearly. Live and learn, don't repeat past mistakes; this includes dwelling upon them.

By three methods we may learn wisdom:
First, by reflection, which is noblest;
Second, by imitation, which is easiest;
and third by experience, which is the bitterest.
-- Confucius

"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars."
-- Khalil Gibran
d.r.a., not dr.a. | I'm a novice investor, you are forewarned.

2b2
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Re: how to deal with it [regret over past investing choices]

Post by 2b2 » Sun Apr 19, 2015 3:09 pm

Perhaps think about volunteering in a soup kitchen.
I'm serious.
It might take your mind off what you DON'T have and refocus you on what you DO have.

2b2

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

Post by sfchris » Sun Apr 19, 2015 3:27 pm

How did you get 1.5 million at age 30? If you earned it, do that again!

Personal investment can trump investing in equities.

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

Post by Angst » Sun Apr 19, 2015 4:09 pm

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

[snip]...

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 )
You appear have a few verses left to learn. Will you let us know once that next correction has arrived?! You're trying to time the market, again. Learn from your mistakes, don't wallow in them, let alone repeat them. My suggestion is that you put your investment contributions on autopilot and cease trying to time the market.

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