I haven’t checked my wallet in about a month. Here why. | Smart Change: Personal Finance
It’s no secret that 2022 was not a good year for the average investor. In fact, stocks have had their worst half year in more than 50 years, and there’s a chance the market will remain sluggish into 2023.
As someone who’s been through stock market downturns before, I try not to let that put me down. But I also don’t believe in needlessly torturing myself. That’s why I haven’t checked my investments lately. It is a practice that I intend to stick to until market conditions improve significantly.
It’s all about being kind to myself
The last time I checked my portfolio, it was down about 30%. This is largely due to the large concentration of technology stocks I have in my portfolio.
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To be clear, I don’t regret being a bit heavy on technology, and I still think the companies I chose to buy are solid investments. Plus, my portfolio is decently diversified – otherwise, I might have seen bigger losses the last time I checked.
But while I don’t necessarily flip the status of my wallet, I also don’t feel the need to look at my declining balance on screen day in and day out. The more I had to go down this path, the more likely I was to start panicking and make ill-advised decisions — like selling some tech stocks that underperformed more than most of the companies he’s invested in. This is not a position I want to put myself in.
Also, the fact is that the investments I own are not meant to be a cash source in the near term. Instead, they are meant to serve as a retirement nest egg. And since I don’t plan to be out of the workforce anytime soon, I shouldn’t spend my energy worrying about whether they’ll come back.
One of the things I’ve tried to tell myself over and over for the past six months is that the stock market really has a solid history of recovery. Also, some of the market’s strongest months were directly followed by a period of steady decline.
Now I promise, I’m really not one of those overly optimistic people who walk around and say things like, “Okay, we might be in the midst of the monsoon, but at least my umbrella is keeping my pinkie dry.” but me an act I like to remind myself that a slowdown in the stock market is normal and that investors who sit tight and weed it out often do just fine.
Don’t make yourself feel worse
If your investment portfolio has seen better days, rest assured that you are in good company. But also, don’t slap yourself in the face of this day in and day out reality by constantly checking your balance. This will not do anything good for your mental health. If anything, it may push you into a place of panic and force you to make decisions that lead to permanent losses. This is a situation that you should do your best to avoid.
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