Author Topic: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?  (Read 11133 times)

Fuperw84

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How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« on: December 12, 2017, 06:43:59 AM »
Hard to believe in one of the biggest bull market in history, I have lost $117k in the last 3 years investing in high risk oil and biotech stocks. I am disgusted with myself everytime I think about how much I've lost. I still owe $153k in student loans and $110k in Mortgage. I really want to run away from the stock market, accept I will probably never be able to regain my losses and focus strictly on paying of my student loans.  But I love to follow stocks (my main hobby) and the thought of withdrawing from the market makes me feel depressed. I also worry about missing out if tax reform is passed and the market continue to jump in 2018. What should I do?

boarder42

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2017, 06:49:42 AM »
Stop gambling on stocks and read this

http://jlcollinsnh.com/stock-series/

go invest in index funds you should have made a ton in the last 3 years. just know they are overly valued but we dont believe in timing the market so the market could drop but even if you're like Bob in the article below if you just hold and dont sell even at the top you'll still be ok

http://awealthofcommonsense.com/2014/02/worlds-worst-market-timer/

Timodeus

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2017, 06:56:01 AM »
At the top of this sub-forum is a sticky topic titled "Investment Order", I'd read and follow that to determine the best flow of your future dollars. As MMM said in a recent post, the boom years are for setting yourself right and paying down debt and padding your savings. Chances are a recession is around the corner anyway, I'd use this time paying off your debt. In my opinion your student loans are on the high end but can be paid off. You didn't provide details on your income. I'd save enough for an emergency fund then pay off the student loans. After that it's up to you about the mortgage (you provided no details on what the rate is). Either pay it off or start investing in index funds, individual obscure stocks are incredibly risky. I own a few individual companies myself but it's a small percentage of my portfolio (less than 2%).

matchewed

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2017, 07:00:01 AM »
Like others just said, stop using the stock market as a casino and start using it as investment.

boarder42

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2017, 07:00:58 AM »
At the top of this sub-forum is a sticky topic titled "Investment Order", I'd read and follow that to determine the best flow of your future dollars. As MMM said in a recent post, the boom years are for setting yourself right and paying down debt and padding your savings. Chances are a recession is around the corner anyway, I'd use this time paying off your debt. In my opinion your student loans are on the high end but can be paid off. You didn't provide details on your income. I'd save enough for an emergency fund then pay off the student loans. After that it's up to you about the mortgage (you provided no details on what the rate is). Either pay it off or start investing in index funds, individual obscure stocks are incredibly risky. I own a few individual companies myself but it's a small percentage of my portfolio (less than 2%).

how did you determine he should pay that debt down with out knowing interest rates and if they are fixed.

toganet

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2017, 07:17:39 AM »
I'll address the unanswered part of your question, about how to deal with the loss.  Investment advice aside, I would encourage you to look at that $117k as

a) an expensive, but valuable lesson about what can happen -- one that should stick with you emotionally and serve as a vaccine against future temptation to stock pick.

b) only money, and probably not even that much when taken as a percentage of your lifelong earnings.

In other words, you got lucky -- the bad kind -- and now you know better.  Use this experience to your advantage.

Timodeus

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2017, 08:07:58 AM »
At the top of this sub-forum is a sticky topic titled "Investment Order", I'd read and follow that to determine the best flow of your future dollars. As MMM said in a recent post, the boom years are for setting yourself right and paying down debt and padding your savings. Chances are a recession is around the corner anyway, I'd use this time paying off your debt. In my opinion your student loans are on the high end but can be paid off. You didn't provide details on your income. I'd save enough for an emergency fund then pay off the student loans. After that it's up to you about the mortgage (you provided no details on what the rate is). Either pay it off or start investing in index funds, individual obscure stocks are incredibly risky. I own a few individual companies myself but it's a small percentage of my portfolio (less than 2%).

how did you determine he should pay that debt down with out knowing interest rates and if they are fixed.

With the lack of information I assumed the student loans had a similar interest rate as mine did, roughly 7%. That of course could be inaccurate but without more detail I can only generalize-hence why I pointed to the sticky post.

Fuperw84

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2017, 08:17:39 AM »
My student loans interest is 4.85%. Mortgage is 4.35%. I would like to make a decision by end of year as to what to do. I lost a lot of confidence in my investing ability and afraid everything I buy will end up in a big loss. But if I quit the market completely, I will feel bad knowing I threw away $117k with nothing to show for it.

Fuperw84

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2017, 08:18:44 AM »
I am fortunate to have a stable job for big corporation. I earn $120k before tax annually and $97k after tax.

boarder42

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2017, 08:23:46 AM »
those are low interest rate loans.  Go read the article i sent above by JL Collins you werent "investing" you were gambling.  Buy the total stock market and forget about it and your future self will thank you -  i spent 17 years stock picking before i saw the light.  You have likely learned you lesson on stock picking now spend a few weeks of nightly reading educating yourself and move on to a brighter future.   

I wouldnt pay down the loans i'd just open a vanguard account and start dumping your extra money there after you put 18.5k in your 401k and 5500 in your Roth and 6900 in your HSA follow the investment order linked above and index(its not as much fun to start) but when you pull in 100k like i did this year on a set it and forget it index allocation it starts to get really fun!

matchewed

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2017, 08:34:38 AM »
My student loans interest is 4.85%. Mortgage is 4.35%. I would like to make a decision by end of year as to what to do. I lost a lot of confidence in my investing ability and afraid everything I buy will end up in a big loss. But if I quit the market completely, I will feel bad knowing I threw away $117k with nothing to show for it.

Sunk cost fallacy. You already did actually throw away $117k. The only thing you have to show for it is a lesson learned. Take b42's recommendation. There is sound advice in there.

Timodeus

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2017, 08:34:45 AM »
My student loans interest is 4.85%. Mortgage is 4.35%. I would like to make a decision by end of year as to what to do. I lost a lot of confidence in my investing ability and afraid everything I buy will end up in a big loss. But if I quit the market completely, I will feel bad knowing I threw away $117k with nothing to show for it.

Those are decent rates. If it was me, I would pay off the student loan, though with the interest deduction it would be less than or equal to your mortgage (assuming you don't itemize). It's your call as future long term investment gains will probably be higher than those rates. In my own case with a 7% rate, I decided to pay it off as I like to assume a low market return rate, plus a 7% safe return rate was a great bargain in my eyes.

As far as investment goes, toganet hit the nail on the head, use the loss as an expensive lesson. Early on in my investing life I lost $1,000 trying to invest my emergency fund, I sold at a loss right before my company had layoffs, I learned my lesson that way. Once you internalize the lesson, buy investments you know you'll hold onto for a lifetime, preferably index funds. Paraphrasing Buffett the best holding period is forever.

theolympians

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2017, 08:51:32 AM »
153k in student loans? What are your advanced degrees in?

surfhb

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2017, 09:08:07 AM »
Hard to believe in one of the biggest bull market in history, I have lost $117k in the last 3 years investing in high risk oil and biotech stocks. I am disgusted with myself everytime I think about how much I've lost. I still owe $153k in student loans and $110k in Mortgage. I really want to run away from the stock market, accept I will probably never be able to regain my losses and focus strictly on paying of my student loans.  But I love to follow stocks (my main hobby) and the thought of withdrawing from the market makes me feel depressed. I also worry about missing out if tax reform is passed and the market continue to jump in 2018. What should I do?

"Its only a loss if you didnt sell"

Did you? ;)

Odiedog859

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2017, 09:20:39 AM »
Seems like all of the replies here and over on Bogleheads point to the same boring but effective path.  The tweets and posts about making lots of money in the stock market usually are by folks who don't tweet or post their mistakes and losses.  It the nature of social networks.  Some folks get rich winning the lottery but it isn't an investment strategy.

Pay off debt and save a lot.   Simplify your lifestyle and see if you can live on $60K, freeing up $60k to work on the above.  Invest in boring index stocks.   Slowly become financially independent.  Read the book "Millionaire Next Door".

JM2C.  I lost a fair amount back in the tech bubble ( I really liked Gateway computers.....) Fortunately I was young enough to recover so I can retire a few years early.   You can too.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2017, 04:29:59 PM by Odiedog859 »
Simple doesn't mean easy........

Fuperw84

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2017, 11:43:19 AM »
153k in student loans? What are your advanced degrees in?

Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD).








Fuperw84

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2017, 11:44:25 AM »
those are low interest rate loans.  Go read the article i sent above by JL Collins you werent "investing" you were gambling.  Buy the total stock market and forget about it and your future self will thank you -  i spent 17 years stock picking before i saw the light.  You have likely learned you lesson on stock picking now spend a few weeks of nightly reading educating yourself and move on to a brighter future.   

I wouldnt pay down the loans i'd just open a vanguard account and start dumping your extra money there after you put 18.5k in your 401k and 5500 in your Roth and 6900 in your HSA follow the investment order linked above and index(its not as much fun to start) but when you pull in 100k like i did this year on a set it and forget it index allocation it starts to get really fun!

Thank You Boarder42 for your advise. The article is very helpful.

Fuperw84

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2017, 11:46:32 AM »
Hard to believe in one of the biggest bull market in history, I have lost $117k in the last 3 years investing in high risk oil and biotech stocks. I am disgusted with myself everytime I think about how much I've lost. I still owe $153k in student loans and $110k in Mortgage. I really want to run away from the stock market, accept I will probably never be able to regain my losses and focus strictly on paying of my student loans.  But I love to follow stocks (my main hobby) and the thought of withdrawing from the market makes me feel depressed. I also worry about missing out if tax reform is passed and the market continue to jump in 2018. What should I do?

"Its only a loss if you didnt sell"

Unfortunately I had to sell. I invested in PVA, SUNE, LINE, GDP,SDRL, EXXI etc.. They all filed for Chapter 11.

Did you? ;)

markbike528CBX

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2017, 12:56:41 PM »
You don't have to sell.   
Chapter 11 is a reorganization, not a dissolution.
http://www.uscourts.gov/services-forms/bankruptcy/bankruptcy-basics/chapter-11-bankruptcy-basics

Many times the equity shares become worthless/delisted, but sometimes there is a little left for old shareholders.
There sometimes isn't a charge from a broker when the shares are worthless delisted versus the commission on selling.   

Don't ask how I know :-)   See  ticker TK.


koshtra

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2017, 01:28:16 PM »
Do read up on the sunk cost fallacy. It's still got its hooks in you. And it's not just in financial life that it will royally screw you over. It's a habit of mind that will ruin your life. It will draw you into gambling scheme after gambling scheme (financial, emotional, philosophical, whatever-ical.) You've got to cut loose. There's still a big part of your mind saying, "well, I *almost* had it right. If I did the same things except do X instead of Y, I could win big and recoup my losses and..."

That part of your mind is trying to kill you.

The good news is that you're totally free. You don't have to throw good money after bad, you can look up and take a deep breath and start right from here, wherever here is.

People have already given you the right practical advice. Take it. But you also have to practice accepting the losses. When your mind goes back to them -- which it will, over and over -- you have to realize it, and deliberately pick it up and set it to work on productive projects instead. You get better at it as time goes by -- you catch yourself faster, and putting your mind on another track gets easier. It's just a skill, like learning to ride a bike.

talltexan

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2017, 02:21:58 PM »
Fuper-
judging from your username, you are 33 years old, With a good income and a nice degree.

Along with Boarder I am a member of the "Don't Pay off your mortgage club". If you can design a lifestyle to save Half your income, you could have all the debt you describe serviced and still afford to retire by age 50, ammassing sums of money that make the losses you describe in your initial post look irrelevant.

Psychologically, it's very hard to change money that is out there now, but it's very easy to make a committment regarding new money. Commit to yourself to put all new money you can save into VTI from now on. Remember, you don't have this money, yet, you could invest it in anything. Selling bad investments is Hard, but making this commitment yourself today is easy.

Once you've gotten used to that single step, you can start to think about how you'll move these dogs out of the oil patch and into VTI.

moof

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2017, 04:00:06 PM »
I'll agree with others, stop gambling in stocks and go buy a very simple portfolio of index funds.  Think 1-3 funds max.  Start with a total market stock fund like VTSAX.  Add in a broad bond fund and maybe some international stocks as you progress towards your target date.

The rate of return on paying off student loans is nothing to scoff at, 4.85% guaranteed rate of return is better than most bond funds have done lately.  Do go and look at the net rate of return due to reduced deductions before you make that decision (hard to know how it affects your particular tax situation).


rab

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2017, 04:11:15 PM »
Nothing to do but move forward from here. Maybe set up a separate account with a modest amount of "play money" (like 1-5% of your portfolio) to satisfy your trading urges and invest the rest in index funds as suggested by others.

Fuperw84

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2017, 07:46:32 AM »
Losing $117k is a bitter pill to swallow but I know giving up trading will be worth it long-term. I will take time this weekend to reflect on my past mistake and make a determined plan to focus on other aspects of life and regain financial health. Greed, risk-taking impulse and lack of understanding of the risks involved cost me dearly. I feel the only way to move forward is not even consider trying to win back this massive loss. I will only dig myself a bigger hole.

surfhb

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2017, 08:31:15 AM »
I wouldnt worry about it.    I lost much more if you count the years of not saving and investing, smoking, drinking, drugs, ect.   

You are young, have a good income.   Read the J Collins book and follow it to a T.   

Maenad

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2017, 08:55:33 AM »
Oof. BTDT, with almost as much money, investing in my employer's stock right before the dot-com crash. Now I'm up to 1.5MM, so a person can recover from that kind of mistake.

Tons of sympathy, and agree with the others - move into Vanguard's Total Stock Market Fund and consider this a good, if painful lesson.


tralfamadorian

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2017, 04:30:30 PM »
Agree with everyone else's comments.

It's an expensive lesson- take some time to really make sure you learnt it. How are you going to make sure you don't forget it the next time a seemingly shiny opportunity comes along? Some self reflection along this line of thought may be helpful.

Travis

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2017, 07:30:53 PM »
My student loans interest is 4.85%. Mortgage is 4.35%. I would like to make a decision by end of year as to what to do. I lost a lot of confidence in my investing ability and afraid everything I buy will end up in a big loss. But if I quit the market completely, I will feel bad knowing I threw away $117k with nothing to show for it.

Most of us don't actually have an "investing ability." That's why index funds are so popular.  All you have to think about is where to allocate your money and the market does the rest of the work for you.  Focus on managing your lifestyle which frees up money to invest.  Read the guides offered here to give you ideas of where to start and build up your confidence in using the market to your advantage.
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ChpBstrd

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #28 on: December 15, 2017, 11:26:18 AM »
This is a know thyself moment.

You must figure out your own behavioral and cognitive tendancies and be aware of how you will slip into them again in certain circumstances.

Here are some hard questions we should all ask ourselves:

Do you seek opportunities to prove your acumen? Are you bored and seeking a dopamine shot? Are you conditioned to trust in "experts" who make a living by writing? (such expertise is relevant in some domains, but not this one) Do you incorrectly believe your high intelligence in your field is generalizable enough to provide advantages in other domains, like stock picking?

Knowing your tendencies will not only help you avoid stock-picking, it will also help prevent the tendency from causing mistakes in other domains.

FWIW, I "lost" more than you lost over the past 8 years by being a scaredy cat and investing too conservatively for my life stage. This passive mistake is less painful than making an active mistake like you did, but it's there! My knowledge of this tendency will hopefully help me stay the course instead of shifting into cash/bonds on the next super-scary 5% downturn.

Last bit of advice, if you've not done so already, speak with a tax advisor about loss carry-forwards. With your high income, you'll claw back some of the losses in tax savings for the next couple years.

Bicycle_B

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #29 on: December 15, 2017, 12:32:26 PM »
+1 to loss carryforwards.  You can get money as well as learning out of this.j

+1 to investment order. 

Your future key is to save and invest.  If you keep your expenses well below your income, you can pay all debt (or, rationally, all but a mortgage) and, by investing the rest, become wealthy over time.

Your investing ability appears normal.  You made imperfect choices and lost some money.  That's normal.  Perfection isn't.
 Losses occur in a percentage of high-risk plays.  In the future, losses and gains will each happen if you continue investing in high-risk plays.  They will happen not because of your ability, which being normal will have little effect, but because of your choice of investment type.  However, your future choices are completely unconstrained by your past ones. 

As stated by others, you can increase your probability of success by choosing lower-risk investment vehicles such as index funds.  The odds shift in your favor and the percentage of wins gets much higher.  You will feel less pain at the losses because they will be less steep.  Your emotional ability to keep investing is the most important part.  Your emotional ability to hear logic in the midst of pain is the next most important part.  You are developing the latter quality in this thread.  I hope you will shortly develop the former quality too.  Most successful investors followed a similar path.  Keep learning and keep going.

retirementnestegg

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #30 on: December 15, 2017, 12:53:30 PM »
Fuperw84 - Im so sorry to hear about your unfortunate results in the stock market.

Out of curiosity, what did you invest in that did so poorly?

All I can think of that has done so poorly in the last 3 years are oil stocks maybe? Perhaps some financials 2-3 years ago?


Fuperw84

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #31 on: December 16, 2017, 04:14:21 AM »
I loaded up on oil exploration companies in November 2015 after big oil crash. Invested in Sandridge Energy (SD), EXXI, Penn Virgina (PVA), Goodrich Petroleum (GDP), Seadrill (SDRL), Breitburn Energy, Lynn Energy etc. They all filed Chapter 11 and my money essentially decreased by 70%. I then moved over to biotech in 2016 during Presidential Election. Was doing great and then near Election time, Hillary Clinton decided to attack the Pharmaceutical companies. I was on margin because I was confident the companies I invested in would get FDA approval (using my scientific knowledge as a Pharmacist). All biotech stocks plummeted in October 2016 and I was forced to sell at a lost due to margin call.

kpd905

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #32 on: December 16, 2017, 07:08:26 AM »
You are just gambling.  Pick a couple index funds and set up auto investments.
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DavidAnnArbor

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #33 on: December 16, 2017, 07:28:13 AM »
I loaded up on oil exploration companies in November 2015 after big oil crash. Invested in Sandridge Energy (SD), EXXI, Penn Virgina (PVA), Goodrich Petroleum (GDP), Seadrill (SDRL), Breitburn Energy, Lynn Energy etc. They all filed Chapter 11 and my money essentially decreased by 70%. I then moved over to biotech in 2016 during Presidential Election. Was doing great and then near Election time, Hillary Clinton decided to attack the Pharmaceutical companies. I was on margin because I was confident the companies I invested in would get FDA approval (using my scientific knowledge as a Pharmacist). All biotech stocks plummeted in October 2016 and I was forced to sell at a lost due to margin call.

Hot damn !

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #34 on: December 16, 2017, 09:19:50 AM »
I loaded up on oil exploration companies in November 2015 after big oil crash. Invested in Sandridge Energy (SD), EXXI, Penn Virgina (PVA), Goodrich Petroleum (GDP), Seadrill (SDRL), Breitburn Energy, Lynn Energy etc. They all filed Chapter 11 and my money essentially decreased by 70%. I then moved over to biotech in 2016 during Presidential Election. Was doing great and then near Election time, Hillary Clinton decided to attack the Pharmaceutical companies. I was on margin because I was confident the companies I invested in would get FDA approval (using my scientific knowledge as a Pharmacist). All biotech stocks plummeted in October 2016 and I was forced to sell at a lost due to margin call.

Oh yeah, it was all HRC’s fault. Sheesh.

zinnie

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #35 on: December 16, 2017, 09:29:41 AM »
Let go of what you're already lost. As others have said, read up on the sunk cost fallacy: https://youarenotsosmart.com/2011/03/25/the-sunk-cost-fallacy/

You make a good income. You can invest a lot of money going forward and set yourself up with a good future if you follow solid investing principles. Onward!

damyst

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #36 on: December 16, 2017, 09:34:38 AM »
Maybe set up a separate account with a modest amount of "play money" (like 1-5% of your portfolio) to satisfy your trading urges and invest the rest in index funds as suggested by others.

I was thinking the same thing, since the OP mentioned that stock picking is "his main hobby". It's okay to spend money on a hobby that makes you happy, but that's what this is - spending, not investing.
I'm into snowboarding, but would I put all my savings into snowboard gear? No.

EDIT: oh, and don't ever buy securities on margin. Period.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 09:43:03 AM by damyst »

Fuperw84

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #37 on: December 16, 2017, 11:59:39 AM »
Unfortunately setting aside small amount of "play money" won't work. I know myself too well. $1,000 to trade will somehow end up being $100,000 down the toilet. I'm too greedy to be happy with such small amount in stocks.  It is extremely difficult but I made up my mind this weekend to never trade stocks again. I have mentally giving up ever winning back the $117k I lost. I have accepted that fact and it is depressing but a relief in a way.

koshtra

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #38 on: December 16, 2017, 12:51:51 PM »
Yeah, that's my read on it. (And the fact that it's a relief to give it up is a pretty good "tell," in that regard.) You just need to stop.

Unfortunately setting aside small amount of "play money" won't work. I know myself too well. $1,000 to trade will somehow end up being $100,000 down the toilet. I'm too greedy to be happy with such small amount in stocks.  It is extremely difficult but I made up my mind this weekend to never trade stocks again. I have mentally giving up ever winning back the $117k I lost. I have accepted that fact and it is depressing but a relief in a way.

Bicycle_B

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #39 on: December 16, 2017, 06:36:48 PM »
Fuperw84, very mature decision to just stop.  Good for you!!

In future, your safety factor will rise greatly by not using margin.  You probably intend to avoid it anyway, since you won't be actively trading; forgive me for saying it out loud. 

Good luck in the upcoming years... though you won't really need it, I think you're on track to a very good future.

FrugalSaver

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #40 on: December 16, 2017, 07:05:39 PM »
I loaded up on oil exploration companies in November 2015 after big oil crash. Invested in Sandridge Energy (SD), EXXI, Penn Virgina (PVA), Goodrich Petroleum (GDP), Seadrill (SDRL), Breitburn Energy, Lynn Energy etc. They all filed Chapter 11 and my money essentially decreased by 70%. I then moved over to biotech in 2016 during Presidential Election. Was doing great and then near Election time, Hillary Clinton decided to attack the Pharmaceutical companies. I was on margin because I was confident the companies I invested in would get FDA approval (using my scientific knowledge as a Pharmacist). All biotech stocks plummeted in October 2016 and I was forced to sell at a lost due to margin call.

How did you pick these stocks?  These all sound very familiar to me.  Do you belong to an energy site by chance?

Fuperw84

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #41 on: December 16, 2017, 07:27:39 PM »
No. I went through all holdings in XLE and OIH ETF and mistakenly loaded up on anything near 52 week bottom. Biggest mistake ever. You can't hold on to you shares once Chapter 11 is filed. It will eventually be wiped out or diluted by 95%. I also lost big on Rex Energy (REX), Seventy Seven Energy (SSE), Ultra Petroleum (UPL) and Comstock (CRK). I will never touch another energy stock again. I have PTSD from all the losses in this sector.

DavidAnnArbor

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #42 on: December 17, 2017, 09:34:25 AM »
I have PTSD from all the losses in this sector.

Join the club, everyone on here made bad mistakes in the beginning until one learned about index funding and not timing the markets.

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #43 on: December 17, 2017, 10:01:07 AM »
My condolences Fuperw84. It sounds like you are successfully working your way through the 7 stages of grief. Your future is bright and you now have the kind of knowledge that can only be earned the hard way.

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #44 on: December 17, 2017, 10:44:31 AM »
Good luck getting yourself on the right path. I hope you can find a different outlet for your need for an adrenaline rush.

I have watched this behavior in my father. I am not at all saying you are like him, but he is basically an addict. He is an alcoholic in recovery and I see similar needs for a “rush” in other areas of his life. He played the IPO gambling game for a while before my mother showed him that he was losing more than he was winning and put a stop to it. He loves risk-seeking activities that would make me sick to my stomach. So, he has to manage these impulses (with help from my mother managing all of the $), so he gets his thrills in ways that won’t risk the bottom line, or his health and safety.
"It'll be great!"

ChpBstrd

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #45 on: December 17, 2017, 12:18:48 PM »
The $117k is not coming back, so the remaining two things matter:

1) Not losing the next $117k.
2) Learning knowledge about yourself that will be protective in other decision domains.

In reality, these two objectives are hand-in-hand. The only way to accomplish #1 is by accomplishing #2.

My point is, there is a very real risk that without self-knowledge, you could turn out like some people who would take this experience as a simple lesson that they should have been gambling on social media stocks instead of energy/biotech stocks, or options instead of shares, or buying antique cars or art for appreciation, or trading with stop limits, or whatever alternative way to do the same underlying behavior. Self-knowledge will inform you of why you seek these things in the first place, when index buy-and-hold is the proven path to wealth. Similarly, what could this teach you about your work, your relationships, your history, or your plans?

You have courage going for you. Yes, courage led to your bold bets, but it also led to you publicly admit your error and seek counsel - something many people in your shoes could never do. Now you must point that courage inward, and let the learning process take you wherever it takes you.

Fuperw84

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #46 on: December 17, 2017, 03:17:47 PM »
This learning process has taught me greed and taking the quick "easy" road in life does not work. I hated the fact most of my money had to go to student loans and mortgage. Foolishly thought I could swing trade my way into enough wealth to payoff off my debts.  Wealth is built over time through hard work and savings. No other way around this. Ironically, i'm actually very frugal and strict with my budget. I would skip a tasty ribeye steak and go for pork shoulder steak because it is $7 cheaper. I would feel guilty about buying a new pair of shoe. I haven't bought any new clothes in 2 years. I'm so cheap, i refused to take any vacation. Yet I had no hesitation depositing $117k in Fidelity account and sometimes losing over $10k in one day. It is scary how casinos and brokerage companies know all the gimmicks to psychologically distort our view of the true value of money. To snap me out of this distortion, I have a mental exercise in which I forced myself to hold a $20 dollar bill in front of me and start listing all the things I can buy with this money.  The only way to snap out of the delusion is to see the true value of money and appreciate every single dollar!

Bicycle_B

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #47 on: December 17, 2017, 06:59:53 PM »
By the way, Fuperw84, i know several other high powered people with intense viewpoints/ adrenaline rush tendencies/ all or nothing approaches, etc.  The ones I know made the most progress internally and externally through finding a group of people with similar experiences (not the same, similar, everybody's different) and persistently listening to their advice.  This forum might be a good source of advice but others might be too - especially ones focused on the emotional-struggle side of the equation.  I don't mean to be intrusive here, just mentioning things based on similarities between your writing/speech and various friends of mine.  Some of the groups they found helpful included (insert well known twelve step program, which i have attended), Debtors Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, etc.  You don't need an exact fit to check them out, just a willingness to listen.  Others in my circle have found stability and focus benefits through meditation, something which (unlike 12 step) has some scientific research upholding its effectiveness.  And, every chance you get, get professional counseling - it's for everyone, and pretty much guaranteed to bring you more benefit than it seems at the time.  Anyway, good luck with your plans and harnessing your energy. 

mountainfamily

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #48 on: December 18, 2017, 09:41:52 PM »
$117k sounds like a lot, but when you have money invested, it grows. You can get it back. I've had some cheaper lessons/losses, i.e., chasing a hot biotech and then having it crater, but only having $1000 to invest at the time. I experienced my greed/fear tendencies, and now think that they're universal human behavior. My dad is really into energy and biotech, and overall he's done well during his lifetime. However, he's also had some big losses. He doesn't seem to mind the volatility, since he thinks his big gains over time have outweighed his losses. Plus, he reached FIRE many years ago and has various buffers of safety in his financial picture. I have learned a lot from him, but have moved toward a much more JH Collins type of approach.

I think the last straw for me with biotech was when I narrowly missed a huge drop. We were saving for a house down payment. We have mostly Index funds, but I also had pretty decent chunk of Celgene. It had a great runup this summer/fall. I bought it at $100 and it went to $150. Boy, did I feel smart. ;) I sold it near the top when I wanted to free up a bit more cash for a house down payment and immediate repairs. Days after I sold, CELG plummeted to $100. I'm counting myself lucky and sticking with Index funds for the vast majority of my holdings and a few single stock "lottery" tickets if I want to "gamble"--I call it that, too!

TomTX

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Re: How to deal with losing $117k in stock market?
« Reply #49 on: December 19, 2017, 05:27:23 AM »
Hard to believe in one of the biggest bull market in history, I have lost $117k in the last 3 years investing in high risk oil and biotech stocks. I am disgusted with myself everytime I think about how much I've lost. I still owe $153k in student loans and $110k in Mortgage. I really want to run away from the stock market, accept I will probably never be able to regain my losses and focus strictly on paying of my student loans.  But I love to follow stocks (my main hobby) and the thought of withdrawing from the market makes me feel depressed. I also worry about missing out if tax reform is passed and the market continue to jump in 2018. What should I do?

Stop using the stock market to gamble.

It's not stocks that are the problem, it's your behavior.

Find a different hobby, preferably one which can make you money instead of losing it. If you are organized and disciplined, perhaps credit card churning.
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