Author Topic: First month of major investment loss  (Read 5835 times)

FoundPeace

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First month of major investment loss
« on: November 02, 2018, 12:57:40 PM »
I just logged into my various investment accounts today to update my FIRE spreadsheet (I do this monthly) and was surprised to see I'm down by $13k. I feel queasy, but at the same time I'm excited, because that means that my investments are now capable of making or loosing more than I can make with my job in one month.

Just wanted to tell someone, but most people I know wouldn't get it. I imagine many of you lost at least that much in October.


PJC74

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2018, 02:13:01 PM »
I've been there. You'll get numb to it.

I lost 13k in a day this past month and didn't phase me in the least.  I bought more shares.

RWD

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2018, 02:17:28 PM »
Were you not invested in February?

SquashingDebt

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2018, 03:06:28 PM »
This was my first time experiencing this too - although I'm only down about $2k, since I don't have as much invested.  Still, this was the first time it went down enough to sting a little.

okits

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2018, 03:09:24 PM »
If you have a balanced and diversified portfolio, losing five figures in a bad month means you are kinda wealthy.  🤑  I get the queasiness, though, last month was quite the plunge for us, too.

Dicey

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2018, 03:13:52 PM »
Our accounts are down a shitload more than that. Why? Because we never panic when the market adjusts and now we have more money than we ever thought possible. Just keep telling yourself it's not a loss because you aren't selling. This shit works. In time, you will laugh that you were fretting over a mere $13k. The market is on sale, keep buying.

TomTX

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2018, 03:34:41 PM »
Was the market down for October? I don't pay attention that closely. Just keep shoveling in cash, buying according to my IPS.

ysette9

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2018, 03:48:27 PM »
I saw some headlines about the sky falling,  it I just don’t look at my investments that closely. Like Dicey, our portfolio fluctuates by five figures easily with market gyrations. I expect I’ll see fluctuations in the range of $100k as well. Kind of amazing to think about, but that is just how this ride goes. Don’t look too closely and find something else to do with your time.

Greyweld

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2018, 03:50:10 PM »
I'm basically just investing automatically every month and figure I'll check sometime around my 30th birthday to see how close I am to FIRE. I would guess that we're not quite in the five-figure loss club though. How sad. :P

Davids

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2018, 05:25:10 PM »
Since I started tracking my networth in 2013 I do a month end analysis each month. October was my biggest loss ever since I started tracking. My networth dropped from 1127K 9/30/18 to 1070K 10/31/18.

wenchsenior

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2018, 05:56:46 PM »
What's funny is that the latest market fluctuation dropped our portfolio almost as much as the total $ amount we lost in the 2008 crash.  Back then, it seemed like a huge amount of money, and now I barely blink at it.  It's not unusual now for month to month fluctuations in our investment accounts to almost exceed my annual income.

SnackDog

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2018, 06:16:44 PM »
Good buying opportunity could be ahead!

effigy98

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2018, 06:55:32 PM »
Whenever I get nervous, I just read this thread again.

https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=79939

fuzzy math

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2018, 07:24:43 PM »
What's funny is that the latest market fluctuation dropped our portfolio almost as much as the total $ amount we lost in the 2008 crash.  Back then, it seemed like a huge amount of money, and now I barely blink at it.  It's not unusual now for month to month fluctuations in our investment accounts to almost exceed my annual income.

Very true here too! Had about $15k in 2008, saw it go down to $8k. Seriously thought about taking the money out for doomsday reasons. Now lost about $15k and its NBD.

BicycleB

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2018, 07:51:05 PM »
Congratulations, @FoundPeace! Seriously, good perspective, and thanks for sharing.

rantk81

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2018, 08:37:51 PM »
OP: This month might seem quite dramatic to you.  My advice to you is to ignore this, and continue on your course of just continuing to work and invest. Don’t change anything.  Here is my perspective:

For the 2008/09 crisis, I was only a few years out of college. I saw the market gyrations. I saw my investment account balances fall by many thousands of dollars.  It was kind of terrifying for me at the time.

I keep a spreadsheet of my net worth (all my assets, minus all my liabilities), updated monthly.
At the time, in 09, I saw what were really dramatic dips in my net worth, due to the market falling.  It made me angry.

Since then, I have still been keeping the spreadsheet, updating it monthly with my net worth.  When I look back toward that crisis time a decade ago?  I don’t even see the blip on the graph!  The graph is like a hockey-stick going up.

Stay the course. Ignore the noise.  The market does whatever.  Some perspective: Last month, there was a time when I was down about 200K in net worth, simply by market movements.  Don’t worry about it. Just keep throwing money into low cost index funds. You will win in the end.

Freedomin5

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2018, 06:55:46 AM »
Yes, we lost more than our combined net income this month. It was awesome to think that our investments can fluctuate more than what we shovel into savings each month.

Also, when I feel queasy/sad, I find that the “Top is In” thread is a good read. The people posting there are hilarious and reading that helps to put things into perspective.

coppertop

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2018, 07:15:09 AM »
I don't like seeing my balance decrease, but I keep enough in cash so I don't have to sell anything.  This is my first year of retirement, so I would be scared if I allowed myself to think too much about it.  I try to just shrug it off, since as someone else said, I'm not selling.

aGracefulStomp

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2018, 07:42:45 AM »
If market dips of this size make you feel sick, then I suggest you adjust your assets to a more conservative asset allocation.

It'll stop you panic selling when we experience an actual market drop.


Greystache

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2018, 07:43:58 AM »
It might be fun to start a thread where all the old timers like me tell you about our worst month/year in investing. Back in 2008, between losses in my stock portfolio and losses in home equity, I was down over a half million. I had been through it before in 1987 and 2000. Did not sell anything and kept on buying all the way down to the bottom in 2009. By 2015 I had fully recovered and then some. Retired Jan.1, 2015.

EricL

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #20 on: November 03, 2018, 09:00:25 AM »
It's just as important to maintain equanimity when the market is doing well as when it does poorly.  The discipline to do so will keep you from foolishly doubling down when it's about to tank as much as foolishly pulling out when it does tank. 

Freedomin5

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2018, 09:08:25 AM »
It might be fun to start a thread where all the old timers like me tell you about our worst month/year in investing. Back in 2008, between losses in my stock portfolio and losses in home equity, I was down over a half million. I had been through it before in 1987 and 2000. Did not sell anything and kept on buying all the way down to the bottom in 2009. By 2015 I had fully recovered and then some. Retired Jan.1, 2015.

@Greystache I would totally read a thread like that! What you posted was actually quite helpful because you also talk about what you did when the market crashed and how long it took to recover.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2018, 09:23:49 AM »
It stressed me out big time July 1 2015 - Feb 1 2016, it would take VTI 11 months to hit a new high in June of 2016.

This most recent drop has us down nearly $30k earlier this week.......no stress with 12 years of expenses saved.

I'm a red panda

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #23 on: November 03, 2018, 09:27:02 AM »
Was the market down for October? I don't pay attention that closely. Just keep shoveling in cash, buying according to my IPS.

Basically lost all 2018 gains in October. We are down about $120k this month.
OP don't sell and you haven't actually lost anything.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #24 on: November 03, 2018, 09:28:46 AM »
Well, VXUS has had a negative return over the past 5 years -_-

10dollarsatatime

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #25 on: November 03, 2018, 09:45:00 AM »
I've not got a ton invested, so I'm only down a few thousand.  My boyfriend hasn't got any investments yet (but we're planning on investing his savings when we get married).  I've been talking him through the ups and downs, people freaking out the past few weeks, etc.  I've told him that the way I see it, I haven't actually lost anything.  I own the same amount of shares today as I did yesterday (unless my paycheck hit... in which case I own more).

I was a lot more stressed about the few hundreds I was losing in 2015(?).  I had just found MMM and started investing. I started right at the beginning of a 3-4 month slide.  But.  MMM said to keep going and ignore it.  So I did.  And it was fine.

ol1970

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #26 on: November 03, 2018, 09:57:34 AM »
When you really feel queasy is when your net worth drops more in a day than you spend in a year...as your net worth grows you are going to have those.  (Assuming you don’t let your lifestyle inflate)

Dicey

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #27 on: November 03, 2018, 10:19:47 AM »
If market dips of this size make you feel sick, then I suggest you adjust your assets to a more conservative asset allocation.

It'll stop you panic selling when we experience an actual market drop.
Don't do this if you ever hope to reach FIRE. Instead, read, study, and LEARN. Otherwise, you're just wasting your time here.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2018, 10:21:54 AM by Dicey »

RedmondStash

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #28 on: November 03, 2018, 11:12:02 AM »
If market dips of this size make you feel sick, then I suggest you adjust your assets to a more conservative asset allocation.

It'll stop you panic selling when we experience an actual market drop.
Don't do this if you ever hope to reach FIRE. Instead, read, study, and LEARN. Otherwise, you're just wasting your time here.

I agree with aGracefulStomp. It's hard to know how you'll react emotionally to a big drop, no matter your expectations or intentions, especially if you've never experienced one. This is an excellent opportunity to observe your own reactions and see if you need to adjust your AA. Neither of us is suggesting that you do this every time the market dips; we're both saying the opposite, that you need to be sure you have an AA you can live with comfortably even through big drops. If where you're at now isn't it, adjust until you're there.

And then let it ride, through thick and thin, knowing you can sleep soundly at night.

I've spent the last week laughing every day that I see the stock market plunge, because a) it's on sale; b) I'm playing the long game, I don't have to sell stock right now, and I trust it will recover; and c) there's a chance that big stock market drops will affect the upcoming elections, because whether it's rational or not, the public holds the incumbent party responsible for the economy, and a lot of people panic and think doomlike thoughts when the stock market drops fast.

TomTX

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #29 on: November 03, 2018, 12:10:46 PM »
Was the market down for October? I don't pay attention that closely. Just keep shoveling in cash, buying according to my IPS.

Basically lost all 2018 gains in October. We are down about $120k this month.
OP don't sell and you haven't actually lost anything.

Oh, sweet. My entire net paycheck (less one penny) went into the 457 November 1.

Fig

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #30 on: November 03, 2018, 12:49:09 PM »
I just started investing in August. So far, I'm down about 8% but thanks to the good people of this forum,  I'm not worried, even if there is a bit of grim fascination in watching my money decrease.

I'm a red panda

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #31 on: November 03, 2018, 01:48:56 PM »
Was the market down for October? I don't pay attention that closely. Just keep shoveling in cash, buying according to my IPS.

Basically lost all 2018 gains in October. We are down about $120k this month.
OP don't sell and you haven't actually lost anything.

Oh, sweet. My entire net paycheck (less one penny) went into the 457 November 1.

That's awesome. Great time to buy! Keep doing it.

This drop is bad if you are already retired and drawing down

singpolyma

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #32 on: November 03, 2018, 02:35:05 PM »
This drop is bad if you are already retired and drawing down

It's not "good", but I think "bad" might be taking it a bit far. If you retired with a reasonable plan (at least as reasonable as 4% SWR or better) it'll still just be a blip. Nothing to see here.

lhamo

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #33 on: November 03, 2018, 02:56:26 PM »
Looks like we lost about 84k on paper between our pre-crash peak NW of 1.048 on 20 May 2008 and the mid-crash low of 964k on 09 March 2009.  We were investing quite a bit during that dip, though, so we probably "lost" more than that.  But then we gained it all back, and more, as the markets rose again -- we were back into 1mm NW territory by April and have never dropped back.

Our existing investments dropped 103k between Oct. 1 and Nov 1.  But I had some cash to deploy, so took advantage of the dip, and also converted part of an old IRA to a Roth -- that money will now take its future gains tax free.  We still are sitting on quite a bit of cash, so we're in a sweet spot -- if markets go down, we deploy that at lower prices, if they go up, we keep enjoying the gains on our existing investments.

TomTX

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #34 on: November 03, 2018, 03:01:13 PM »
Was the market down for October? I don't pay attention that closely. Just keep shoveling in cash, buying according to my IPS.

Basically lost all 2018 gains in October. We are down about $120k this month.
OP don't sell and you haven't actually lost anything.

Oh, sweet. My entire net paycheck (less one penny) went into the 457 November 1.

That's awesome. Great time to buy! Keep doing it.

This drop is bad if you are already retired and drawing down

Thanks! Timing was automated - that's when my employer puts it in. I was able to ramp up the 457 when MrsTX went back to work. It will max out with the December paycheck, with $2,300 of overflow into the 401k.

This drop doesn't even approach "bad" for a reasonable FIREd person. The market will go up, the market will go down. I wouldn't worry about it unless you have drops over 40%, or an extended duration flat/down combined with high inflation.

MissNancyPryor

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #35 on: November 03, 2018, 03:14:42 PM »
My NW is down 94K just in October and I was glad to see my retirement calculator still says I am at 98-100% success on the Monte Carlo with 50+ simulations run.  My NW is about where it was at the first of August.   

Though I hate to see the crunch I am glad that it is happening while:   1) I am still working for a few more months, and 2) my numbers predict I should be able to survive this kind of slump even post-RE without adjusting spend.

I figured I can lose another couple hundred K before I would have to reconsider my FIRE date, but it has made me give more serious thought to perhaps adding bonds or maybe a bit more cash on hand.  I realize I will probably not determine my final allocation until I am out a couple years and things have completely settled with zero W-2 income and health care figured out.

For those who just retired, how are you feeling about it?  @sol?  Others?  I worry about sequence of returns and the scenario of losses immediately after pulling the cord, but we have some very cool cucumbers on this board that we can learn from.   

aGracefulStomp

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #36 on: November 03, 2018, 03:33:40 PM »
If market dips of this size make you feel sick, then I suggest you adjust your assets to a more conservative asset allocation.

It'll stop you panic selling when we experience an actual market drop.
Don't do this if you ever hope to reach FIRE. Instead, read, study, and LEARN. Otherwise, you're just wasting your time here.

The difference of FIRE would be a few years (depending on how conservative you go, but I'm not suggesting people hold 60% in cash).

A huge part of investing is learning about the markets but also learning about yourself.

Absolutely keep learning about the quantitative components but feeling ill over a tiny bit of volatility indicates that the investor, based on their current quantitative knowledge, is not going to cope nor manage to make good decisions when there's actually a drop.

Many people on this forum (myself included) haven't experienced a market crash. The fact that there were people posting about being strong and stoic in the face of the recent "drops" has me a bit worried... :/
« Last Edit: November 03, 2018, 03:37:43 PM by aGracefulStomp »

John Galt incarnate!

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #37 on: November 03, 2018, 05:01:10 PM »

quoteinvestigator.com



 “The stock market will fluctuate”—J. P. Morgan

Abe

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #38 on: November 03, 2018, 10:32:03 PM »
Watching the market when you’re not even close to retiring is boring. I realized this when my colleagues started watching CNBC <gag> in the office lounge. I’m sure all those “experts” hyperventilating on TV know that this drop is nothing in the grand scheme but are acting just to get people who don’t know any better in a tizzy and stay glued to the TV. I saw so many “worst loss since February!” infograms that I changed the channel to NASA’s satellite feed to calm everyone the F down. Call me when something really bad happens, but I’ll probably know from all the foreclosure signs in front of McMansions.

/rant

It sucks the first time but after that you ignore it and do more useful things. Either that money is gone forever or it isn’t. Changing course now won’t help either way in the long term.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2018, 10:36:21 PM by Abe »

PDXTabs

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #39 on: November 03, 2018, 10:35:28 PM »
Abe,

I think some of us pay attention to the markets because we want to see another 50% off sale. But yea, much less than that and it isn't terribly interesting.


Abe

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #40 on: November 03, 2018, 10:38:05 PM »
Yeah that would be interesting. We do get into lay-off territory there so not great for people with non-essential jobs. I agree that a little dip never hurt anyone, though.

I did look back at the times I invested more than usual after a dip and found the extra money it earned me is a rounding error compared to steady investments over time. Less than 5% of total value. I may just suck at timing, but I bet that’s not far from average
« Last Edit: November 03, 2018, 10:41:15 PM by Abe »

sol

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #41 on: November 03, 2018, 11:39:11 PM »
For those who just retired, how are you feeling about it?  @sol?   

Meh, the only thing I worry about is that I'm totally not worried at all, but maybe I should be?  Like I'm not even exactly sure how much my accounts have dropped, which is an absolutely shocking thing for someone like me to say given that I spent the last ten years of my life obsessively tracking my account balances on a day by day basis.

Part of my reason for not worrying is that after I picked a retirement date in about April or May, the market bumped like 10% while I was still working and by the time I officially did my last day in August I felt like I had a solid 10%+ buffer, such that even an immediate correction would still put me at a number I was comfortable with.  Part of it is that I'm not 100% stocks, so when the market drops 10% my assets drop by something less than that.  Part of is that I have several other little income streams (rentals, etc), and a huge buffer of accessible assets I could tap if necessary, but so far I have needed neither.  If things got super dire, I could sell a rental and immediately pocket over 100k after taxes and fees, and that sort of cash buffer would support my family for more than long enough for me to find another way to make more money, if it came to that.  It hasn't!  I've been actively turning away hints that I might dip my toe back into the workforce.  Screw that noise, man, working is for suckers.

But honestly I think the biggest reason I am not at all stressed about the current market declines is that retirement has handed me a completely new mindset about money.  Now that I've FIREd, it's like the money side of things is just solved, and I don't worry about it anymore.  I don't stress about making purchases, I don't stress about market gyrations, I just don't generally consider the financial side of most decisions.  I mean I'm not blowing huge amounts of money on stupid shit, but after decades of frugal living I've developed a pretty instinctive understanding of what my expenses are and as long as I'm still living the same kind of life I've always lived, then I have confidence it's all going to work out.

Okay, you convinced me to go check the markets and put dollar amounts on my hypothetical losses.  It looks like the market is back to where it was in July?  Was everyone freaking the fuck out back in July?  Does the extra four months without a positive gain since then somehow justify a new freak out now that wasn't justified then?  Suddenly all of this talk about "major losses" seems kind of silly to me.  No matter how big your paper losses look, if you're right back where you were four months ago then you really haven't lost much of consequences.  Some years you'll be negative for an entire year, and that happens all the fucking time!  Like every four years, on average in the historic record, on our way to that ~9% long term CAGR.

I am back to not being worried at all.  Financial freedom is great.  The markets go up, the markets go down, I am still rich either way.

Villanelle

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #42 on: November 04, 2018, 01:23:05 AM »
I have no idea what we've lost.  I'd guess it's solidly in the 5 figures range somewhere.  To figure it out, I'd need to go back and find the historical data for the high (of that's the benchmark we are using for "lost") and then update to current values.  That's a lot of work for data that is in no way actionable.  Come July (my annual reckoning and rebalancing date), I'll update everything again.   And I still won't really care what the number say.

If it truly bothers you, stop looking.  If you aren't planning to retire or cash out for other reasons any time soon, you don't really need to know. 

 

Leisured

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #43 on: November 04, 2018, 01:28:33 AM »
It might be fun to start a thread where all the old timers like me tell you about our worst month/year in investing. Back in 2008, between losses in my stock portfolio and losses in home equity, I was down over a half million. I had been through it before in 1987 and 2000. Did not sell anything and kept on buying all the way down to the bottom in 2009. By 2015 I had fully recovered and then some. Retired Jan.1, 2015.

Greystache sums it up. Warren Buffet has said that you cannot go broke betting on the US economy. Old timers have been here before, and like Greystache I rode out the 1987 bust. Do not sell.

For perspective I attach a link to the Dow Jones over the last 100 years.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dow_Jones_Industrial_Average#/media/File:DJIA_historical_graph_to_jul11_(log).svg


MissNancyPryor

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #44 on: November 04, 2018, 09:27:22 AM »
From Sol:  I am back to not being worried at all.  Financial freedom is great.  The markets go up, the markets go down, I am still rich either way.

Nice!  Perfect attitude about it all. 

lhamo

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #45 on: November 04, 2018, 09:31:58 AM »
But honestly I think the biggest reason I am not at all stressed about the current market declines is that retirement has handed me a completely new mindset about money.  Now that I've FIREd, it's like the money side of things is just solved, and I don't worry about it anymore.  I don't stress about making purchases, I don't stress about market gyrations, I just don't generally consider the financial side of most decisions.  I mean I'm not blowing huge amounts of money on stupid shit, but after decades of frugal living I've developed a pretty instinctive understanding of what my expenses are and as long as I'm still living the same kind of life I've always lived, then I have confidence it's all going to work out.

This is pretty much where I am, too.  There is no point in either getting all gleeful about the ups or worrying about the downs.  The market is going to bounce around -- that is what it does.  We buy the stuff we need, splurge on extras every now and then, and just keep on keepin' on.   

bognish

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #46 on: November 06, 2018, 12:35:20 PM »
Its perfectly normal and reasonable to be worried or freak out when the market drops like it did in October. You should not however take action on it. I was down over $120k at the end of October. Not a great number. But the logic side is this put be back to December 2017. I lost unrealized gains. I am still miles ahead from if I stuffed it under a mattress.
I have been through a few big drops since I started investing in 1996. Still haven't sold yet. One thing that is helpful is to make notes of how you feel or your market predictions after a big swing. Maybe make a comment at the end of each month in your tracking file. Or just go look at the "top is in" posts and match them up to the actual historical market. For me looking back at my balances for 20 years I can see that I never would have guessed when the top or bottom was. If I bought or sold based on emotions and fear I would have lost out on lots of gains and be constantly second guessing my trades every day. Instead I could stick to the plan, let the money ride and hope that history repeats itself.

PiobStache

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #47 on: November 08, 2018, 01:37:38 PM »
From the October peak to the October bottom our portfolio lost more than our last house was worth.  We finished funding the HSA at that time and diverted an entire pay into her 457 to top it up.  Now not only are those buys in the green but we have extra cashflow to put into our robo-invested, taxable accounts.

wannabe-stache

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #48 on: November 08, 2018, 03:05:05 PM »
If market dips of this size make you feel sick, then I suggest you adjust your assets to a more conservative asset allocation.

It'll stop you panic selling when we experience an actual market drop.
Don't do this if you ever hope to reach FIRE. Instead, read, study, and LEARN. Otherwise, you're just wasting your time here.

i think you're being a bit dogmatic there.  said another way, an investor could never fire with a conservative asset allocation.  clearly untrue.

some folks are fine at 100%+ equity exposure.  Others, not so much.  there's different ways to skin the cat and to each their own.

wannabe-stache

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Re: First month of major investment loss
« Reply #49 on: November 08, 2018, 03:06:44 PM »
If market dips of this size make you feel sick, then I suggest you adjust your assets to a more conservative asset allocation.

It'll stop you panic selling when we experience an actual market drop.
Don't do this if you ever hope to reach FIRE. Instead, read, study, and LEARN. Otherwise, you're just wasting your time here.

The difference of FIRE would be a few years (depending on how conservative you go, but I'm not suggesting people hold 60% in cash).

A huge part of investing is learning about the markets but also learning about yourself.

Absolutely keep learning about the quantitative components but feeling ill over a tiny bit of volatility indicates that the investor, based on their current quantitative knowledge, is not going to cope nor manage to make good decisions when there's actually a drop.

Many people on this forum (myself included) haven't experienced a market crash. The fact that there were people posting about being strong and stoic in the face of the recent "drops" has me a bit worried... :/

well put.