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Calming down
Old 05-18-2006, 07:57 PM   #1
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Calming down

With all the noise about oil prices, inflation, SS fuding....sometimes I just need to calm down. I usually go back to basics and concentrate my thoughts on what I actually have control over such as savings rate, asset allocation, low cost funds, lower fees, etc. What do some of you do to get past all the noise and distractions and, as Mr. Bogle likes to say, "stay the course?"

Elroy
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Re: Calming down
Old 05-18-2006, 08:07 PM   #2
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Re: Calming down

It really is hard to take the emotion out of it sometimes. I think that is just human nature.

It helps to have a plan that you stick to. These kinds of days (and worse) are a good time to think about how you truly feel about the amount of risk you are willing to take.

Take a deep breath and think long term.
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Re: Calming down
Old 05-19-2006, 09:43 AM   #3
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Re: Calming down

Find something to distract you.

I see all these conversations worrying about everything and trying to find the right place to be, but for the most part I'm not even checking my portfolio lately. I'm happy with my long term passive strategy and so that helps.

But the big thing is I have other distractions in my life. To keep it really brief without hijacking the thread, I'm quitting my job, moving to another state and then finding another job, so I have enough on my mind that there's no room for investment worries.

If you don't have a good distraction, cheat on your spouse. That will add some complications. (JUST KIDDING! NOT recommended.) Seriously, sometimes you need to break away from this and other financial BBSes, quit going to the money sites and don't watch the financial news. The commercial stuff is designed to keep this in your mind, and the forums are full of people discussing their worries. Sometimes you have to push it away for a while to get your mind back on other things.
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Re: Calming down
Old 05-19-2006, 09:59 AM   #4
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Re: Calming down

Take a trip to any poverty-stricken area of the world.

I went to Africa last year -- gave me a whole new perspective on just how WELL things are going for me here. If every dime I had disappeared in a puff of smoke I'd still be better off than some of the poor bastards I saw over there.

A cheaper alternative, if you've kept financial records, is to take the focus off of tomorrow for a second and look at how far you've COME. I tote up my savings every month when the statements come in and put it on a spreadsheet. I LOVE looking at the totals from three, five, seven years ago!

Good Luck!
Caroline



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Re: Calming down
Old 05-19-2006, 10:11 AM   #5
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Re: Calming down

A cheaper alternative, if you've kept financial records, is to take the focus off of tomorrow for a second and look at how far you've COME. I tote up my savings every month when the statements come in and put it on a spreadsheet. I LOVE looking at the totals from three, five, seven years ago!

That's really good advice, and what I do myself sometimes, when I start to get worried. For instance, factoring in yesterday's drop, I've fallen about $19,000 from an all-time peak I hit just on May 9. But I'm still ahead of where I was on, say, March 9th, by about $5,000. And I'm still about $78K ahead of where I was this time last year.

So overall, things could be worse.
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Re: Calming down
Old 05-19-2006, 10:39 AM   #6
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Re: Calming down

I agree. I focus on long term trends. I keep an Excel chart like the attached:


Grumpy


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Re: Calming down
Old 05-19-2006, 12:43 PM   #7
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Re: Calming down

Me too. It puts things in perspective, on a personal level, when you can see the progress being made. Makes the dip a little easier to tough out.
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Re: Calming down
Old 05-19-2006, 01:38 PM   #8
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Re: Calming down

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMoneyJim
Find something to distract you.
Right on BMJ! Otherwise known as having a life.

This is about the corniest thing ever, but here it goes...

A couple of years ago in the midst of stressing about some market turmoil I got a fortune cookie that read "Relax, you will always have everything you need" It was what I needed to hear at the time and made me feel better. The market goes up, it goes down, we have out goals, etc. but here we are and we have everything we truly need.
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