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Frustration with 2015
Old 11-13-2015, 01:06 PM   #1
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Frustration with 2015

I am 31 years old, and have been an avid saver for the last 8+ years.
I manage to save around $40K a year between my wife and I.
I am the type who logs into Mint.com everyday to check on my NW stats.
Is anyone else frustrating with the stock market in 2nd half 2015?

Just needed to vent some frustration.
My net worth was $242K in May 2015
Fast forward to November 2015 and I am at $240K, despite saving approx $25K.


How is everyone else feeling and doing this year? Can anyone relate?
It's tough because for the past 7 years, I would get this positive feedback, always seeing my net worth go up for the most part. Yea, on occasion I would hit a 1-2 month slog of no progress, but these past 6 months are tough. Between the poor performance of stocks and the simple fact that my asset are larger now (therefore bigger swings), i feel I am at a standstill, even though my logical brain is telling me "keep saving".

Is anyone else going through these tough feelings? Would be great to hear I am not alone in feeling this "stuck in the mud" feeling.
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Old 11-13-2015, 01:13 PM   #2
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All I can tell you is that it helps to not check your totals every day. It is a weakness of mine, as well, and can get you down. But of course what you have to replace those thoughts of frustration with are the logical voice of reason telling you that you are buying cheaply and have a long time to go before you'll be tapping into the funds.
You are definitely not alone! And little comfort will come from the idea that as your assets grow larger, the swings will as well. But just keep listening to that logic saying "keep saving"!
Other ways to distract yourself from these swings is to focus on your annual savings goals (which are excellent, btw) and to consider the ways you are creating a life of LBYM that will serve you well now and in retirement.
Good luck! We're all in this boat, one way or another.
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Old 11-13-2015, 01:16 PM   #3
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Is anyone else going through these tough feelings?
No, not really. I've looked at the historical performance of the domestic equity markets from a statistical point of view and have noted that what we're experiencing today happens from time to time. It happened before. It's happening now. It'll happen again. I accept that.

If you need a linear rate of growth to feel comfortable, you'll need to invest in other areas. I don't know any way around it.
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Old 11-13-2015, 01:21 PM   #4
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One needs to look at this from longer time perspective. We had a run of bull market for 5 - 6 years. Entering 2015, I fully expected this year to be a down or flat year for the market. It didn't disappoint my expectation. As such, I think most of our investment returns will reflect it.
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Old 11-13-2015, 01:24 PM   #5
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I'm disappointed by the returns of this half of the market but you could look at it this way. Your nest egg is getting to the point where market swings are able to influence it more than the contributions. If anything that's a nice spot to be be getting to
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Old 11-13-2015, 01:31 PM   #6
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The glass-half-full persepective reminds that when stock prices are down we get to buy additional shares at a discount.
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Old 11-13-2015, 01:40 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jsal7 View Post
It's tough because for the past 7 years, I would get this positive feedback, always seeing my net worth go up for the most part.
Your net worth did go up this year, you're just looking at the wrong metric.

If you kept buying stocks this year, you now own a larger percentage of the world's corporations than you did on Jan 1. You now own more shares, which means you have a bigger claim to the future profit of these companies. And you'll benefit more when the value of their stock rises (which, on average, it always has).

Three tips:
1) Stop checking your account balances. You know that you are buying more shares on a regular basis, and you know that, over time, those shares (and the dividends they pay) have offered good returns. The ups and downs between now and when you sell are meaningless.
2) If you must keep score, count shares instead of dollars.
3) Keep investing and rebalancing, that's how you'll buy shares "on sale."

You're young, you should be >hoping< for low stock prices as you buy shares, with a run-up before you retire.
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Old 11-13-2015, 01:45 PM   #8
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A steady gait gets you there in the end. Dollar cost averaging and the like.

You're doing just fine jsa17, keep up the good work.

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Old 11-13-2015, 01:56 PM   #9
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I can relate to this from the 2000-2002 period and the 2007-2009 period. We kept pumping in the maximum allowed into the 401-k and the total value kept going down. Now I look back and see the great value by continuing to buy at lower prices during the bad times.

As others have suggested, don't look at your asset total so frequently, but more importantly, keep doing what you are doing (ie buying) through the ups and downs of the market.
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Old 11-13-2015, 02:02 PM   #10
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Is anyone else frustrating with the stock market in 2nd half 2015?
Nah, you wanna talk about frustration, you should have been around the second half of 1987!!!

Just be patient. Keep on investing regularly and use the down turns to pick up some bargains. If you still find it too frustrating, then as others have suggested, don't check your Mint account every day.
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Old 11-13-2015, 02:07 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by samclem View Post
You're young, you should be >hoping< for low stock prices as you buy shares, with a run-up before you retire.
Seriously! You very much want a crummy market during your accumulation stages and a nice run up was you get close to the time when you need to tap it.

I was quite fortunate that this happened with the company stock I accumulated. A fair number of awful years let me buy lots of shares. Then it finally took off and I owned enough that I could really benefit from from it. If it had gone up in a straight line, I'd be much worse off!
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Old 11-13-2015, 03:01 PM   #12
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Thank you everybody for your responses, it really means alot and you all have me feeling great about this downturn now

My micromanagement of my finances is both my gift and curse; I will make a concerted effort not to check Mint daily (strive for monthly or quarterly).

Being a hardcore saver can be isolating amongst most of my friends, as most of them have a somewhat "whatever" attitude towards savings, or are in the public sector with pensions, so they don't really have a strong interest in the topic, so it's really helpful to get some feedback and reassurance from the rest of the saving community. You guys rock!
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Old 11-13-2015, 03:34 PM   #13
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Just be glad your 8 years of investing was 2007-2015 and not 1998-2006 or several other 8 year periods in the recent past. 8 years seems like a long time but in the grand scheme of things its a very short time and there is a lot of luck involved in the timing of what years you are investing.
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Old 11-13-2015, 04:36 PM   #14
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Between the poor performance of stocks and the simple fact that my asset are larger now (therefore bigger swings), i feel I am at a standstill, even though my logical brain is telling me "keep saving".
Consider this: The dollar has appreciated about 10% vs. most other currencies.

So you might not see it, but you actually advanced 10% vs. most of the world's population.

I live in Europe. Euro tumbled, my stock assets in Eur went up quite a bit. My net worth in USD and most other currencies tumbled (because of EUR denominated bonds & CDs). So it looks like a great year but frankly is mediocre at best for me.
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Old 11-13-2015, 04:41 PM   #15
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....

My micromanagement of my finances is both my gift and curse; I will make a concerted effort not to check Mint daily (strive for monthly or quarterly).
...
You sound like a future index investor.
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Old 11-13-2015, 05:23 PM   #16
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I don't think there's anything wrong with checking your portfolio often as long as you can stick to your long term plan and not panic. Getting used to $10-20K swings now will prepare you to handle the $50-100K swings that will happen as your portfolio grows.

The key is not to let the value affect you emotionally. If it does, you're better off ignoring it except for a once a year tune-up.

All the best.
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Old 11-14-2015, 12:46 AM   #17
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Your net worth did go up this year, you're just looking at the wrong metric.

If you kept buying stocks this year, you now own a larger percentage of the world's corporations than you did on Jan 1. You now own more shares, which means you have a bigger claim to the future profit of these companies. And you'll benefit more when the value of their stock rises (which, on average, it always has).

Three tips:
1) Stop checking your account balances. You know that you are buying more shares on a regular basis, and you know that, over time, those shares (and the dividends they pay) have offered good returns. The ups and downs between now and when you sell are meaningless.
2) If you must keep score, count shares instead of dollars.
3) Keep investing and rebalancing, that's how you'll buy shares "on sale."

You're young, you should be >hoping< for low stock prices as you buy shares, with a run-up before you retire.
+1
You're 31 years old and your net worth is already one-quarter of a million dollars. Keep doing exactly what you're doing and in 10 years you will be amazed at what you've accomplished.

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If you're 35, 45, or even 55 - you have a very long time horizon - 40 years or vastly more. That is you, and/or your spouse, are likely to live about that long, and you'll be investing the whole way.
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Old 11-14-2015, 09:12 AM   #18
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Seriously! You very much want a crummy market during your accumulation stages and a nice run up was you get close to the time when you need to tap it.
Not comforting for those who are tapping right now.

But, yes...ebb and flow of markets are a fact of life.
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Old 11-14-2015, 10:13 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by jsal7 View Post
Thank you everybody for your responses, it really means alot and you all have me feeling great about this downturn now

My micromanagement of my finances is both my gift and curse; I will make a concerted effort not to check Mint daily (strive for monthly or quarterly).

Being a hardcore saver can be isolating amongst most of my friends, as most of them have a somewhat "whatever" attitude towards savings, or are in the public sector with pensions, so they don't really have a strong interest in the topic, so it's really helpful to get some feedback and reassurance from the rest of the saving community. You guys rock!
At the end of this month I will look. Maybe posting a long term accumulation graph will convince you that daily data points should fade from memory rather quickly. Since you are saving, buying at cheaper prices has a very positive effect long term.

But, I have empathy for your need to be connected to everything at all times.
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Old 11-14-2015, 10:24 AM   #20
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I don't think there's anything wrong with checking your portfolio often as long as you can stick to your long term plan and not panic. Getting used to $10-20K swings now will prepare you to handle the $50-100K swings that will happen as your portfolio grows.

The key is not to let the value affect you emotionally. If it does, you're better off ignoring it except for a once a year tune-up.
+1 There is nothing wrong with checking your accounts everyday, I do. BUT if you are a worrier or nervous then only check once in a while.

Don't know about your core stock holdings but mine have gone up in value almost every year since I've been buying. I buy on a regular basis and look at the downturns as cheaper buying opportunities.
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