Anyone else having panic attacks about the market?

HaHa said:
Stop it Mr. Wab; this is incorrect thought.

The thought police are always harassing me. :)

Here's another thought. People often say "you don't lose money unless you sell." Well, the same applies to your winnings, of course -- you don't get to keep them unless you sell.

So, here's a mental trick that might help you deal with volatility. Keep a spreadsheet that tracks your net worth, but always track just your cost basis and any distributions. Never track capital gains or losses until you realize them.

You'll never get elated by false winnings (hey, I made 20% last year!). You'll never be bothered by false losses. And you'll probably be pleasantly surprised once your sell something and track your realized gains. I usually just use this trick with assets that are difficult to mark to market (like real estate), but I'm considering it for all assets.... BTW, this trick also makes you appreciate dividends a lot. :)
newyorklady said:
I am seriously freaked out, please tell me I am just being crazy.
Where were you in 2000-2002? This is peanuts compared to that slow dreadful grind. But look at how things recovered 2003-2006!

What about May-June 2006? Did that freak you out? That was worse than this so far.

It's pretty typical to have another leg or so down after a selloff like two weeks ago, so I have been expecting this. I tend to see it as an opportunity to rebalance, but S&P really needs to sell off more before I rebalance.

What exactly are you afraid of?

As a retiree 100% in equities, I am not in the least concerned, and another 2000
pts would not change this. Over the past few weeks several of my stocks have
had earnings estimates creep up another cent, and KO raised its dividend again.

Now if KO or JNJ or KIM etc skipped an expected dividend increase, or started
dropping earnings estimates significantly I would get concerned, but price bumps
mean nothing.
I agree with other posters tonight that with Japan down nearly 3%, tomorrow will be an interesting day on the New York Stock Exchange. I take solace in having a 50% bond, 50% stock portfolio. I feel comfortable that I can weather the expected and inevitable bear market.
I'm having a mild panic attack that it wont go down more before I sell my old house and reinvest the money.

I still think we'll see the S&P a lot closer to 1000 than it is right now before things pick back up.

1080-1090 is my guess.
newyorklady said:
global meltdown. i am screwed.

Things are probably not as bad as you think. Even Japan 1990 would have been survivable for a diversified portfolio. I bet if you look at the numbers head-on, it is not as bad as you fear. And if it is, then this is your chance to take corrective action, before things get really bad.

What is your asset allocation, and if you are retired, what is your withdrawal rate?
NYL, not being flippant here but this is where the Financial Advisor you are paying good money should be earning his pay. Ask him to buy a cup of coffee, hold your hands and look into your eyes and repeat: it's ok. everything will be fine. really that is his job. You will be fine - trust me - the random guy on the internet. That was free btw, next time I say it I might charge you :) :D

I've been doing this stock market thing for awhile now. I think/hope I keep getting better at it. But, I do get nervous at times. And, for me, there's a difference between being annoyed with the market and being scared to death regarding the market. When I get really nervous/anxious/tense/scared to death-well, I could either sell or buy. That's been the time for me to buy. And, it's worked out well (so far). But, I'm not sure that this sort of current drop makes me nervous enough to make any major moves. Waiting until I really, really want to throw up--that might be the time to buy--not sell. Other than that, I just kind of stick to my fuzzy allocations and slowly as I get older, I add more bond income into the portfolio. (That last idea is one other thing I learned on this board).
Since I'm sitting on a bunch of cash, I actually like this. Bought some stuff a week or 2 ago after the 1st dip but want to average in. But, I'm thing of ERing this year and I don't think I'll give notice for a month or so. Enjoy the ride.
Big tax return = putting $4,000 into the market in the next few weeks. The only problem is the IRA needs to be funded by April 15 and the bleeding might not be done by then! I know, $4k is nothing for some of you big fish, but it's almost 4% of my portfolio!
Laurence said:
the bleeding might not be done by then! I know, $4k is nothing for some of you big fish, but it's almost 4% of my portfolio!

laurence you are buying stuff on sale - get the money into the mkt asap! Also look under the couch and throw the change in too :LOL:
repeat it - You are buying on Sale and you have a long time to go before you touch the money.

Laurence said:
Big tax return = putting $4,000 into the market in the next few weeks. The only problem is the IRA needs to be funded by April 15 and the bleeding might not be done by then! I know, $4k is nothing for some of you big fish, but it's almost 4% of my portfolio!

Just because it has to go into the IRA by April 15 does not mean it has to go into the market by then. (Not that I would wait, and I'm a small fish, too.)
All these stuff is indeed interesting.

In my early age of investing, I've never experience a 20% down market in a year, although I have had bad experience where the penny stock I bought just worth basically next to nothing. Ever since that I've been disciplining into DCA and occassional lump sum. I too wonder if I have what it takes to keep on going when it keeps on going down. Only time can tell.
REWahoo! said:
Yes you are...if you don't take a long-term view of equity markets. Unless you are willing to ride the roller coaster both up and down, you shouldn't be on it.

i am taking a long term view with my actions, but can't help but panic mentally. i am much younger than most of you and though i am in this for the long haul, i haven't dealt with this before as much of my money was tied up in real estate before. had to get out of that for various personal and practical reasons, so i am trying my best to deal with this downturn, but my mind keeps on wandering to all sorts of doomsday scenarios. i think that once you make a substantial amount of money then there is the fear of losing that money. i think i need to toughen up psychologically more than anything.
wab said:
Because we can never tell when the sale is over? Or is because we own the stuff that is on sale?

Is this the slippery slope of "Market Timing"?

The price of the investment instrument is important when you buy and when you sell.
One thing I thought about that could make this "panic attacks about the market" is speed. More than ever selling stocks is only a mouse click away.

With the memories of 2000 still in people's mind selling could pick up.
Gosh I'm not in a panic, in fact last night when dh mentioned it (with a worried look on his face) I said great, time to keep buying :)
NYL, I do understand where you are comming from.
What is realistically the worse doomsday scenario? Perhaps it is a repeat of the great depresion? Even that shouldn't cause you any fear as you have plenty of time on your side.

The speed which the market is moving can be scary. However, buying low is as important as selling high (as someone mentioned earlier). So if you can buy now, that is the best thing to do.

The last thing you want to do is buy high and sell low. Selling now would be selling low.

The only reason I would panick is if you had your entire portfolio in one stock. And even then, this would be a good time to diversify 8)
The dip is a good thing for me. I'm 15 months in to FIRE. For assorted reasons I waited to roll out the large lump sum from MegaCorp till January. Total assets were at around 75/25 in early January and with advise from here and Vanguard I moved to about 50/50 the end of January. I still have some 401K money to move and have been dragging my feet trying to decide if I really wanted to stay so conservative in the booming market. I was regularly reminding myself that I was in preservation of life savings not accumulating mode anymore. Now I'm feeling like a smart market timer and shouldn't have as much trouble keeping with the plan going forward.

Part of the bond/cash side of the mix is 2 years of living expenses in Money Market funds and CDs, with another 3 years worth in a fund that is as good as cash making 6-7%.

I just have to remind myself to rebalance when necessary since that will be the only way to cash in on the roller coaster.

I sleep fine at night, but I do watch the ride.


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