Investing Mistake #4: Panic

Panic is normal. When life feels uncertain (which it always is), it is completely normal to feel uncomfortable and afraid. It is part of the human condition. It is why many of us find outlets to numb and distract us from what is happening in the world and contend with how little control we have over it.

Yes, there are things we can control: what time we wake up in the morning or if we pour ourselves a cup of coffee. But much of life is out of our hands: what temperature it will be today, how our boss will respond to our work, if we catch someone else’s cold.

Investing our money in some of the greatest companies in the world forces us to contend with the reality that we have little control. We don’t know if our account will go up or down in value today. While we have a long history of data to guide us, we can’t confidently predict the near term.

Our panic can make us consider why we invest at all.

In general, delayed gratification comes with a host of benefits (which we will elaborate on in the coming weeks.)

One of the reasons we invest is because of inflation. Living costs go up, and if our money stays the same, our hard-earned dollars decay over time. We also invest because saving enough for retirement or long-term goals is hard. Sometimes we need help making up the difference.

When our accounts are down and we start to feel scared, all these questions come to the forefront. Why am I doing this to myself?

My question is, what other choice do we have? Either we erode our dollars to feel a sense of certainty or accept uncertainty (which is genuinely unavoidable) and stay ahead.

When you begin to panic, remember: the economy cannot be forecasted, and the market cannot be timed. The optimal strategy is always to march. We can’t know how the next crisis will end or when any market decline will recover. There is no shame in not knowing. No one else does either.

While we don’t know how or when our investments will achieve new heights, we know that they have always recovered in the past, and while we have no guarantees, we can choose to believe that tomorrow will be better than today. And that progress, innovation, and opportunity are on the horizon.

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We believe that our role in managing your money isn’t about promising returns or boasting advantages. It’s about starting a conversation about your financial needs and doing whatever we can to help you get where you want to go.

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