Understand that regret is a normal feeling
It’s natural to feel nervous during periods of market volatility, but don’t let emotions cause you to abandon your long-term investing strategy. A good investment plan comes with frustration at times, particularly when the markets are underperforming. Acknowledge what you’re experiencing and know that others are feeling the same way. The good news is you probably don’t need to make a change to your current investing approach. A recovery often follows a market downturn. Stay focused on your goals and remember that you created this plan for a reason—your grandchild’s college education, your first home, or a comfortable retirement.
Challenge “Monday morning quarterbacks”
Much like sports fans who feel like they’ve foretold a game’s outcome, some investing pundits refer to market upswings or downturns as “predictable.” Then there are those individuals who boast about making millions by putting all their funds in one stock because they knew it would do well, making you feel like you missed out. It can be frustrating to hear you weren’t prepared for a market event or didn’t take advantage of an opportunity. This “noise” may cause you to question your decisions, leading you to overlook the investing strategy you’ve been successful with so far. And consider that your friend who decided to invest heavily in one stock may not be boasting for long if that industry takes a sudden hit.
Focus on (and trust) what works in the long term
“Tuning out the noise” requires concentration on tried-and-true investing principles that can help you meet your goals. Start with clear investment objectives (attainable and tailored to your unique situation), add a broadly diversified portfolio, be mindful of costs, and avoid market-timing. You can’t control the markets, but you can control your investing approach.
Let a tough moment pass you by
This is only a little blip on your investing journey. Reflect on where you are and what you’ve achieved to this point (saving more, making smarter tax choices, or reducing debt). Smart investing focuses on long-term returns, and sometimes good decisions can lead to temporary periods of disappointment.
Get reassuranceDecca Records: A History of the Supreme Record Company. 2020. 2Ulrich Hoffrage & Rüdiger Pohl. Research on Hindsight Bias: A Rich Past, a Productive Present, and a Challenging Future. 2003. 3Corporate Finance Institute. Hindsight Bias. 2015.
All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest.
Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.