Three years ago I wrote about staying “cool, calm, and collected” as the stock market gyrations occurred. As I wrote then,
Yesterday, the S&P 500… went down 2.6%, during a month that has been rocky to say the least.
The interesting thing is, when I saw that this had occurred, I did not get upset at all. In fact, on the contrary, I was merely curious! “Hmm,” I said to myself. “I wonder what will happen next.”Day 379: Staying Cool, Calm, and Collected About Mr. Market (from August 24, 2019)
Reviewing this post today, I basically feel the same way. The last three years has included the Pandemic crash, the massive bull market of 2020 and 2021, and the volatile bear market of 2022, which has involved a significant skid in nearly all assets (including bonds).
It has not been comfortable watching our assets take a ding in market price.* Yet my reaction to it continues be something like, “Wow, this is interesting. What will happen next?”
I would say my mood is cheerful, curious, interested. Sure, occasionally there can be a little regret or concern. “Was that really a good idea?” I ask myself sometimes about choices I’ve made. The counterfactual thinking monster can rear its ugly head, telling me how I should have known such-and-such was a good investment and held onto it, or such-and-such was a bad investment and not gotten it in the first place!
A certain amount of regret or “I should have known!” come with the territory of investing. It’s the nature of the mind to look back and re-evaluate the actions that could have been taken. Yet investing is a forward-looking activity, not a backward-looking one. It’s about holding for the long-term, not “getting everything right.”
All in all, I consider it a blessing to have my head on straight about this part of life. I feel good about continuing to ride things out and stay the course.
Long may that continue.
*Though it has been very nice to buy on discount, which helps our game of growing share ownership.