Sometimes Investing Sucks

I love it, but sometimes investing sucks. I feel the same way about investing that sports fanatics feel about their preferred sport. I want to know all the latest stats, follow the latest news, and make the best picks possible. Especially since when my picks are right, I make a lot of money.

There is one main difference between being right about a sporting event and being right about an investment. With the investment, it is pretty much impossible to be completely right.

Dealing With Imperfection

First, I should clarify that last statement. For a football game you can be right about which team will win or lose. Heck, you could even guess the exact score correctly. You will know if you were right or wrong when the game clock hits zero.

With a stock or other asset the clock never hits zero (unless the company goes bankrupt). Because of that, as time goes on, it is extremely likely that you could have either sold the stock at a higher price, or bought it at a lower one. You may always feel like you could have done better.

Even if you ignore the price you bought something for, the chance that you will sell that stock at its all-time-high price, down to the penny, is virtually zero. Its like the stock market is that professor that doesn’t believe in giving anyone a 100, which can be extremely frustrating.

You Have To Step Back

The other day I sold a stock that I had made a 20% return on from April to November. A lot of people would consider that to be a pretty big win, but instead I was beating myself up. I could have sold it at a higher price if I had done so two days earlier.

There have been other times where I planned to buy a stock, but never got around to it. One of those times the stock proceeded to jump up 200%.

There will always be missed opportunities or potential for improvement but the best thing you can do is learn from the mistakes you’ve made and arm yourself with that knowledge for the future.

Set Reasonable Goals

While goal-setting may not be a perfect fix, I think it definitely helps. If you set a goal of achieving a 10% return on your investments then you can hopefully give yourself a pat on the back if you return 13%, even if you could have returned 15% by making different decisions.

Give Yourself Credit

Even if you have a bad performing year or make some bad picks, at least you are investing. Over the long run you will be much better off than people who do not invest. Take pride in the fact that you are making the effort to save money and try to grow your wealth. Don’t let the inevitable mistakes or missed opportunities get you down.

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