Each day is a new day and the beginning of the rest of our lives. Lots of new and wonderful opportunities lie ahead for us. Exploring the possibilities is exciting.
This is true of our investing life. Each day is also a new day and lots of opportunities abound in this world, too.
But there are also risks.
And while I look forward to this new day, I can easily be plagued by the mistakes I made yesterday.
I can’t help it — it’s easy to play “should have, would have, could have” when investing in the stock market. Why didn’t I sell XXX stock yesterday since it fell XX points today? Why didn’t I buy XXXX stock? I wanted to buy it but I thought the price was too high or I didn’t like the price per earnings numbers and thought it was too risky even though my gut said buy — that’s when it was selling at $20 a share. Today it’s selling for $200 a share. Oops! I guess $20 a share wasn’t that expensive after all.
There are too many examples of my “should have, would have, could haves.”
But from this day onward I’ll commit to not thinking of “should/could/would have dones.” Mourning the lost opportunities or worrying about what I did or didn’t do just takes too much emotional energy. If I’m going to stick with investing in the stock market over the long run, and if I want to continue to be successful, than I need to make an investment decision with reason, not with emotion. And once I make a decision — be it one that works for me and maybe it doesn’t — if I made it consciously than the result is what it is.
If it didn’t work out or if I missed out on an opportunity, I’m just going to get over it. (Or, at least, work on getting over it.)
Here’s my new mantra:
Today is a new investment day. What I did or didn’t do yesterday just doesn’t matter today. It’s what I do today that will bring me abundance.
That said, it never hurts to review investment mistakes if that review is done in a pragmatic way rather than one filled with regret.
Objectively, I can ask myself:
- Why did I buy or sell a stock impulsively?
- Where was my mind at the time? What was the market doing that created an emotion that drove me to making a rash decision?
- Was it really a bad decision in the long run?
- What stopped me from buying or selling a stock at any particular time?
- What role did fear play in these decisions?
If the answers to these questions lead me to better decision making in the future, then I should ask them of myself and answer them. My goal is to continue to bring maturity and discipline to my investing skills.
Regardless, today is the first day of my new investment day in my investment life and I accept that I am where I am. From this point forward I will make my investment decisions.