Holy Hell the Stock Market is Down (Just Breathe)

I’m a bit obsessive about my networth. Ok, a lot obsessive. It’s this game I play which helps me weather the storm of the everyday ups and downs of life. I know you’re not supposed to monitor your stocks on a daily basis, but I do, because that’s what I do. It’s certainly thrilling when they go up. Not so much when they go… down… and down some more.

Today the stock market had its 9th biggest decline in history so – when I looked at my Mint account and my jaw dropped to the floor with little birdies flying around my head – well, that was not an overreaction. It’s pretty painful to see all this money you’ve been saving for the year just poof disappear, at least on digital paper. It could come back tomorrow, or more could disappear. Who knows. China is making everyone freak out. My Apple stock is tanking, but so is the rest of the market.

I am not going to sell. I am not going to sell. I am not going to sell.

My entry into the stock market was interestingly timed. I got in right before the great recession. I had enough money in to feel the pain of losing almost half of it, but I was making so little at the time that the amount I was able to invest wasn’t really significant enough to cause serious long-term damage. Then, as the market recovered, I obtained jobs where I made more money, and more money. And I didn’t really like to spend all that money at Sephora, so I invested it each month. As the stock market went up, so did my networth. It was incredible to be investing in the market at that time. It clearly wasn’t going to last forever…

Today the market is overvalued. It’s due for a few major corrections. The trick of corrections is to A) not sell and B) buy more each time your heart jumps to your throat when you check your life savings, but not too much more in case the market continues to drop, which it probably will do.

Think Long Term and Forget About the Short-Term Fluctuations

Today I bought $1000 worth of Vanguard funds and $500-ish of Tesla stock. I’m fighting my stock market fears by throwing money at it whenever it surprises me with a swift downturn. Hopefully that will pay off in the end. It’s not rocket science, but it seems to have worked thus far.

I’m holding my breath right now as I have a feeling 2015-2016 is going to be a majorly bumpy ride. Are you in buy mode right now? How much do you think the market will correct itself before it stabilizes? Do you have any favorite funds that perform well when China implodes on itself for its overvalued currency?

Oh, and forget about my $400k networth goal this year… now I think $350k networth is a much more reasonable goal to close out the year with. That’s still $50k more than I closed out last year, but given my salary increase I thought this year would be a lot stronger. The whole $500k before kids goal is seeming more and more unlikely — though if I can maintain my income level… my plan is to get pregnant in June/July 2016, and then have a kid in March/April 2017… that’s still about a year-and-a-half from now, so I could be somewhere in the $425k range at that point, which isn’t HORRIBLE. $425k growing at an average of 5% per year after 30 years, if I don’t touch it, will =$1.8M, just shy of my $2M retirement goal.  But if it grows at 10% over 30 years then that’s $7.4M. So all I need to do is not touch that future basis and hope that the economy doesn’t entirely crash for a long term depression. $400k-$500k before I have a kid is the NEW goal.



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  1. Mr. A says:

    The market will go back up, nothing has changed but the chinese manufacturing has decreased about 6% Not the end of the world and has almost minimal impact on US stocks. Just a scare, wait it out, buy more if you reasonably can.

    A better way to look at stocks instead of net worth at any given time, is the dividends they produce. This is a better way of evaluating the income you will be receiving that isn’t tied to the current daily market value. Don’t chase yield though, buy solid companies.

    Also, the market isn’t overvalued anymore. Most stocks are undervalued compared to their historical PE’s. I haven’t seen any data that suggests stocks are in trouble outside of the oil patch, which is probably a 1-2 year blip. All earnings reports and recent earnings are as expected. Now growth is almost non-existant but aslong as no significant cuts to future earnings, I wouldn’t worry at all and you shouldn’t worry if your profile will still pay you dividends and income as expected, and still increase your yearly dividends.

  2. Henrietta Schermeier says:

    I pulled all my money out of the market on Friday and left it in Money Market. And I’m glad I did. Monday was a bloodbath. Today looked like it was going to recover but then in the last hour everything dropped again. I think the Dow is going to get down to 12-13K before it goes back up again. You’re bolder than me and I agree that in 30 years it will definitely be higher than it is now, but I can’t stand to watch my money disappear in such large chunks the day after I put it in.

  3. I like Leigh’s theory. Hadnt ever really thought about focusing in on the contributions vs the daily moves in the market

    Either way, history says the market will go up over time. Continuing to make investments and staying invest is the way to go.

    I understand if you want to tweak around the edges, but a huge portion of the drop is over, time to look for securities/market sectors that are on sale.

    I am going to buy a little this weak, and buy some more if it goes down more.

  4. Harmgb says:

    Sounds like your head is on straight. If it’s the end of the world, your net worth won’t matter….and remember, stocks are a better deal now than they were a month ago.

  5. Leigh says:

    This is why I make savings goals and not net worth goals! How much $ I save is much more in my control than what my net worth does. I’m on track to meet my adjusted savings goals for the year, so I’m doing just fine.

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