As you all know, the stock market is down. Even though I knew this, I’ve had a peculiar experience recently, when checking my portfolio.
Basically I knew that everything should be 20-30% down and this was perfectly fine with me. I obviously had nagging thoughts: “You should time it, let’s sell, it’s going to fall more, let’s sell”, but I successfully managed to shoo them away. Then one day I needed to log state of my portfolio (I try to do this monthly). Once I did this, I was surprised how much money I was missing. It was much more than I expected. After a brief calculation, I confirmed that this was around 25% and then I understood that I just have a lot of money. Somehow my brain was ok with 30% down, but never translated that into absolute amounts. Even though I was “missing” quite a chunk of my portfolio, understanding that I had money in the first place (and I still have quite a lot left) made me super happy.
Try to find positive side. These are challenging times, but our hedonic adaptation will kick in very fast (mine has done so already). In the end, it is a good opportunity to be even happier than before, since you get a very different view. Even small stuff like having a walk feels super cool and makes me so happy, especially when understanding that I may have no such opportunity in the future. The same can be applied in the future to everything you are missing now. Meeting friends? Going to restaurants? Yeap, it sucks, but once everything is back, it is will be super special and pleasant.
As a trick, I also suggest you to prepare yourself morally to living in such mode e.g. for a year or two. This way it just becomes new normal, you get used, everything becomes fine. Once there are improvements you get happy, because stuff becomes better than your normal. If you keep “when will this shit be over?” mode, this sets your mood to be negative. Basically, you say that this is not normal and even worse then normal and you are waiting (=suffer), i.e. unhappy. Once it gets back to normal, you will probably feel better, but not that much, since you just get back to your old normal.
Happy setting proper reference points!