I just can't take it anymore. Every time I look at my 401k or my brokerage account, the balance gets lower and lower. I have a habit of checking my financial accounts every day just to make sure everything is the way it is supposed to be. With the help of the My Portfolio tool from Bank of America, I am able to not only able easily view the balances and transactions my checking and savings accounts, I am also able to view my investment accounts also. This is a feature that I really, really like but lately, I have been hating it. Everyday, I see the balance in my investment accounts drop like a By seeing my investments lose value every day, I am starting to get really discouraged with investing. I keep trying to tell myself that it does not matter about the current dips in the market.

If you are like me and are getting discouraged with the market, you must remember these important facts:

  • Time is on your side. If you are 15, 20, 25 years away from retirement, you have plenty of time to make up the current losses.
  • Take advantage of the down market. Purchase more shares of your favorite stock or mutual fund at the lower price. Buying shares at various prices is called dollar cost averaging. You are essentially spreading out the cost basis of your investment which will make up for the temporary dips in price.
  • Don't panic! Like me, you may be tempted to sell all of your investments and look for safety in a plain old bank money market account. DON'T DO IT! The stock market has historically outperformed savings accounts by a few percentage points.
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Related Posts:
Take Advantage of your 401k
What's in my 401k?
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  1. Unknown // January 15, 2008 at 8:40 PM  

    I completely understand. Mrs. Blubba and I have taken a beating. A friend of mine has seen a drop of 30% in the last six months.

    Think of it as a great time to keep investing, so that when the market rebounds you'll see those gains come soaring back.

  2. Anonymous // January 15, 2008 at 9:07 PM  

    Ugh, I'm having the same problem. My checking/savings/investment accounts are all tied together so I can see them all simultaneously. It's depressing.

  3. Anonymous // January 15, 2008 at 9:37 PM  

    Yeah, it has been tough. Every portfolio went down. I try not to think about it.

  4. ... // January 15, 2008 at 10:31 PM  

    I'm in it for the long haul, so I try not to pay attention. At my office there is a plasma TV and every day I leave work Jim Cramer is on screen jumping up and down working on a heart attack. Sorry, but I just have a hard time being so passionate about short term financial trends. In the next several weeks, I'm going to be putting more than normal amount of money into the market. I'll check on the progress at the end of the year.

  5. Noel Larson // January 15, 2008 at 11:31 PM  

    It is a marathon and not a sprint. In the same analogy you have to assume in one the other 30 years you will make it up with over sized gains!

  6. Anonymous // January 16, 2008 at 1:05 PM  

    i'm the same way.. i tend to look at my retirement accounts a little more often than i should.. i just need to realize that it's a long term thing and these up and down swings are going to occur

    it's pretty safe to say we've all taken a hit lately =/

  7. Chitown // January 16, 2008 at 4:08 PM  

    With Yodlee, I also see the damage on a daily basis but I am also in it for the long haul.

  8. Kim // January 16, 2008 at 9:29 PM  

    My etrade account has dropped 30%. Luckily my 401K is pretty steady.

  9. Anonymous // January 17, 2008 at 5:39 PM  

    I know what you mean! I keep telling myself its a great time to invest. Luckily my 401k is fairly new because I've only been working full time for 8 months now. If I feel this way when I'm losing 10 or 20 bucks at a time, it must be extremely stressful for someone thats built up a decent nest egg.

  10. Mark Framness // January 19, 2008 at 1:33 PM  

    I went through this in the last market downturn. I was putting money in and in and at best the balance was staying level. It was exactly like trying to keep a leaky bathtub full, you pour in water, but it just drains out the leak.

    I stopped checking and in fact did not look at it for some time and then when things reversed I was amazed at how large the account had become!

    At most you may want to redirect new funds to investments of a defensive nature and even then the best you may do is to stay even or minimize the temp losses.