You Need Courage To ‘Invest’ In The Stock Market. That’s Something I Don’t Have.

After six decades on this planet you’d think I would have learned my Wall Street lesson by now. It’s a proven fact that every single time I have ever ‘invested’ in the stock market, within days, Wall Street takes a tumble. Maybe this time I did learn my lesson. I was debating whether to take the funds from a recently matured CD and rather than turn it over, maybe divide and conquer in Wall Street.

To figure out how I wanted to diversify and invest my newfound portfolio, I did extensive research and decided to go the Jane Bryant Quinn way (click here): set up 3 baskets of investments. One would be secure cash, one would be in the bond fund market the remaining one would be in the stock fund market. My husband, however, had an ingenious plan. Rather than actually do the investment, just pretend to have done the investments by buying the appropriate shares and tracking them for a while.

So, that’s what I did. On Monday, August 12, 2019, I pretended to put 3 years worth of cash to cover me in a Money Market, 70% of the remaining money into a Morningstar 5 Star Rated Corporate Bond and 30% of the remaining money into a S&P 500 Index Fund. On Tuesday I made $1,423 on the bond fund; I lost $1,121 on the stock fund giving me a net profit of $302. On Wednesday, true to form, the stock market plunged 800 points and I lost all my gains when I subtracted the stock index fund against the bond fund. I was now negative $35. Not off to a good running start as far as I was concerned, but so very typical of ALL my experiences with Wall Street. They always win. I always lose.

stock market news.jpeg
Not me. But the stock photo catches my mood exactly: WTF?

According to Quinn, at times like these you’re supposed to live out of your cash reserves. That meant that I would be depleting my cash reserves. Granted yes the stock market always comes back, but when? A week, a month, a year, two years, five years? I can’t live this way. I have a risk tolerance of zero. And why should I tolerate anything else but the sure thing? We’re in retirement mode. I need to know and depend on a steady income. To be more truthful and realistic, I think my days as a Wall Street investor are officially over.

There’s even talk now that within a year or two, America might go back into a recession. If that’s true then I have a different set of rules to follow to prepare for an eventual recession (click here).

Focus, don’t panic

Take stock of your personal life

Make a plan

Bulk up on cash

Don’t run up your credit cards

It’s not the end of the world

A recession doesn’t necessarily mean we are “looking at gloom and doom. A recession, depending on how you define it, is typically just a slowed down economy. It may last for three months or six months or some period of time.”

But it’s not the end of the world.”

In fact, the banking system is still strong and companies are still making money.

“When we talk about recession we are not talking about 2008. None of those signs are there.”

Yet.

Side Note: I’m going to go with the two bucket strategy known as ‘safety first’. The first bucket will hold the cash I need for at least the next three years in a money market/checking account fund paying just under 2%. The second bucket will be invested in certificates of deposit and perhaps a good, short-term bond fund and maybe some intermediate-term bond funds also. This strategy plus Social Security and a pension will cover a bare bone budget for the rest of our lives. Our lifestyles will be modest BUT secure. Because DH and I are such savers, this safety-first strategy will produce enough income to cover some luxuries (travel, gifts, entertainment etc). According to Quinn, this strategy works only for people who are willing to cut their spending significantly….which is what DH and I have always done. We only need to withdraw $6,000 a year from our savings for the next 2 to 3 years. After that, our passive income will cover all our expenses and our ‘investments’ will grow unencumbered.

12 comments

  1. Yeah, I think I posted a remark about what happened to me in the horror of the Great Recession. I still make $5000 less per year that I made prior to the Great Recession. I have no stomach for financial turmoil, after what I went through. Granted, I have zero debt. I promise you, though, the minute I put a penny in the stock market, it would take a huge nosedive and stay down.

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    • Cindy, you and I must have that ‘magic touch’. LOL. I think you’re doing fine. Being debt free is like saving 24.99% per year. That’s about the going rate on some of those credit cards. Ugh.
      I sleep very well at night. My biggest concerns right now are how many weeks am I going to be in Florida this winter….how many weeks at the beach in the summer? I’d rather have those problems than money problems any day!
      Thanks for your comment.

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  2. I am still in three buckets. My stocks (I don’t do funds) did take a hit and will in the future, I am sure. I don’t “need” that money for ten or more years. It is about 1/5th of my net worth. Things happen. My CDs are doing fine. My cash is making nothing.
    We still save from every paycheck. No debt. House in a low tax state. Joint emergency money in place and envelopes filled each month for the bills.
    My husband has your luck. He just invested heavily about three weeks ago. Like Vegas- he took his chances. He has decided to take the rest of his IRAs and put them into a second house. No loans, no HOA. At 69, it is time for him to live his dream. I got him to travel, he gets his house in the woods. (Hope his luck is better and it does not burn down!)

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    • Janette, you’re so funny. I think your husband is doing a very good thing. The both of you will love the cabin in the woods! Enjoy.
      Yup, right around this age, 68-69 we tend to start thinking differently. To heck with everything. let’s just do what we always dreamed of, right? Good for him!
      Thanks for your comment and for sharing your investment strategy.

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  3. Hi Cindi, yes you do need to have courage to make a financial change but also patience when you do invest. I don’t think a three day experiment is a long enough timeframe to judge investing in stocks. The yield curve is no longer inverted and futures are up. I do agree that you do not have an investment mindset or optimism so your secure 2 bucket plan works for you. It will definitely keep you on a roller coaster ride until Nick gets SS of trying to follow a paper budget that just doesn’t work and you use too much of the $6000 for discretionary spending instead of property taxes. The $106 deficit seems to match your increase dental and RV expenses total, so won’t this be a monthly problem?
    I don’t have a crystal ball 🔮 but I do know my dividends and interest that I have set aside will pay for all my added expenses for all the home projects I need to do and purchase some more preferred stocks at a lower cost and increase future dividends and interest.
    I also listen to many CNBC guests in the last week, say use dividends stocks especially preferred stocks to smooth investments volatility and keep your portfolio growing. Only time will tell.Sincerely, Lara

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    • Lara, I still have time before I need to make an investment. I’m still monitoring my choices which I support 1000%. But because of my husband’s questionable health, I really can’t take any chances. We find out in December if and when he may need open heart surgery. I may need our cash to pay medical bills. So, we’ll see.
      I think I have cured the $106 deficit. We spend entirely too much money on food. My pantry and freezer are loaded up to the gills. It’s ridiculous. So, we cut back, a little, on food buying and we’re watching our spending. Before I cut anything, I want to wait a month or two to see how things work out. If I can easily pay my bills, then everything stays the same. But if I have difficulty, the cuts start. The first being cable. LOL. I rarely watch TV anymore anyway. I love YouTube which I watch on my iPhone.
      The $6000 is for taxes ($5000) and vacation ($1000). I have never taken out more than I reserved. I make a minimum of $6000 in interest per year, so I am not taping into my principal. Yet.
      Nick wants us to wait until he securely gets his Social Security. We’ll have an extra $1000 a month that we surely should invest plus our cash holdings. In the interim, I;m going to keep on learning. I like to listen to Bloomberg and watch PBS NBR program, which I can get on YouTube also.
      It’s all good.
      I feel confident we’re moving in the right direction.
      Thanks, as always, for your comment.

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  4. A crazy ride this week in the stock market ending with a $500 increase in my portfolio and buying on the dip $31,000 in preferred stock that will give another $6000 of yearly dividends paid quarterly. I don’t really like this stock market volatility but creating a watch list can get you some bargains. IMHO It Beats working for the man, side hustles, and paltry CDs and money market interest. So how did your fantasy portfolio end the week? Lara

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