By: Revanche

On the non-retirement investments front

December 23, 2009

It’s a little lame that I’m still sitting on ten whole shares of KO (wishing I’d bought many more) and $1050 in cash since my first foray into building my own portfolio five months ago.

Bor-ing. 

No, I didn’t expect a whole lot of excitement in this quarter knowing that I wasn’t willing to risk much cash right now but all the reading and researching of how to invest over the years had me wound up like a top: ready to go for ….. well, not broke, anyway!  

It’s just a bit of a letdown that I bought right before the market rallied (then fell, rallied again, then dipped, and rallied yet again).  That’s what you’re supposed to do – buy low, so all’s right on that end, but I haven’t done anything since.  Nothing has dropped enough for me to buy a substantial number of shares.  It’s so bad that I’ve been glaring at the ticker, willing the market to tank just a little bit. 

The real problem here is less that I don’t have a lot of ready cash to invest, and more that I get bored/distracted easily where there’s not a lot of action.  The TradeKing account is the least action-y account I own.  Even my Vanguard accounts are more interesting to watch.  The flip side of the boredom is the distraction: if the market is running low, I might not even notice because I zoned out 12 days before. 

The solution is finding the sweet spot in between the two: acting out of boredom is an entirely emotional decision – that’s usually a bad thing around here. Not paying attention because I’m bored is also bad.

So! I’ll set up a watch list, actively monitoring and recruiting possible investments and setting reasonable target Buy prices.  That should give me enough to do to stay on point, and then I’ll be set up to buy on a moment’s notice.

3 Responses to “On the non-retirement investments front”

  1. If there’s one thing I wish I could re-do when I entered the stock market, it would be to save up a bigger cash base and then invest. While saving up, start reading about good companies to invest in as well as some technical analysis. After I’ve compiled the money and the info, wait for a small dip in the market and then BUY!

    That’s exactly what I’ve learned from my 9 months of investing and what I plan on doing next year.

  2. I know I should start thinking about investing outside of my 401K and Roth, but for some reason, the process just seems really intimidating. I’m justifying holding onto the large sums of cash until Chad finds a job and we (maybe) buy a house.

  3. Revanche says:

    @investingnewbie: That’s pretty much the game plan. I could already have the cash on hand, if I didn’t need it for my emergency fund. aka: when I get a steady income, some of the emergency cash can be diverted.

    @paranoidasteroid: The key to make it less intimidating is doing your research, and LOTS of it while you’re saving money to commit to it. Maybe work with some of the software that allows you to have a virtual portfolio. I won’t commit more cash yet but eventually I will and I want to be ready for it.

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