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I felt uncomfortable when I realized I had a relationship goal with my wealth and it involved investing during the pandemic.
The stock market feels like a big gambling machine that spits out graphs, ratios, and code words like ETFs and index funds.
I don’t like gambling.
Gambling feels like throwing money into the unknown with the odds of seeing it again close to nil. There are so many levels of that I don’t like.
Much of my life has revolved around unknowns from jobs and income to moving and education.
Money has become a source of security because I have control over where it goes, how long it stays, and our plans for the future.
I have serious control issues!
It was time to loosen my grip and allow my wealth to build a better future. A future that doesn’t include being stuck in a low-interest savings account or worse….. a dead-end checking account.
FUNDING OUR VALUES
Setting aside 15% of pretax income for retirement, having an emergency fund with six months worth of expenses, and a fully-funded travel account. These are important values that I needed to reach before my wealth and I could start riskier endeavors.
I have experienced financial heartbreak from really poor decisions. One painful experience was cashing out my retirement account. Healing from this financial setback has meant creating a level of security before trying something as uncertain as the stock market.
Learning about personal finance has felt a lot like couple’s therapy. Our daily therapy sessions would include 15 minutes of exploring different areas of personal finances from emergency funds to ETFs.
As our sessions continued, the same terms came up again and again. After being exposed to stock market jargon many times, I began to feel comfortable with this new leveling up of our relationship.
Turns out, investing is our love language.
KEEPING IT SIMPLE
Technically, I have been investing for a while but passively with my retirement accounts. I usually set up automatic contributions and let the defaults define our success.
As my comfort in investing has increased, I started diving into my retirement accounts and realized that some of the defaults were not helping my wealth. They were in fact building someone else’s wealth!
As a scorned partner, I tried to quickly defend my wealth by either removing my assets from the offending platform or moving it to a more favorable environment like one with less fees and higher returns.
Nobody puts my wealth in a high-fee, low-return corner! Nobody!
IT MAY ALL END IN HEARTBREAK
It could all go horribly wrong. I could lose everything I put into the stock market. This is still a nagging thought, even as I see my wealth grow by leaps and bounds.
I can’t shake the painful memories of past money lost and time destroyed. But after many sighs of resolution, I realized that I can’t let my fear of loss hold back my wealth. Even if it is fear on steroids because I am investing during the pandemic.
My wealth is out enjoying the highs of the market and encouraging me to trust it.
I deeply want it to be successful. It deserves to be. I deserve that too.