I'm admitting it: I'm a market speculator and borderline day trader.
I spend too much time thinking about my investments in the stock market.
I worked for a company that went IPO a few years ago. This led to me owning a significant amount of stock in that company (through stock options) and seeing massive returns.
When you see massive returns like that, it’s almost euphoric. How could you sell?
Having a huge position in one company (that did very well) convinced me that maybe I had the “intuition” to be a great stock picker. Since that, I’ve invested in more individual stocks.
But WTF am I doing?? I am not a day trader. I’m doing the very thing I criticized others for, years ago.
A few years back, I was at lunch with a friend, and I asked:
“How much time do you spend looking at your Robinhood app?”
My guess? They spent a couple of hours per day. Add that up over a lifetime, and that’s YEARS of your life doing something very unproductive.
I’d also ask:
- “How often do you check your gains and losses?”
- “Does it affect your mood when it goes up / down?"
- “Can you show me your actual gains over 3 years?”
- “Did that beat index funds?”
- “Do you really think you can time the market / are smarter than everyone else?”
And then I’d say things like:
- “I’d rather work on my own business. It’s the only thing I can control”
- “I don’t think I can (nor I want to) outsmart the markets”
- “The IPO? That was just luck. I’m lucky to have worked there and got that stock”
But here I am, in 2021, doing the same exact thing. I check market prices every day. I’ve become obsessed.
The problem: it has become unbelievably enticing to get into the markets. “How could you miss this opportunity?”
I think that is probably the sign of the bubble we are in. But I’m not here to speculate.
I realize that I could become "good" at investing in individual companies. But I don't want to be good at that! That's not where I want to spend my time. Because I know that I won't have the drive and motivation to be great at it.
I want to be great at being an entrepreneur. And I must sacrifice being a good "investor" for that. When I started my business a few years ago, I pledged I would do whatever I could to keep the focus on my business. Building a business that generates cash and that I one day can sell.
A couple years ago, I told myself I wouldn’t become "that guy". But here I am. The funny things is, I got here in a different way than I expected. I got lucky with that IPO, but then it crept up on me.
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to do a lot of research on ETFs and slowly move my money over to them over the next 2 months.
I realize that I’ll likely lose out on some gains, but what I’ll gain back is my attention and my focus. I won’t check the price every hour. I’ll work more on my business. My time is worth so much more than some unrealized gains in the market.
I’ll allow for 10% of my portfolio to be in individual stocks, so I can still have a bit of fun, but won’t care much about the price. I will still own BTC.