How not to panic about your stock portfolio

. 2 min read

Owning stocks isn't that uncommon nowadays. Regardless of how much savings you have, you can always find a stock that fits your budget. Some stocks cost only cents, others hundreds - one Google stock costs 1119 dollars (May 30th 2019). You can buy one stock or several, however many you like, as long as the supply meets your demand.

I bought my first stocks about five years ago and have continued investing throughout the years. Some investments have been good, some average, and some absolutely terrible, like Tesla, the value of which has decreased about 40 %. But the risk of losing your investment is part of the game. If you can't handle it, perhaps you should find a better way to invest your money.

However, if you know you have tight nerves yet want to invest in stock anyway, I have a cute hack for you. To save your nerves, all you need to do is never check your stock portfolio. Don't try to stay up to date about the current value of your investments. Just buy the stock and then leave it be. The value will vary so much over time that stressing over whether or not you should sell your stocks every time the value drops a buck won't do you any good in the long run.

So don't check your portfolio. Let the value vary freely. Only when you want to buy more or when you need to sell can you check the general state of your investments to decide what to sell or what to buy. (I usually never buy the same stock twice, though. But perhaps I should load up on Tesla now that it's super cheap?)

What's more, it's better if you don't follow the financial news. People who are thinking about starting investing in stock are usually encouraged to find out about the markets by reading financial publications. But the truth is, you can't predict the future by reading a financial paper. Nor by listening to so-called investment experts. No one knows how the market will change. Not you or anyone else. It's all a game of chance, so you can buy basically any stock, completely randomly, and expect not to know what will happen to its value. So ditch the papers - they'll make you stress out unnecessarily. Go with your gut or whatever instead.

For me, investing is first and foremost for fun. But I admit, I hope my portfolio will also build up to a nice little surprise down the road as well.