For millions, recent inflation has been a source of financial distress. Feeling hopeless about an unpredictable stock market isn’t any help. Luckily, stressing over investments doesn't have to rule your life. We have compiled some simple steps to help you make a plan and relieve stress.
Prioritizing Your Mental Health
Psychologists have long acknowledged the detrimental effects of stress. It impacts sleep, cognition, and physical health. High stress levels also change human perception, increasing the likelihood of impulsive decision-making. In times of uncertainty, it’s important to first regulate your mental wellbeing. It’s smart to care for your mental health before making any big investment-related decisions.
Reducing Stress Without Changing Your Finances
Stress makes us feel as if we’re losing control. While you can’t change the stock market, you can have an impact on your reactions and mental wellbeing. The following suggestions prove to have positive effects:
- Focus on wellness:
You've probably heard it before! Exercise regularly, get enough sleep, eat well, and practice mindfulness. Make time to engage in recreational activities that make you happy or explore a new hobby.
- Don’t use unhealthy coping mechanisms:
These can be harder to recognize than one might expect. Don’t smoke or drink in excess to cope with stress. Be wary of overworking yourself and unnecessary risk-taking.
- Stay socially connected:
Social support increases resilience to stress. Lean into your support system and connect with others to avoid feeling consumed by anxious thoughts.
Approaching the Volatile Market
It’s also important to address the original stressor: the worry you have about your investments. In how you approach the stock market, keep these guidelines in mind.
- Take a Break:
Over-checking your portfolio isn’t recommended, especially during market downturns. Volatility is a natural part of the market. It is important to remember that volatility isn’t inherently bad. It may provide patient investors with better opportunities over the long run. Constantly checking your short-term returns is unnecessary and causes undue stress. This can increase the chance of making hasty, emotionally charged decisions. Avoid re-checking your portfolio when feeling especially stressed.
- Assess Your Investing Goals:
While you should avoid over-checking your portfolio, don't entirely check out. Spells of volatility are a great time to reassess and remind yourself of your long-term goals. Why is your portfolio made up of these specific investments? Why are you investing in the first place?
Despite a dynamic stock market, it’s likely that your long-term goals remain unchanged. Keeping yourself conscious of these long-term goals is crucial. Remember that your investment plans will outlast a period of market volatility.
- Make Investment Decisions:
If you have an advisor, talk to them about your concerns. If you don’t have an advisor and think it’s time to work with one, now’s an opportune time. No matter your circumstances, the fundamental piece of advice is to avoid making an uninformed or impulsive decision.
Remember that, historically, the stock market has recovered. Volatile markets are a normal part of investing. It’s natural to become anxious when experiencing declines in your investment portfolio. But don’t allow a volatile market to cause you too much distress. Instead, focus on your mental wellbeing and solidify your financial goals.
The opinions expressed are those of PYAW’s Investment Team. The opinions referenced are as of the date of publication and are subject to change due to changes in the market or economic conditions and may not necessarily come to pass. Forward looking statements cannot be guaranteed.
PYA Waltman Capital, LLC (“PYAW”) is an investment adviser registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. More information about PYAW’s investment advisory services can be found in its Form ADV Part 2, which is available upon request. PYA-22-20