Becoming Debt Free
After first becoming totally debt free, I felt a huge weight lifted from my shoulders and I thought the journey to wealth accumulation was a downhill journey… but I wasn’t even close to reality!
I figured I’d be able to redirect all the money I use to spend on debt reduction, into the stock market, and blammo, I’d be wealthy! This hasn’t happened and in fact the opposite has happened in that I’m constantly worrying about the stock market. It the first thing check in the morning, during the day, and it’s the last think I typically review before I go to sleep. It’s all-consuming for me, and becoming quite the obsession, much to my chagrin.
What’s really funny, is I don’t have millions, but the way that I monitor the stock market, you’d think I was (curse you CNBC!).
Why It’s Harder to Invest than Reduce Debt
For me, it’s simply the variability of my investment portfolio that makes it so stressful for me!
With debt reduction, it was always so clean! You have an amount that you owe, and you make periodic payment to reduce that debt. Pretty simple and straight forward huh…
With investing, it’s an entirely different animal that is very unpredictable. Oh sure, you can invest on a schedule much like debt reduction, but that’s where the similarities end. With debt reduction, there is no “real” emotion to the characteristics of the payment. You pay the money, your debt decreases, no magic!
With investing you invest the money, and then who know what happens after that! You can invest for years, then in a snap of your fingers, blammo you money is mysteriously gone! Think Enron and Worldcom, blammo your investment is worth nothing except a tax write-off.
Another problem is that you can invest in a stock and it can flatline… if a stock goes flat, you are just as good having your money in the bank, no?
Next there is the opposite of the above, boom, the stock appreciates hugely and you get rich. This is the path that we all hope happens, but this is kind of like buying a lottery ticket to some degree. It’s possible, but it take patience and determination. Most stocks that appreciate hugely still takes years to get to that level.
So basically investing is like gambling and very emotional.
While investing is great and I love it, it’s very stressful for me.
I hope investing is less stressful for you.