So you’re worried about your 401k and other brokerage account balances? Feeling like you’re on a financial rollercoaster? Tired of seeing the ticker redder than a Santa Clause union meeting? Shook because your net worth is dropping quicker than an 8 piece in hot grease?
Here’s a quick tip: STOP CHECKING THE BALANCE! Unless you plan on retiring next week, take a chill pill. I’m not trying to be all flippant or dismissive or insensitive. I know ya’ll hate seeing your ducats get further away from each other. No one wants to think of their balances singing the chorus to Rose Royce’s (later Mary J. Blige) classic tune…”I’m Goin’ Down”. But it is what it is at the moment.
I’ve seen your tweets. I have heard your laments. Your fearless Ducmaster has compiled a list of things you can do instead of excessively checking your balances. Here are 7 things you can do this very second to keep from peeking (and possibly making a panic move):
- Properly rename your MP3s. No reason why it should be Mariah-carey-ft-bone-thugs-breakdown-awesomemp3s-cleanrip-196k.mp3
- Write Living Single fan-fic for Season 5. Such a great show deserved a better ending.
- Two words: mine sweeper! You may need to find a computer with Windows 3.1 but hey…you have the time!
- Practice your reactions in case you are ever on a court show. You don’t want to be in the audience of Paternity Court with no facial reactions.
- Buy a disposable camera and take some pics. Get them developed and see how many are actually any good.
- Recover your Myspace page. I bet most of your top 8 aren’t in your top 8 anymore.
- Start a letting writing campaign to get Borders, Circuit City, and Sam Goody back in business.
While this post was lighthearted and satirical in nature, I do want to give some serious advice. I implore you not to sell especially if your investments are index funds and ETFs (which I hope they are). The value of your shares will decrease but not your number of shares. If all possible, invest more. In a down market, everything is on sale. Buy, buy, buy!
Corrections happen. When you’re feeling panicked and you peek at your balance, think of the pep talk your mother gave you as a child before ya’ll went into the store: “don’t do anything, don’t touch anything, leave it alone!”.