Thursday, February 21, 2019

How I Manage My Anxiety When Investing

Do you suffer from anxiety?  I do.  I've had anxiety as long as I can remember.  It was especially frustrating during my high school days as a track and field athlete.  Workouts worried me.  Meet days gave me irritable bowel.  My coach always wondered where I was right before a race.  "I was in the bathroom, coach!" I'd tell him.

Image result for anxiety

I wasn't diagnosed until 28 years of age.  A lot of it was cultural.  As a Mexican youth living through the 1980's, we didn't talk about mental health in my family.  I don't recall any of our Mexican friends mentioning psychological problems either; they mostly used the word, "loco," to describe a person not right in the head.

I started my life as an investor, per se, sometime after my initial meetings with my psychiatrist. I started taking medication, and it literally transformed me into a new man.  That's not to say that it cured me.  You can never be cured of anxiety.  You can only learn to manage it.  Aside from medication, I manage my anxiety in a whole host of ways.  For example, I cut back on coffee.  Exercise was, and still is my go-to strategy.  I learned breathing techniques at a Kaiser class in my thirties.

What's this all have to do with investing, you may be wondering by now?  Well, I'm willing to bet that a lot of you, if you suffer from anxiety, are probably letting both fear of losing money AND anxiety derail your investing.  The fear of losing money is very intense for some people.  Add anxiety into the mix and you can just about forget anyone taking on any risk.  So let me share with you how I deal with my anxiety while investing.

First, I use knowledge to lessen the anxiety.  The more I can read about an investment, the better I feel overall.  Investing in the stock market can be damn near impossible for many people with phobias, and anxiety.  But reading over 50 books on stock market investing made me overcome my anxious episodes.  The old adage, "stick to what you know," is true here.  But so is staying informed.  If you don't have time to stay informed, and use knowledge to calm you down, I suggest you invest in low-cost mutual funds and let a professional manage your money.  

I also buy "packaged" investments.  What are these?  These are investments that have had the risk in them mitigated.  For instance, I buy out-of-state rental properties from turn-key companies. They've taken on the risk of buying the property, and rehabbing it.  They also rent it out and have a management company.  These companies sometimes offer rent guarantees for a whole year!  They also give you a warranty on anything in the house that breaks.  In contrast, if you were to be an active real estate investor, you'd find the property yourself, buy it at a discount hopefully, and flip it yourself, or keep it as a rental.

These aren't the only types of packaged investments.  You can now participate in crowdfunding, where you take on risk with many more people.  I invested in a non-traded public Real Estate Investment Trust, offering quarterly dividends at 7.5% via crowdfunding.  Sure, we can all be wrong, but at least we have the means to communicate with each other by attending things like the Annual Investors Meeting.

Social Media has given me the ability to find people participating in an investment and glean firsthand information about an investment.  I can always message someone and get their review of a company, investment opportunity, etc.  In fact, I've had multiple people Facebook Messenger me about the non-traded REIT I invested in.  I'm happy to let them know exactly how I feel.  Of course there are also Google reviews on almost anyone or anything.

Finally, I hang around other investors, and communicate with them daily.  They have made investing a normal part of their lives, and so have I.  If you have no one to assure you, how are you supposed to get in on something?  You need like-minded people who can share their highs and lows with you.  This will transform the process of investing into a furry little kitty cat, instead of the monster your brain believes it is.

Thanks for reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you leave a link, I'll delete your message.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.