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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Don't Be in a Rush

One thing I've learned in my 30+ years is that it's very unwise to make important decisions when I'm feeling rushed. A rushed decision is nearly always the wrong decision, and one I have plenty of time to rue in the days to come.

Gotta buy this, gotta buy that: What is better? Taking a loan to buy what you want, resulting in a higher price for your purchase? Or buying something cheap and then having to replace it again and again, resulting in a higher overall cost? Or having a bit of patience and saving to buy exactly what you want? 

Gotta buy a house, gotta buy a house: Wise counsel from the husband kept us out of the buyer's market in early 2001 when I was desperate to purchase a home. Result? Before the year was up, the Dallas-Fort Worth telecommunications market mini-meltdown crashed home prices and we had decided to relocate overseas. I was very glad not to be "trapped" in a home. The same house fever gripped us early last year. We developed a plan to put 20% down on a home within a set price range. Result? We're way ahead of schedule money-wise and the housing market has significantly crashed. We'll likely get exactly the house we want for less than we originally budgeted.

My portfolio is crashing! I'm getting out! Do you need the money today? Remember, it's the long view - it takes time to build a portfolio, and the worst thing you can do is sell low and buy high. Buckle up and quit opening your Schwab account daily statements. It will only give you heartburn.

Relax! This too shall pass. It's not a pleasant thing to wait, nor is it pleasant to wonder what is around the bend. But there's joy in the journey, blessings for patience and surprises in store for those who consistently make wise, reasoned decisions.

1 comment:

  1. As Dave says, if you don't plan to leave money alone for 5 years, it doesn't need to be in the stock market. I've taken to a policy of checking my investments only every quarter. I didn't really like seeing that my 401(k) has lost almost 25% of its value this year, but I don't need the money right now, so it stays right where it is. Besides, it will go back up.