Taking Stock

A while back, I purchased a large amount of stock when it was at an all-time low.  Something I’ve never done.  It was impulsive and scary, but felt right.  I had faith that it would flourish.

I know I’m supposed to sit back and just let it ride.  Stressing doesn’t help anything. This much I know.  But knowing and doing are two different things, aren’t they?  So stress I did.  Yes, I peeked at the stock market. And guess what?  That stock tripled in value!  My heart soared along with that green vertical line.

But now what do I do?  Here lies the tricky part.

Do I get out while I’m ahead?  Take the guaranteed profit and call it quits?  Is that as good as it was going to get?  I can’t say I would never know, because that’s not true.  I realize I shouldn’t, but if  I no longer owned that stock, I am sure I would stalk the stock market (see what I did there?) to see if it continued to climb.  Of course I would.  And would it drive me crazy to see my old stock performing well?  Duh.

Or do I stay in?  Stock market analysts and crystal balls are not helpful. Would it be worth the risk to “let it ride”?  In the stock market, that’s called “unrealized gains”.  Interesting term.  You get to see how good it is, how good it could be, but you don’t sell out.  The idea behind the stock market is faith.  And a little dumb luck in my case.  But faith in the long-term.  Will I be okay with the downs as well as the ups?  I will have to be, or it wouldn’t be worth taking the chance at all.

Often, people give up on stock that is underperforming. They sell out and buy shinier new stock. But sometimes they sell while the stock is still on the rise.  It hasn’t reached its full potential.  But they want the payout.  The instant gratification.  Maybe they forgot that the stock market fluctuates.  All stocks have their ups and downs.  Buying stock is a risk.  Stick with it, and choose to let the ride be fun and interesting instead of stressful.  The payout at the end may be your pot of gold.

Two weeks ago, I walked down to the New York Stock Exchange. I stood out front, taking pictures, chatting with photographers and random strangers. I sat and watched. Then I stared at the building alongside Fearless Girl. This tiny bronze wisp of a girl, in a dress, hands on hips, staring down the NYSE. No fear. I looked down at her and decided I could be like her.

I’m letting it ride.