I had sold my apartment in January 2009, I got about $50,000 in cash from the sale. The stock market had sunk and I knew that if I bought good basic stocks like Amazon or Apple or Verizon they would all come back..
that and by May most had come up maybe on average 20% or even more. Then I lost my job in July 2009.. I'm in my mid 50's and all the online articles I was reading were horrible - it looked like I would never work again.
I was worried about another crash and loosing what I had.. So I put half the amount in a guaranteed 5% growth a year annuity in my IRA, so it's fully protected. The rest just sat in cash if I needed it through all of 2010 till I finally got a job in January 2011.
I did wind up using the profits I had made for living expenses. But luckily I didn't have to eat into the original principal, so it worked out.
Then I said "Oh! Since I got a job the economy is back on track!" So I used the $25,000 cash to buy stock - Index funds, ETF funds, all solid investments.. Then the whole thing lost value over the year and sank to about $15,000.. but it's been coming back and since they are long term investments I can deal with it...
Anyway, the problem is.. I found my original stock purchases I made after I sold my apartment and used the $50,000 cash.. and if I had kept everything and never sold..It would have been well over $200,000 now.. almost $250,000...
I have been getting so sad
over what might have been. I live very modestly, and even just cashing just a small amount would have made a big difference.. Like I have a 13 year old car that I bought used a few years ago.. it's small and hurts my back. I could have easily bought a nice mid 2000's sedan for maybe $6000....
Or taken a small cruise for $1000...or see a Broadway show.. or whatever. Or bought more annuities for retirement.. Or made donations.. and on and on..
I keep wanting to go back in time to that one day I decided to sell everything and get out, it's like it was "Mistake Day" that changed everything. However, I did learn my lesson from the first go-around. The second time I bought stock, I just bought general funds that don't fluctuate as much and are based on lots of companies.
Also, I know intellectually that I could find XYZ company that was just $1 a share in 2009, and is now $387 a share and if only I had bought that... and on and on and on..
But I still keep going back in that time machine to that print out of the stocks that I had.. and thinking if only.. It makes me feel so sad, like someone had died.. I feel like a poor person in ragged clothes eking out an existence.. When I could have been living in splendor..
In a way it's worse that if let's say I had paid $200,000 for all that stock and it had sunk by now to $15,000... It's more like phantom money.. a mythical amount..
You know, it feels like what I saw once on a documentary about adopted kids finding their parents.. One poor girl finally found her mother after years of searching, only to learn that she had died the year before. They showed the poor girl in the cemetery, at her mother's tombstone.. wishing she had known her..
That's what I feel like! It's been like this for the past week or so.. it's sort of starting to lift.. But now I feel like that list of stocks I sold is going to haunt me the rest of my life!!!! What should I do to make it go away?
Burn the list?
Stack marshmallows on it and put it in the microwave, and eat the melted marshmallows?
Send the list to a woodworker, and have it lacquered and preserved on a plaque?