As I was standing in line today for a free flu shot at my office, it dawned on me that I should remind other value investors to maintain their health during this financial crisis. I am sure that other value investors sifting through the wreckage of this stock market decline are extremely busy and stressed by all the decisions that need to be made during this time of potential opportunity.
I have been stretched to the limit since I traveled to the Value Investing Congress earlier this month. I’ve made a significant change in strategy in the Special Situations Real Money Portfolio to take advantage of opportunities abandoned by hedge funds. I’ve also been staying up late sifting through the extremely long daily lists of stocks hitting new 52-week lows. I’ve also been studying my current positions in the Fat Pitch Financials Portfolio, especially the ones that seem to have seriously deteriorated. (Yikes, can BID get any cheaper?)
To compensate for all my additional research, I’ve been staying up later at night and my kids seem to keep waking up earlier and earlier in the morning. I’ve already had two minor colds this season. Those colds helped motivate me to get a flu shot today.
Even though I’m excited by the cheap equities prices in this market, the stress of watching some of my positions decline significantly have increased my anxietylevels. It also probably doesn’t help that I’ve increased my coffee intake from an occasional cup to two large tumblers a day. I can already tell that my increased anxiety levels has made it harder for me to make decisions and has caused me to be overly cautious in taking action. (Maybe that’s not such a bad thing given how the market seems to keep stepping down every week.) I also find myself shifting my research focus between topics throughout the day without much focus. My mind seems restless and that worries me. It is critical to maintain focus for intelligent investing.
Here are a few suggestions for all of us to consider for the coming weeks to maintain both our physical and mental health:
- Get plenty of sleep, even though there are still reports to read
- Eat health
- Exercise daily, trying doing outside if weather permits
- Cut back on caffeine
- Consider getting a flu shot
- Avoid staring at market tickers (By the way, Value Investing News is free of price tickers.)
- Remain independent; avoid following the herd
- Brush up on behavioral finance basics to avoid letting your brain make bad decisions
- Make time for your loved ones
I’m sure there are a few other tips some of you market veterans can recommend. Please share them below. Considering how late it is getting, I’m going to take my own advice and go to bed.