What my toddler taught me about the stock market

We are now almost 2.5 years into his parenting thing. It is a pretty amazing thing…raising a toddler. There are a lot of awesome days, watching him learn and explore his surroundings. The sentences that are coming out of his mouth now are pretty wild. He is funny, has a good amount of potty humor, and is all around a cool kid (at least I think so).

That is most days.

Other days he kicks our ass like Rocky versus Ivan Drago! We think we have it all figured out and then bam, he knocks us out.

It’s not the tantrum, that’s expected. It’s the sleep or should I say lack thereof. I think it has been a solid 30 plus months since my wife has slept through the night. She bravely handles most of this.

It’s not just the lack of sleep but the instability. He will go 2 weeks sleeping great. My wife and I think we finally have it figured out. We are over the hump. The kid is gonna make it. He really is going to start sleeping through the night.

Then….well he reverts. No more good sleep habits. He wants to play. Or worse…SCREAM. Scream through the night. Not let us calm him down. Basically causing panic and disarray throughout the night.

For the first 1.5 years this ebb and flow of sleep would get to us. We would rejoice when he slept and despair when he didn’t. Would this be a permanent state? What can we do? What should we do?

Eventually we figured it out. He is a kid. Kids change daily and we as parents have to understand that. No need to despair. Just stay strong and growth and stability will come once again.

So you may wonder, what does this have to do with the stock market?

Well everything. As the market crashes (which many think will happen soon), don’t despair. Don’t panic. Don’t sell all of your assets. Sit tight and realize that this too shall pass much like it has in the past.

The market can be like a fickle, mercurial toddler happy one day and not the next.

Past performance, good or bad, does not accurately predict future performance. The market may be cozy now, but a day will come where she is no longer sleeping.

At that moment of panic, just remember the story of the toddler and the parents with no sleep. It is a sad story, but one that will end with a happy ending, presumably when he is 15 and we can’t get him out of bed at all. Screaming at him that it is time to go.

So don’t panic, the kid will sleep soon…and the market will recover even sooner.

Sign up for the latest post!

No spam guarantee.


Also published on Medium.

DadsDollarsDebts

I am a Dad and Doctor trying to find financial freedom by owning my dollars and debts. Helping dads with their finances so they can focus on the family.

11 thoughts on “What my toddler taught me about the stock market

  • September 25, 2017 at 7:17 pm
    Permalink

    Our kids are 7, 5, and 5 and we had plenty of issues with sleeping when they were little. A good portion of it was just how concentrated our kids are in age. If each of them have even just a 25% chance of having a rough night, our total chances are a whole lot higher.

    Thankfully, it does get better! The sleeping at least…there’s always something with kids to keep you on your toes 🙂

    Hang in there!

    Reply
    • September 25, 2017 at 8:18 pm
      Permalink

      And yet you have 3 kids and still found a way to retire! That is awesome. You give me hope Chris! You give me hope!

      Reply
  • September 25, 2017 at 8:50 am
    Permalink

    Oh man do I remember those years. Our first one was a great sleeper during the night so we thought that the second one was going to be the same way. NOPE! The second would scream her head off. We eventually got a night vision camera. I was able to watch her scream for 30 minutes to an hour, and then she would just topple over like a tree that had just been cut down and completely asleep. That lasted for about a year and a half. I don’t remember any issues with #3 either.

    The good news is that they are all better now and at 14, 12, and 9, I no longer have to worry about that stuff. We just point to the stairs and tell them to go to bed, and magically, they do.

    Reply
    • September 25, 2017 at 8:18 pm
      Permalink

      Oh man…3 kids all within 5 years apart. It must be fun at your house but I imagine the young days were chaos. Glad to hear as they get older it gets better. I keep reminding my wife of this.

      Reply
  • September 23, 2017 at 4:52 pm
    Permalink

    I think it is also important to note that the lack of sleep can affect your judgement or distort your sense of realism just like the emotional stress when seeing the market tank. It takes every ounce of you to not give in to the screaming child or the spiraling market and stay the course.

    Reply
    • September 23, 2017 at 10:29 pm
      Permalink

      Ah well said. The mental energy (and emotional energy) is not there during these peak stress times to make reasonable decisions. I guess that is why it is good to have a pre-written investment strategy in place for when things go awry.

      Reply
  • September 23, 2017 at 8:40 am
    Permalink

    Lovely post but now I’m scared for the toddler years lol! I can relate…things were starting to go well with or newborn sleep-wise then the past two nights were rough! Rough.. Need some coffee stat haha.

    Your wife not sleeping through the night for 30 months in a row doesn’t give me much hope lol!

    Reply
  • September 23, 2017 at 4:38 am
    Permalink

    Think of it as a learning experience. The new life skill of napping and sleeping in 15 min intervals. We’re well versed with a 2 and 5 year old

    Reply
    • September 23, 2017 at 6:56 am
      Permalink

      I hope the 5 year old is sleeping better. Please give me that little bit of hope.

      Reply
  • September 23, 2017 at 1:36 am
    Permalink

    We have two toddlers, and two sets of ear plugs.

    Something I have considered is moving to more stable market investments to prepare for the correction, then move back into original funds when the market has dipped. Have you read anything about this, or do you have thoughts on the idea?

    Reply
    • September 23, 2017 at 6:55 am
      Permalink

      I do often think about starting to invest more in bonds to stabilize my asset allocation. The issue with this is that it has to be a long term plan. I should not just switch assets in hope to time when the dip in the market is. In fact, people have been waiting for a dip since 2012 and definitely since November 2016 and the dip has yet to come. So I am not sure it is a great strategy just in trying to time the market.

      If you want a more stable asset allocation in general, then it is likely worth diversifying some and having a higher bond allocation.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *