Thursday, December 17, 2009

End of speculation

I finally realized a week ago that I will never be able to afford to speculate again in any market for the rest of my life. To speculate in a financially responsible manner, you need to first make sure that your "financial security" is in fact fully secure, either from actual wealth or a predictable cash-flow that will have a sufficient future value for you to be financially secure at some future date. Basically, you cannot speculate with your rent or expense money, for this month or any month in the future. Until you get on a path that will result in financial security at the "target date", speculation is a very strict no-no. Sure, you can play with a very modest amount of "pin money", but speculating with any "serious money" is out of the question. That is my situation. My wealth is too close to zero and my income, especially after expenses, is also too close to zero. Worse, I have no plan or path that would leave me financially secure by any date in the future. And it is not as if my opportunities for work were improving in any dramatic way or likely to do so any time in the future, regardless of any efforts on my part.

I essentially knew that already, but it finally sunk in. No more speculation for me... ever. Sigh.

But the good news is that I can and should completely cut off any effort to follow anything of a speculative financial nature. Maybe that will free up a big enough chunk of my brain to maybe do something interesting.

In truth, speculation only had potential value to the extent that it saved my from having to have a "real job". But it has been years since that was true, so now speculation has no real value for me.

Oh, sure, I can still afford to "speculate" in an intellectual sense, but putting intellectual speculation into a financial transaction is out of the question.

In truth, maybe there is still a 1 in 1,000 chance that maybe I'll win a lottery or find a bag full of money on the street or some other outlandish fortune will fall from the sky or that serendipity will result in some dramatic new and sustainable income stream, but one does not spend any time worrying or hoping for 1 in 1,000 class events.

There is the question of what to do with the stock that I already have, primarily Microsoft and very small positions in Priceline and Applied Micro Circuits, but I can also just let them be, especially since the Microsoft is actually yielding better than most bank accounts. I could convert the stock to a "target date" life-cycle fund, and may do so in the future just to simplify my finances, but that decision can be deferred indefinitely. A bigger decision might be to sell the stock simply to completely disconnect my mental processes from having any concern about the stock market at all.

Whether I might continue to mentally speculate about various stocks is another open question, but my feeling right now is that that would not be a productive use of my limited and incrementally-waning mental capacity. Sure, it is fun, and sometimes it can be profitable, but it is certainly not a productive use of my time or effort.

In any case, it really is the end of financial speculation, for me at least.

-- Jack Krupansky


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home