Monday, December 22, 2008

A Technique Similar To "Liar Liar Pants on Fire"

Many of us have been employing the Sticking of Fingers Into Ears Yelling "La La La! I can't hear you!" in regards to our investments. I decided to take my lashings this morning and look at my 401k accounts because I hadn't even peeked at them since early September, and, apparently, I have a need to feel self-inflicted pain.

Boy, did I get spanked. Hard. My smaller account which is my current job's plan where I contribute 8%, lost 43% this year. It's hard to say how much actual money that is since I keep putting more in every paycheck. But that percentage leads me to believe it's somewhere in the 6-8 thousand dollar range. The other one, while it lost less percentage-wise, was the real slap in the face. It lost 36%, but since it's from my last job and I don't contribute anymore, I know exactly how much money has been lost and it's over $9000. I am thankful that I'm not retiring soon, I have time. It's not the end of the world, but HOLY MOLY, 15 grand is a lot of money to me. Like a truckload - like, could pay off the last of my student loans, the car loan, and then have lots left over.

And in less-than-stellar news, my company is now in a hiring freeze. As of today. This is not exactly shocking, however, it confirms some of my recent anxiety about the security of my job. Worrying about my job is a regular thing; I'm always thinking I'm going to get laid off (since I was laid off twice during the last recession - it's like a Pavlovian response), so I was trying to tell myself that I'm probably just being fatalistic. But now I think I'm being somewhat realistic. Unfortunately. I know that this, too, shall pass. I just wish I knew when. I'm really trying to fight the worry that serves me no good because I don't want it to result in some kind of self-fulfilling prophesy. If I put out too much negativity into the universe, it's bound to come back to me. Perhaps I will put it out there, just say it out loud into the ether, that I'd like to keep this job that I enjoy with people I truly enjoy working with and perhaps it just may come true.

4 comments:

  1. Don't they realize you need this job? Your dental habit alone is what, a few thousand a year?

    My husband and I just had a talk about "what if" our source of income suddenly stopped or there were drastic changes. (And talking about our plan B.)

    When we have lunch with friends or at the holiday parties we've been to it seems everyone is talking about this same issue.

    I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for things to get uncomfortable, but I don't really expect the worse...maybe I'm just full of hot air.

    I can't feel too bad about the market lows. We're in our 30's and we don't see that money or need it to live (or have that much to begin with.) I feel terrible for the scrupulous savers of our parents' generation who thought they were doing everything right and now don't have it when they need it!

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  2. I also feel bad for the trust fund babies who are now finding themselves on skid row. Things are going to get alot more crowded at Ross.

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  3. We have been through the lay-off thing twice. No fun. But manageable. It just takes a bit to recover when you do get a job again. And IKEA should be doing well-enough. Since you are there all the time, just pick up an application. Ha!

    My husband mentioned that our mutual fund managers are able to buy on the cheap now, so when the market recovers, the earnings should be great since we "own" more shares than we normally would. Kind of like going to Sam's Club and buying in bulk.

    You're going to break another tooth with all this worrying!

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  4. I don't even think or talk money. It's depressing. LOL And I work in banking.

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