This morning’s markets are ugly. That is nothing new for the year. There is a good chance you are feeling pretty lousy about your portfolio and your actions, or inaction, to-date. That is completely understandable. But as I said in this podcast with Aaron Watson you should cut yourself some slack. Ravi Varghese at The Insecurity Analyst writes:

You are not your investments. Thinking otherwise puts us at risk of committing a mortal sin of investing, if we allow defensiveness to cloud our scrutiny of a prior decision.

And by the way, the same logic should apply when your investments are doing great. Congratulations on the victory – but you’re still not your investments.

If you somehow think you are having a tougher time than everyone else take a step back. Noted hedge fund manager Bill Ackman is reportedly down some 18.6% year-to-date and that does not take into account this morning’s ugliness. In short, investing is a challenge for everyone including professional investors. As Urban Carmel wrote in a post last year at The Fat Pitch:

We can summarize by saying that everyone is bad at this. No one is good at figuring out whether stocks or indices or economies are going higher or lower.

Therefore, a suggestion: let’s focus attention on ourselves and what we can do better. We can’t change what others are doing but we can improve what we do.

It is easy at times like this to turn to so-called “authority figures” like you see on CNBC, Fox Business and Bloomberg. This despite the fact that their track records are at best, sketchy. Daniel Sotiroff at The Personal Finance Engineer writes:

Although we seek advice and validation from others, Miligram’s work establishes a need for us to take responsibility for our own actions. At the end of the day we’re ultimately the ones pushing the metaphorical shock button. However, when we’ve knowingly done something wrong it can be very difficult to admit our errors.

No one, especially some on on TV, is all that great at investing. That is our lot in life. We humans are simply not wired for the ups and downs of the stock market. That is okay. We are however able to take responsibility for our actions. And most importantly forgive ourselves for our mistakes and look forward to better times down the road.

This content, which contains security-related opinions and/or information, is provided for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon in any manner as professional advice, or an endorsement of any practices, products or services. There can be no guarantees or assurances that the views expressed here will be applicable for any particular facts or circumstances, and should not be relied upon in any manner. You should consult your own advisers as to legal, business, tax, and other related matters concerning any investment.

The commentary in this “post” (including any related blog, podcasts, videos, and social media) reflects the personal opinions, viewpoints, and analyses of the Ritholtz Wealth Management employees providing such comments, and should not be regarded the views of Ritholtz Wealth Management LLC. or its respective affiliates or as a description of advisory services provided by Ritholtz Wealth Management or performance returns of any Ritholtz Wealth Management Investments client.

References to any securities or digital assets, or performance data, are for illustrative purposes only and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Charts and graphs provided within are for informational purposes solely and should not be relied upon when making any investment decision. Past performance is not indicative of future results. The content speaks only as of the date indicated. Any projections, estimates, forecasts, targets, prospects, and/or opinions expressed in these materials are subject to change without notice and may differ or be contrary to opinions expressed by others.

Please see disclosures here.

Please see the Terms & Conditions page for a full disclaimer.