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Investing for Fun

A criticism I hear from time to time about the passive investing/long-term buy-and-hold strategy I advocate is that it’s no fun. That’s true. It’s as boring as could be.

There’s no excitement. There’s precisely zero chance that you’ll strike it rich.

There’s none of the fun of checking your portfolio everyday to see how your latest picks are doing. (Quick note: If you are following a buy & hold, passive investing strategy and you’re checking your portfolio everyday, please, stop now. Checking your account daily will do nothing but harm.)

In fact, aside from an annual checkup and rebalancing there’s no ongoing involvement at all–everything happens automatically. (And even the annual rebalancing isn’t necessary if you’re using target retirement funds.)

Want to invest for fun? Go ahead.

If you really want to invest for entertainment’s sake, then by all means, go for it. I completely understand that picking stocks can be fun.

You probably have better odds of coming out ahead than you would if you were to take your money to a casino. After all, even a portfolio of randomly-selected stocks is likely to earn a positive return over an extended period. (Of course, over a short time frame, it’s anybody’s guess what will happen.)

Just be sure, however, not to confuse investing for entertainment and investing for retirement.

Where the real fun happens

In my opinion, however, investing itself is not supposed to be fun. It’s not supposed to be exciting. What’s fun and exciting are the goals that you can achieve using a prudent investment strategy.

I don’t know about you, but for me, the fun I get from having the resources to follow my dreams and do the things I want to do in life far outweighs the fun I’d get from picking stocks.

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  1. People are irrational =)

    However, there is something to be said for doing some amount of investing for the “fun” aspect, i.e. as a hobby. It’s not as expensive as buying tons of cars and not as sad as excessive video games.
    It’s like a video game you can kind of make money off of but difficultly lol….
    If you assume you in such a way as that on avg you are even, then all you lost was the opportunity cost associated w/ indexing. If you lose more uh-oh lol

  2. CarlosPorto says:

    Totally agree that investing real money and expecting it to be “fun” is a little disingenuous. That being said, I’ve paper traded for years and it’s really helped me learn a lot of how the market works and what drives stock prices.
    I used to keep a text document with the date, the trades, and why I was making them. Looking back on these, years later, is a great way to learn from your mistakes and wonder “What was I thinking?”
    It makes you realize how much our emotions play on these kinds of decisions.

  3. Agree that boring is just fine and it’s the results that count.

    But that does not necessarily translate into passive investing. Each individual needs an investment program suited to his/her personality. Otherwise, at some point, that boredom can easily translate into falling off the wagon and seeking high risk/high reward investments.


  4. Although I don’t invest for fun” I can see why it would be a hobbie or passion for others. Its very challenging and if you do make that “good” pick, you can be rewarded quite hansomly. In someways it could be thought of as a game or a sport, its not just the prize you get from winning, but its the challenge you get from playing.

  5. Enjoyed reading your article. Every individual is different and because of the seriousness of Investments some persons prefer to look at it from a entertainment point of view not as if he/she is saying it is all about fun but they want to at least feel that he/she has a balance where the risk factors are concern.

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