How Do You Deal With Financial Loss?

Morning!

Been asked how I cope with financial loss a lot lately, so thought I’d share a recent convo I had with someone who found out she had $$$ parked at crypto broker, Voyager, who ended up filing for bankruptcy this summer…

These tricks don’t put out the sting *entirely*, but hopefully at least gets you past the harder parts so you can move on with your sexy life ;)

Maybe you have some good ways to avoid the pain too?

Here was our convo:

******

J,

I just realized I lost $15,000 I had invested in USDC at Voyager.

Do you have any advice for a loss like this? My net worth was close to $500k and life will go on, but I am sad bc this was money earmarked for a wedding, so it feels bad bad.

Thank you for any advice you can give me.

******

Oh no!!! I’m so sorry to hear that! :(

Are you sure it’s gone-gone?! Any sliver of hope you’ll get some of it back??

[UPDATE: they were recently approved to give back $270 million to customers, but unfortunately that’s only a fraction of the loss.]

Really sucks either way, gosh…

I’ve never heard of Voyager before until your note so I googled them and unfort. still don’t know much :(

I will say you’re on the right track of focusing on that half a milly to make you feel better!! That’s really what I do too when $hit goes down…

I also like to pretend it’s just erasing some of the “wins” I’ve gotten over the years vs losing *capital*… For example, with your $500k I’m sure $100k-$200k was just gains!! So really it’s like “only” gaining $85k-$185K in total which of course is still super good and you’d never turn that down right?!

That’s how I usually think of things when it comes to losses anyways :) That, or if it’s real bad I’ll just ignore the crap out of it until I eventually calm down since I know everything is temporary, lol… Like with my recent $13k loss in crypto (!!!). [Update: now only a “loss” of $11k! Though only really counts btw when you cash out…] Not sure this is the most healthiest mindset to have, but it does seem to work for me…

And at least you can still get married to the love of your life with or without $$$ yeah?! What if you “made it a thing” and did a super low key cheap wedding – but still a fun as hell one of course! And tell people it’s because all the $$$ was lost in the bankruptcy?! Kinda like “owning it” instead of ignoring it like I just suggested? 😂 Might not be the most appropriate seeing how it’s your wedding and all, haha, but just throwing ideas out there…

Either way, I’m super sorry to hear about this and do hope you feel better sooner than later :( The losses are all a part of the game, though of course you always *wish* they were lost fairly vs unfairly!

– J$

OH! I forgot about one other hack that sometimes works for me, especially when paying unexpected high bills… Since my wife and I both share our money, I just think about how HALF the bills are hers too!, so I’m really only paying half of stuff myself, haha… So in the case with your wedding, while it still sucks, at least *your portion* is only half of it in theory! So maybe sucks just a little bit less?! Maybe?!

******

Some of this advice is kinda silly, but I swear it works ;)

And I didn’t say it in the email, but another key takeaway here is to NEVER PLAY WITH MONEY YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO LOSE.

Especially when dealing with crypto-anything.

Sure you won’t earn a lot stashing it in boring old savings or CDs or the like, but at least your *capital* is preserved for exactly when you need it. You never really think you’re going to be involved with a bankruptcy or anything, but as we all know $hit happens so you always gotta be thinking multiple plays ahead…

Anywho, that’s what I do when I’m dealing with financial disasters.

  1. I focus on the total *gains* I’ve gotten over the years, and just deduct the losses mentally from it.
  2. I remind myself that half of all losses are actually my wife’s – not mine – so it’s only half as bad! 😂
  3. I bury my head in the sand for a bit until it all passes over… Again, perhaps not the healthiest, but it does seem to work for those like me with A.D.H.D. – you eventually just forget about it!! And even when you don’t, life has a funny way of erasing it for you anyways with enough time… Nothing is ever permanent.

And remember too, typically losses only “count” when you actually cash out! If your stocks are going up and down and up and down as they usually do, none of it matters until the day you click “sell” and lock in the gains or losses…

So in terms of the overall stock market, I rarely worry much – even during this past madness (I BUY instead!) – since I know none of it matters until X number of decades from now… Until then, it’s all just noise.

stock market crash no surprise

My two cents anyways!

How do you all deal with financial pain?? Anyone else dealing with the Voyager nonsense? Anyone else down beaucoup bucks like me in Crypto? :)

Always something going on in life…

I wanna say it makes it interesting, but I think we all would much prefer boredom, haha…

Sending everyone positive vibes 🌈🦄✨🍀

j. money signature

UPDATE: As I was finishing this post, I got an update from our dear friend here… (I had last asked her if she got any of her money back):

“I didn’t get anything back since my money was in USDC. They released funds for people who had their money in fiat USD. Funny though, they lied about having FDIC insurance too, it’s been wild following all the information coming out. As far as dealing with the loss it’s been helpful for me to share with people that care about me. I even told my dad this week that I lost it bc of a bankruptcy. They all have been supportive and kind vs angry/judgemental which surprised me. Overall I’ve been comparing this experience to how bank runs used to happen before FDIC, and I am grateful that doesn’t happen to us anymore.”

Amen to that! And for having loved ones who’ve got your back 💪

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15 Comments

  1. Steveark September 1, 2022 at 8:46 AM

    Sounds like a fairly inexpensive lesson in risk. Whatever that crypto backed savings account was it certainly wasn’t time tested in any way. Money designated for a known upcoming expense should be in a savings account with an established bank with a track record or in a Vanguard money market fund or something similar. But we’ve almost all made some unfortunate choices, I lost $60,000 one time trying to time stock options and my tax year. That stung a little but it’s small money in the long run. Even though it didn’t work out the math was on my side until a big black swan landed on my head. Sometimes the only lesson to be learned is that sometimes you are unlucky.

    Reply
    1. J. Money September 1, 2022 at 9:05 AM

      Very true on that. Sometimes it literally comes down to timing… Get in at a different time and place and BAM! Winnings!!!! Do the exact same thing at a different time and BAM – LOSS. Luck is always there ready to wink at you, lol…

      Reply
  2. DahliaGirl September 1, 2022 at 11:32 AM

    This post resonates a lot. When I was younger I ended up putting way too much money into a single biotech stock that “I knew” was going up!!! Of course multiple failed clinical trails, and 1000x dilution, my original 3k (too much to invest at the time) was worth a couple bucks. I remember buying every time it dipped because “this time it is going to be different!!!!” (My constant battle cry). All told I essentially lost every penny at a time where that 1 stock made up about 25% of my total portfolio. I was heartbroken for a number of years and felt like an idiot. But as my networth grew and my mentality toward investments shifted, the sting burned less. Now looking back in the mirror…that loss was inconsequential. But the lesson was monumental “when you gamble with sacred money you are stupid”. I now laugh at my very real pain I experienced, but just glad it cost me 3k to learn my lesson and not an unrecoverable amount of money. To the OP in the article….you have many many many companions that have done something similar. It hurts. It stings. And ultimately it passes! Hopefully there will be a lesson or two learned through the process though :)

    Reply
    1. J. Money September 2, 2022 at 7:08 AM

      thanks for sharing your story :)

      I like the point that the money is inconsequential later in life! This is so true… the more you keep at it over the years it becomes a drop in the bucket… Hard to grasp early on since it represents such a LARGE number, but that’s an excellent tip to keep in mind – I like it.

      Reply
  3. Joe September 1, 2022 at 12:23 PM

    Ouch! My strategy for stocks is to keep investing. Add more money while the market is down because it will come back in the long run. But for crypto that strategy is no good. Ignoring it is probably better. That’s a big loss, IMO. But live and learn, right?

    Reply
  4. Caro September 1, 2022 at 1:09 PM

    I was trying to think about how I handle the sting of a loss and I honestly couldn’t remember the last time I’d been stung by a loss. Which is as ridiculous as it sounds so eventually I realized that when the markets are down I just don’t look? In theory I’d like to invest more when markets are down but at this point I just invest as soon as I’ve got the money anyway so it’s not a real option. Not looking and “this too shall pass” are about as good as I’ve got.

    Congrats to your emailer on their upcoming nuptials though!

    Reply
  5. freddy September 1, 2022 at 1:10 PM

    most of my regrets involve selling investments that went on to thrive, like united health back in 2009 and adobe soon after. oops. you gotta just chalk it up to experience i guess.

    i can’t think of anyone who put money into crypto and got that money back out easily. seems like a black hole to me.

    Reply
  6. Financial Fives September 1, 2022 at 1:13 PM

    You have to look at the big picture, like J says look at you overall gains over tiem. No one can predict how much their gains will be, and none will be the same.

    The way I look at it, risk money you can afford to lose and wouldn’t be significant to your life. That includes lending money to friends!

    You can’t control what happens to companies. Just do you due diligence, cut your losses and move on. You’ll do better next time.

    Reply
  7. Impersonal Finances September 2, 2022 at 12:07 AM

    Make sure to do some tax loss harvesting! $15k is a tough pill to swallow but I’d say it’s OK to take a risk with 3% of your portfolio in your 20s or 30s. I’m sure the money was invested with the hopes of big returns, but you have to look at any risk asset as if you’ll lose all of your money. Nothing you can do now but take it as an expensive lesson and realize it’ll be a blip on the radar years down the line.

    Reply
    1. J. Money September 2, 2022 at 7:11 AM

      good point on the tax side of the equation! her loss will actually be thousands less in the end after reporting it in taxes…

      Reply
  8. Corwin September 3, 2022 at 5:42 PM

    Fully agreed on the tax loss harvesting! That could help take some of the sting out.

    We’ve never gambled with crypto (and I do consider it gambling/speculation, vs investing), but I do have a painful loss story. About five years after we got married, we lost my wife’s multi-thousand dollar engagement ring on a trip. That really stung at the time – especially since we had just removed jewelry loss from our insurance policy. But over time we recognized the benefits of her not wearing that ring anymore: she no longer had to worry about wearing something so expensive any more (just bought super cheap and comfortable and nice looking silicone bands online), or about scratching the kids or other stuff with the sharp rock on her hand. And it was a lot more comfortable for me to hold her left hand as well!

    So sometimes it just takes time and a new perspective. This loss could be the lesson needed to avoid even more expensive losses in the future, and hopefully a good lesson about gambling vs investing. Much better to put that money in VTSAX I think!

    Reply
    1. J. Money September 5, 2022 at 9:13 AM

      my wife stopped wearing her engagement ring 10 years ago too for that very reason – scratching of the babies :) also kept getting snagged in her clothing as she put stuff on! still sucks to lose it though…. every now and then I ask her if we should sell it and do something fun with the money but she gives me “the look” so I wait another year or so until asking again 😂

      Reply
      1. Corwin September 6, 2022 at 5:16 PM

        Hahaha, I know “the look” very well.

        Reply
  9. Samuel September 3, 2022 at 7:25 PM

    I think you learn more from your mistakes than you do from your wins. If you frame it that way you can grow as an investor over time.

    Reply

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