Quit "Quitting" the Stock Market

May 08, 2023

Quitting can be a good thing.

There are all kinds of things I can think of that one might benefit one’s life by quitting: 

  • -Going into deep debt
  • -Smoking
  • -Drinking too much
  • -Complaining

It’s good to quit things that don’t have a long-term payoff.

And by quit. I mean quit…like forever.

The problem is, sometimes we humans engage in erratic “quitting.”

We quit what has a long-term payoff because of short-term pain. We assume we can or will just get back in when the coast is clear and things feel better.

That doesn’t always work well.

Try doing that in a job or a marriage or parenting.

Seth Godin, a popular business blogger and author, in a context outside of investing, talks about the problem of short-term quitting:

“Actually, quitting as a short-term strategy is a bad idea. Quitting for the long-term is an excellent idea.

I think the advice-giver [of “never quit”] meant to say, ‘Never quit something with great long-term potential just because you can’t deal with the stress of the moment.’ Now that’s good advice.”1

This advice isn’t always taken by investors.

Even though they know that history has shown that the stock market has great long-term potential, many can’t handle the stress of volatility along the way.

They are short-term quitters. They buy when things are good and sell when things are bad. They are not strategic, but impulsive. That usually doesn’t pay off long-term.

So, quit “quitting” the stock market.

Allocate your investments according to a portfolio you can handle over the long-term.



  1. The Dip, p. 64.