When Stocks Drop, The Biggest Enemy Is In The Mirror

Jean Melek feels queasy.

The 50-year old school teacher’s investments have dropped almost 8 percent over the past 30 days. Plenty of forecasters say stocks will fall further.

“We’ve been getting frequent newsletter emails from Charles Schwab,” she says. “They’re telling us not to panic. But for us, those emails are having the opposite effect.”

Image by Pixabay

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Andrew Hallam

I’m a financial columnist for Canada’s national paper, The Globe and Mail, as well as for AssetBuilder, a financial service firm based in Texas. I’m also the author of Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School (2nd Ed. Wiley 2017) and The Global Expatriate’s Guide To Investing: From Millionaire Teacher to Millionaire Expat (Wiley 2015). My mission is to educate, motivate and inspire people on basic retirement planning and best practices for investing, using evidence-based strategies. I'm happy to comment on your questions. However, please read the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and the Comments Policy.

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3 Responses

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  2. Alex says:


    Your story is a great story, a millionaire by age 38. One thing that always confuses me though is did you make all this money yourself or is this combined between you and your wife? If it is all of your own bat, this means (assuming an average return of 9%), you must have been investing an average of $1730 a month, including your time as a student and self-funding all your tuition fees. You also claim that you only made an average middle class salary throughout your accumulation phase. Forgive me, but it doesn’t add up?

    • Hi Alex,

      I’m married to a teacher, so we had a double-income. From age 33 to 38, I also worked at a school that paid very high wages (as far as teaching wages go).


      • Alex says:

        Thanks for your candor Andrew. The thing I admire about you and Mr Money Mustache is that you are completely upfront about exactly how you have achieved financial independence at a young age. You are a true inspiration.

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