Just so you know, it was tough for me not to gamble. I LOVE to gamble. I love the electrifying atmosphere of the casino. I love the electronic sounds of slot machines. I love the sound of poker chips clacking together. I love faking out my poker competition by pretending to be a shy, novice player. (My cover is usually blown when I start trash-talking after winning a pot. Note to Self: Must learn to maintain poker face!) :-P
In addition to the casino, I've been sidelined in the stock market. I haven't invested in the stock market separately from my 401k and my ESOP since my priority right now is to bolster my emergency fund. But I'm DYING to divert some of the my savings into the stock market right now.
Now keep in mind, I've given up on investing in individual stocks. (Exception: I continue to invest in my company stock but only because my employer matches 30% for every dollar I invest.) As a non-professional market trader, I don't have time to valuate stocks by monitoring its fundamentals like P/E ratio, PEG ratio, ROI, ROE, cashflow, etc. I've instead decided a while back that I'm better off investing in a basket of diversified index funds.
If there's anything I've learned in this financial crisis, it's that my 401k alone is an insufficient means to prepare for retirement. One of the reasons is because my 401k doesn't have very good selection of funds. So I'd like to diversify my investments a bit more in my Roth IRA or in my investment account.
For example, I'd really like to diversify my portfolio by investing in:
The problem, though, is that as John Maynard Keynes once said: "The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent." With a meager emergency fund, can I afford to take the risk? Unfortunately not. So I'm going to sit this prime buying opportunity out right now. And it's KILLING ME!
I need to keep reminding myself that cost is not a primary reason to buy anything, including stocks and homes. Cost is an element of affordability. If I can't afford it, it really doesn't matter if something is sold at a serious discount, right?