Earlier this year I decided I had enough extra income to to begin making regular investments. Since January, I’ve invested $400 in a Sharebuilder IRA plan. This move was inspired by David Bach’s Automatic Millionaire. I realize that $100/month is not a lot to invest, but it’s a start. (Ad: Buy Stocks for $4 at ShareBuilder.)

After doing some reading, and after evaluating my personal goals, I decided that I wasn’t comfortable investing directly in stock yet, particularly not in GM. Because I would prefer to have my money in an index fund, I sold my GM stock on Monday for $479.21 (which yielded $463.25 after ShareBuilder’s fee). This 15.81% increase in four months is excellent.

However, GM’s stock has been upgraded since Monday, and if I had waited until now to sell, my investment would have been worth $532.77 (which would have yielded $518.73). I could have nearly doubled my profit by waiting two days to sell.

I do not regret my decision.

You cannot regret any decision you make when you sell or purchase financial securities. Even if you do extensive research, even if you believe in your choice, there will be situations where you might have made more money by doing something else. But if you’ve been careful with your planning and are following sound financial strategies, there’s no reason to worry about what might have been.

Sure, it would be nice to have that extra $55.48 sitting in my account, but ultimately the important thing is that I’ve started an IRA and am making contributions to it. My goal is to get rich slowly, not all at once. I want to develop good long-term habits.

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