I’ve worked in the investment industry for close to 15 years. I’ve encountered many different people during this time, from those new to investing to those that have been investing their money for the better part of 50 years. I’ve also seen the different personalities when it comes to investors.
Some are extremely risk adverse while others take on all of the risk they can handle and then some. At the end of the day though, they all have one thing in common: they followed through and got started.
Are You Afraid of Failing?
For the people that I talk with that have not started to invest, there is one overriding theme. They just can’t get started. Here are some of the various excuses I’ve heard:
I Don’t Know Where To Start: this is said by the person that thinks investing is difficult and as a result doesn’t put in the time to see how investing is not complicated.
There Are Too Many Options: this is said by the person that has taken the step to research investing some but is overwhelmed by the different options out there.
The Stock Market Is Rigged: this is said by the person who has invested in the past and got burnt or by the person who has seen a loved one get burnt.
You can see though that at the end of the day, these are all excuses. The key to investing for the long term starts with that first step and simply getting started. Will you make some mistakes? Of course you will, but by actually investing, you are at least giving yourself the chance to reach your financial goals. Without actually investing, you have no hope of reaching your goals.
Just Do It
To steal (or maybe borrow) the slogan from Nike, just do it. Take the time to open up an account and fund it. With technology today, you have no excuse. You can open up an account, be diversified and not have to lift a finger to continue investing. Everything is taken care of for you. All that is left for you to do is to actually start.
Will you make mistakes or lose some money at first, possibly. But as I mentioned earlier, you will never reach your goals if you are just sitting on the sidelines. Mistakes happen. They are a part of life. You will never find an investment that will never drop in value. You will never find the perfect investment. The sooner you accept this, the better off you will be.
Now I am not saying to just blindly put some money into the stock market and pray it will increase in value. There is some work you will have to do. But if you go with the automated investing services out there (also known as robo-advisors), you decrease your risk of investing wrong because of the portfolio they put you into. This is why these are a great first option for so many investors.
So stop making excuses as to why you can’t or aren’t investing and just do it. Take 10 minutes and open an account. You will be better off in the long run if you do so. Just like you will go nowhere if you are simply standing still, your financial goals will never become a reality if you don’t take action on them. Take action and make progress towards reaching your goals.