Most of the time, excuses are pretty harmless. But when it comes to not investing, or not investing enough, it can have serious consequences. For example, a lot of people are poorly prepared financially for retirement. They blew it by not looking toward the future and investing throughout our lives.
Consider these figures:
Out of 100 Filipinos at retirement age,
45 Filipinos will be dependent on relatives
30 Filipinos will be dependent on charity
22 Filipinos will still need to work and delay retirement
Only 2 out of 100 Filipinos will be financially independent
These figures are frighteningly low, especially when retirement can easily last two or three decades.
In short, you need to invest. So, what’s stopping you?
Take a look at these common excuses for not investing and learn how you can work around them.
“I don’t have enough money to invest.”
Are you living paycheck to paycheck? Try making a list of everything you buy each month and look for places to save so you may well be able to free up even a little money to invest each month. Build a budget to be able to save. Live below your means and really take money out of each paycheck to invest. Changing your spending habits and cutting back on everyday purchases is one of the easiest ways to find extra cash to funnel into an investment account. Don’t just talk about it, do it.
“I’ll do it later.”
It’s understandable to feel apprehensive about volatile markets but waiting for the stock market to become more “stable” before investing often results in missing the return that goes with the risk. The longer you wait before you start investing, the less time you have to accumulate money, and the less likely that you’ll achieve your goals, such as a comfortable retirement lifestyle. If you haven’t started to invest, do it today.
“I don’t know where to begin.”
Why is it so difficult to figure out the world of investing? Claiming not to know anything about stocks or the stock market drives me crazy. We are all in a situation wherein the world’s knowledge is readily available at our fingertips. There are many free and reliable online resources that can help you understand financial principles and investment basics. From opening to a brokerage account to choosing your first stocks, investing sounds complicated, but you don’t have to go it alone. In any case, if you have doubts about how to get started investing, an investment professional can help you design an investment plan to fit your goals and risk tolerance.
“I just can’t take the risk of losing a lot of money.”
Yes, the market is risky. That’s why many people keep the majority of their wealth in cash savings thinking that it is risk free. But, that is simply not true. After inflation the real value of most cash savings is diminishes each year. The market can be unpredictable but if you pick the right stocks, owning those kinds of assets in your portfolio can certainly pay off. While saving cash is certainly safer than investing in stocks, you’ll end up with smaller returns if you’re not willing to take more risks. Investing can help you beat inflation and grow your wealth in the long run.
“It’s too late to start investing.”
It’s never too late to begin investing for your future financial security. Whether you’re 5 or 30 years from retirement, boosting the amount you’re saving may help you reach your goals and stay on track for retirement. Of course, the sooner you start, the more money you’ll be able to potentially accumulate. The more you accumulate, the more it can earn through compounding over time. Remember, investing for even a brief period is typically better than not investing at all.
“It takes too much money to actually make any money.”
Honestly, it does take money to invest, but you can’t let that stop you. A little bit of money grows over time; so don’t think that it’s too little. Consider this: Going back to April 2014, if you had invested Php 10,000 and bought shares of Double Dragon Properties Corporation, and simply held on to these stocks, you would have amassed around Php 122,600 by the end of 2015. Of course, past performance of the market is not a guarantee of how it will perform in the future — but this illustration still shows that patient, diligent, long-term investing can produce positive results.
“It’s too overwhelming and complicated.”
All too often, those that don’t invest say that investing is simply too confusing to try. Nowadays, you don’t have to be Warren Buffet to invest well. All it takes to get started is a willingness to learn the basics. There’s so much information available on the internet, so virtually anyone can become an investor. All you simply need to do is to ask yourself whether you’re willing to search them out.
Now What? Just Do It!
Perhaps the most common excuse of all is “I’m too busy to think about this.” Don’t let excuses get in the way of developing good investment habits. With time, determination and effort, you can overcome these obstacles you thought prevented you from becoming a investor.
All you need to do is start the investing process today. I promise, in 10, 20 or 30 years when you retire, you’ll be glad you did.
photo credit: Excusemyfrench29 via photopin (license)