Investing 101

What’s Holding You Back From Investing?

I’ve heard the same excuses a million times.

I’ll invest later…

I don’t have the money right now…

I wouldn’t know where to start…

And do you know what all of these excuses have in common?

“I.”

You are the one doubting yourself. You are the one holding yourself back.

But today, you’re going to fix that by facing your fears head-on. Because anyone can be an investor with the right tools.

What’s Your Excuse?

Everyone should have some skin in the game, whether that’s through a self-managed portfolio, a financial planner, a premium research service or anything in between.

It’s simply a lost opportunity otherwise.

You won’t win big every time, but you’ll never win if you never play.

According to a survey by Bankrate, respondents who said they don’t invest gave these reasons…

If your answer falls into any of these buckets, you’re in luck. Because I have a response for each one.

Don’t have the money: Are you able to set aside even $10 a week? If not, you may be living above your means and be in over your head with debt. A reality check would go a long way.

Don’t know about stocks: If you’re reading this, you’ve already taken the first step to learning about the stock market. Well done. Reading the financial news every morning – and skimming a few books – will go a long way toward shortening the learning curve.

Don’t trust stockbrokers: You don’t need to go through a stockbroker anymore. You can trade from your smartphone for free.

Stocks are too risky: There are low-risk ways to invest – like bonds, money market accounts, dividend-paying stocks and certificates of deposit.

Afraid of high fees: See my answer on stockbrokers. You can join a no-fee trading platform, like Robinhood (Nasdaq: HOOD).

The other 8%: Let me know when you come up with an excuse.

All of this tough love isn’t to say that none of your personal reasons are valid. But I do believe that 99% of what’s holding us back from investing is that we think we just can’t do it.

And if we do try it – and get a taste of success – we feel like a fraud.

This is called “imposter syndrome.” It’s when someone doubts their abilities and finds it difficult to accept their accomplishments.

It includes feelings of discomfort, second-guessing and anxiety as they relate to decision making and assuming authority.

Sound familiar?

Fake It ’Til You Make It

Thankfully, there are ways to combat this feeling.

Say yes to new opportunities: If you’re interested in new investment vehicles, try them out. Start small and test the waters. Maybe don’t buy a whole Bitcoin (!) – but buy a fraction of one and watch it bob up and down.

Focus on the facts: Over the long term, the markets move in one direction: up. Plus, if you adhere to strict position sizing (no more than 4% of your portfolio in any one position) and trailing stops (25% loss), then you’ll never lose more than 1% of your portfolio on any position.

Find a mentor: Do your due diligence and find a guru whose investing philosophies go hand in hand with your own. The Oxford Club has a variety of strategists whose areas of expertise range from growth investing to income investing to cryptocurrencies.

Know you’re not alone: In my experience, most people are afraid to try new things – especially when it comes to their money. But you’ll never benefit from the power of investing unless you try. There are plenty of resources online (you’re reading one!) that can help you dip your toes in the water and learn along the way.

So don’t hold yourself back from success. Challenge your excuses, and start growing your wealth today.

Good investing,

Rebecca

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