Only a small number of people make ‘investing’ their job. Everyone else approaches it with varying degrees of excitement, fear, skill or recklessness. Almost everyone we’ve ever met has a story to tell about the ‘cycle of investment regret’- investing in something at a high price and sometime later selling it for less. So what can we do about it?
One of the main reasons people get caught in the cycle of investment regret (and repeating it) is because they have no overarching financial plan to work from. The benefit of a defined plan is that you invest with a specific objective - and not simply to make as much as possible with the least risk. A plan enables the investment choices you make to be aligned to the things you want to achieve. And that means putting your money to work by investing rather than speculating.
It also means that you go for the ‘easy wins’ by not overpaying for market returns. You’re also able to invest money over appropriate timescales and to ‘ride out’ the dips and the bumps- and even reversing the cycle of regret by buying low and selling high. A plan lets you take risks you can afford, and where you can be rewarded for doing so, and reducing or eliminating risk at all other times.
Unfortunately, experience shows us that it’s easy to invest when times are good. In boom times people tend to skip the planning and get carried along in a wave of euphoria. No matter how many investment bubbles we live through, there’s always a huge wave of money invested at the top of the cycle, in things that people know little about, and with no relevance to their long term financial needs.
When you see the evidence it’ll change the way you invest. You’ll also be surprised at how straightforward it can be. Investing doesn’t have to be complicated, and you shouldn’t need a maths or economics degree to invest successfully.