Avoid the Bad Choices for Investment

Investing has always been a whirlwind of an experience for most people. There’s the bad side and the good side of investing. If you decide to invest, you don’t have control on whether you will have a good or bad experience.

However, with the long history of investment, people have noted specific trends and courses of actions that can lead to a positive outcome or a negative outcome in investing. Many investors, even the well learned, can attest to one point in time making a rushed and impulsive decision.

Moreover, many have made decisions while high on emotions so as to achieve instant gratification. The danger of making bad investment choices cannot be overemphasized.

Therefore, what are some of the bad investment choices you can make?

Having No Financial Plan

Figures have shown that more than 70% of investors enter into investments without a financial plan. This means that you have no clear understanding of what you are getting yourself into. The danger that this poses is that you will not cultivate the necessary financial discipline that is required.

Financial discipline is essential to any form of investment as it helps investors to make choices that are a reflection of their desired investment outcomes. Thus, in determining a viable financial plan, the following factors ought to be considered:

  • Tolerance to risk
  • Liquidity
  • Rate of spending
  • Time horizons
  • Cash flows

Another way to instill financial discipline is to apply the underpinnings of the Ulysses strategy. This strategy entails one making a decision in present time to follow a certain course of action in the future.

Part of this will involve engaging one’s reflective mind to pre-commit to an investment that is rational. The reflective mind is considered to be analytical and more conscious than the intuitive mind which has no conscious connotation.

These factors enable you to devise a financial plan which will help you desist from making bad investing choices.

Following the Crowd

It is often said that the greatest man is the one who stands alone. There is a lot of truth in this statement especially with regard to investing. Many investors often look at the popular opinion and popular action while investing.

If everyone is focused on acquiring the shares of Microsoft or even Apple, you might be swayed in that direction even though you have no direct interest in such companies. Well, what you should have in mind is that not all people share the same investment ideals.

Your counterpart may have be high-risk taker while you are not. Moreover, not all people are at the same point in life. You might be approaching retirement while your counterpart has a long way to retirement.

Thus, their investment habits may be a reflection of their individual circumstances. The point here is to always be wary of following the crowd. You might not know the underlying reason for other people’s investment choices. Hence, always subject the popular opinion to a critical analysis before accepting it. Stand on your own investment ideals.

Investor Paralysis

This term broadly denotes a state of inactivity by investors due to bearish intentions. Thus, an investor would leave his/her cash idle for a pretty long time often under the advice of a financial adviser or on their own volition. Such a decision is made as a result of pessimistic views of certain markets.

The investor believes that the market is plummeting and hence attempts to profit from this decline through short selling. To remedy this, there are two options available as set in the Save More Tomorrow Program (SMART)

  • Overcoming procrastination. This strategy entails pre-commitment whereby investors pre-commit their entry into the market in the future at a certain specified time chosen by the investor.
    This strategy has the aim of helping investors with regard to putting off actions that should be done at present to a later date.
  • Overcoming loss aversion. This strategy entails periodic injection of cash to a certain investment as opposed to pouring all your cash at an instance.
    It has the goal of helping investors to overcome the fear of seeing the decline in value of a specific portfolio.

Being a Trader VS Being an Investor

At the onset of this article, I mentioned the aspect of instant gratification as a common characteristic of most investors. Well, trading is mostly associated with instant gratification.

Investing, on the other hand, entails wealth creation over a lifetime. Hence, most investors make choices that reflect trading habits rather than investment habits. Thus, to overcome this, you should know that investment does not necessarily guarantee immediate returns.

It is a long term venture and thus you should not employ trading habits such as quick buying and quick selling with investments.