Don't let fear keep you from taking action.
In talking with young professionals and new investors, I hear several comments over and over again about why someone hasn't taken financial action, or is hesitant to do so. Investing and saving can be complicated, especially for those just learning about money. But, that's where our team comes in. We do this every day, after all, and we're here to help.
First, whether it's saving, investing or budgeting, many young folks simply stay in the dark because they don't know where to start. Or, they're afraid they'll do something wrong. It's easier not to focus on those tasks that feel overwhelming, and simply enjoy having a paycheck. Inertia, however, is easy to fend off with a little education and planning from a financial professional. We love helping folks take that first step on the road to reaching a financially secure future.
The second thing I hear from new investors is that they simply don't trust the financial industry. Whether it's fallout from Bernie Madoff, Wells Fargo, the mortgage crisis or some other financial scandal or horror story, many people fear hiring a crook. So they either don't hire anyone, or they stay with someone they're not completely comfortable with, simply because "my current advisor hasn't stolen from me."
Now, a healthy dose of skepticism is great, don't get me wrong. We all have to look out for number one. But in the financial services realm, it truly was a couple of bad apples that made the whole bunch look bad. And of course those bad apples got a lot more media attention than the positive players in the industry. And, the vast majority truly do have your best interests in mind. Look for a planning team that's transparent up front about fees, clearly explains where your money is going to be invested, and be wary of outlandish promises. If your advisor guarantees 10 percent return every year, that's a red flag.
A third fear that often results in financial paralysis is fear of the markets themselves. It's too complex, hedge fund trading harms the market, it's rigged, etc. - these are things folks say over and over again when we talk about the stock market. It's easier to just stay out. And I hear you. Because here's the thing: the markets are complex. That's why it's a good idea to hire a knowledgeable planning team to help you and guide you along the way. Think about it - nothing that's really worth having or doing comes easily, right? And it's okay to start small and start simple. Choose high-quality companies with solid long-term prospects and growth. Build your portfolio and learn about more complex strategies after you've established a strong foundation.
A fourth fear that we've heard a few times recently is that potential investors fear that the market is "too high." In other words, they're afraid they'll buy in, only to experience a market crash. So, their strategy is to let their assets sit in cash until that crash happens, and then "buy at the bottom." Folks, trying to "time" the markets is not something we recommend. It takes a certain amount of in-depth knowledge and skill that most investors don't have. Plus, trying to determine exactly where the "top" and the "bottom" are, well, that's a probability game I don't want to play. Hindsight is always 20/20, and it's easy to look back at 2009 and wish you'd doubled down and put more money in. But looking backward won't get you anywhere.
What financial fears are holding you back? What is it that scares you and keeps you from taking action with your money? Remember, first meetings with our team are always free, and we'd love to sit down and help alleviate some of your fears. Call us today.