This is another in an occasional series of no shame, no blame articles about investor behavior. Most of us take some shortcuts in making big decisions, including investments. For instance, do you enjoy doing all of the research but tend to bog down at the decision phase? Or do you make gut decisions despite the nagging feeling that you probably should have done more research? You are not alone. Fortunately, simple awareness can help you overcome your tendencies. Here’s our list of investment shortcuts:
You are very confident in your decision making abilities, often trusting your instinct and pulling the trigger when other people might spend more time researching options or seeking counsel. Your quick decisions save time, but may cost you in the long run.
You’re not hesitant to invest time and thought in big decisions. You do the research and weigh your options. But when it comes to making a final decision, you’re prone to procrastinate or even put off the decision altogether.
All or Nothing Shortcut
If you are obsessed with finding the elusive “best” solution, it’s easy to miss readily available opportunities for “good” and “better.” We encourage taking steps forward and continually building on your progress, even if you can’t get to perfection as quickly as you hope.
You’ve made it, financially speaking. Of course that means the work is just starting. Trusts, wills, investment allocations, risk levels, return expectations, insurance…all of these need to be addressed. With too much on your plate, you don’t know where to start. Our advice: take it one step at a time. You can increase the efficacy of this process by working with an advisor, like Osbon Capital, who can help you navigate each process or introduce you to the right specialist.
Even if you get every piece of your financial strategy right, times change and some pieces become outdated. We see this all the time with new clients. Most often we see overpriced products that were state of the art when they were put in place, but lag the field today. Overcome inertia by revisiting, revising and rethinking.
Investing is highly personal, however many people tend to take generic advice too seriously when researching what to do on the internet. The online data and advice are free, but are they worth anything? How do you know the difference between good and bad advice or if it even applies to you? Our advice: talk to experts who have already done the research. Make sure these experts are fee-only advisors and not product salespeople. How do you know? Simple. Ask if they ever earn commissions. (We don’t).
Like we said, no blame, no shame. You’re human. Humans take shortcuts. Just be aware of your tendencies and intentionally take another path some of the time. Better yet, enlist the help of an advisor who has the time, information and awareness to avoid these common pitfalls.
Max Osbon – firstname.lastname@example.org