Investment, while it rings a bell with some of us, most cringe and shy away just hearing anything “Investment” related.
But why do people do so? What causes that fear and distaste towards making your money grow passively? Do we not worry about inflation? Do we not want to make more money? Do we not all aim to retire early and still be able to support ourselves?
I set out to find why by speaking to a few non-investors and the results surprised me.
I found out that the general public shared a common consensus towards investment, but whats more alarming is that how far from the truth these general consensus are.
One of the first few reason that ALWAYS comes up when you speak to a non-investor is that they do not have the money for it. Somehow, the general public has this perception or mis-perception that you need truckloads of cash in the SGD$100k or SGD$200k region, that investment was a thing made for the rich.
But that can’t be further from the truth that it actually is. Do the average Singaporean not get exempted from inflation? Do we not need money to survive? Investment wasn’t a thing made for the rich, it just made the rich richer and it will continue doing so because until we stop whining on how the rich get richer and realizing the rationale of them doing so, we cannot see that the only reason they do what they do is because it works and that is all the more the rest of us should jump onboard and do what they do.
In fact, for someone who is new to investing, you actually don’t need that much capital to start with. A decent stock such as STI ETF or even REITs such as Suntec REITs etc would cost appx SGD$3k or so.
Of all the reasons provided to not do anything investment related, the lack of time is probably the worst excuse one can give him/herself. The lack of time is the equivalent of a fat boy explaining that he can’t lose weight because he has to watch Masterchef on TV.
Be it to get fit, pick up a new sport, spend time with your loved ones or to learn/manage investments, lack of time is most often a case of mismanaged priorities more than anything. In most cases, we never truly have no time, we just choose to do one thing over another.
And in the case of investments, time should be least of a factor cause it literally takes you 5secs out of 24hrs out of your day. Yes we’ve heard of seasoned investors who spend their nights watching US counters, buying and selling, earning a ton of money at it but looking restless in the morning. But thats the pros. For an average joe who just started out and is not looking for short-swinging and making 300% in one night, statistically, longer term investments that you basically buy once and hold and do nothing about it, such as STI ETF, still do better than bank interest rates. Apps such as Bloomberg allows you to monitor the price in literally just 5 secs no matter where you are.
Fear of Bankruptcy
We’ve all heard of that someone whose someone’s someone lost a ton of money in investments and is not bankrupt and in debt. Whereas the fear of bankruptcy lies true, the likelihood of it happening isn’t and if you play your cards right and not get overly greedy, chances of getting bankrupted due to investment is minimal.
The reason why most of the people who do become bankrupt from investing is because they invested with money they do not have, sounds impossible? Read: Leveraged Investing. Aside from leverage investments are bad business investments where investors invest directly into a company and fail to research clearly the liabilities involved. Aside from these 2 reasons, I personally havent heard of anyone who have ever lost MORE than what they put in for an investment.
As per everything great, getting fit, getting rich etc, most often, it involves getting out of your comfort zone for things to happen. But as per everything great, getting out of your comfort zone usually faces tremendous initial psychological barrier. The good news is that; you’re in charge.
You can opt to change, you can decide your life.
Take baby steps, the road is usually made worse in your mind than it actually is.
PS* You’re just a mindset away from everything you ever dream about.