What’s keeping you from investing? Number 1 is the biggest excuse that I’ve seen by far. Everybody likes to use it, it’s the go-to excuse for anything that somebody is really too lazy to do. And that’s time.
1. I don’t have Enough Time
Everybody thinks that they have no time but when you look around and open your eyes, you realize that we all live in the same world with the same number of hours in the day.
There’s 24 hours in a day, and some people choose to use it wisely and others don’t.
A lot of times, the differences that you’ll see in results come from these small differences in your choices.
Choosing what to do with your time on a daily basis might not seem like it’s making a big difference in your life in the short term, but in the long term you’ll start to see the gap spread between people that are using their time wisely, and people that aren’t.
Investing is definitely one of those things where you do need to spend a little bit of time, but it’s not one of those things where you need to go quit your day job and spend all your time on the computer either.
I mean, from what I’ve seen so far, you don’t have to become an expert to do well in the stock market.
There’s options for you if you want to be a passive investor and you could read a book like a Random Walk down Wall Street. They’ll tell you exactly what you need to do, and you can have your money in the stock market. It will be safe and you’ll make money over the long term.
Or, if you want to take more control of your investing and try to go for higher returns, it’s not that hard to learn the skills you need to succeed in the stock market. Just as easily as you can become a passive investor by reading a book, you can do that same thing to become an active investor.
Really, I think a book like The Intelligent Investor is one of those books where you could read just that and use just those principles in the market, and you’ll already be far ahead of so many other people who are dabbling in the stock market and don’t know what they are doing.
The key is finding those right resources, and finding the ones that are the most effective and time effective for you, and taking advantage of them.
That’s what my website is here for and that’s what I’ve done. I’ve gone through all the resources myself and picked out the very best for beginners. And so, again if you think you don’t have enough time to read a book, I really challenge that thinking.
Small Changes lead to Big Results
I bet you that if you just started to track how much time you are spending watching TV every week, you might be shocked by the answer.
You could easily commit to read 10 pages a day of an investing book. You’ll be done in 2 months, and suddenly you’ll have a skill that you can use and profit on that’s valuable for the rest of your life.
It all takes sacrificing maybe one hour a day of your TV time a day for 2 months. You could do that, and you’ll have learned a new skill in no time.
You don’t have to be constantly monitoring these stocks either. That’s the beauty of the whole investing philosophy. The beauty of conservative– yet effective– investing philosophies is that they are based on you finding a great business that is going to continually increase cash flow, and so that business works for you.
You don’t have to work for it.
Once you’ve found several good investments, all you have to do is check in on them maybe once a year, take maybe 10 – 20 minutes of your time, and that’s it.
So you put in a little bit of hard work now, to read a book that will honestly change your life. From there on it’s just maintenance on your investments.
Again, these simple things can put you way ahead of everybody else in the world. Everyone has their head down, are following orders and working hard at their 9-5.
They come home not knowing where their money is going, not knowing how their investments are doing, and waking up in 20 years and blaming the government for everything that is wrong with their situation.
I don’t want you to be that person. So I really urge you to at least check out these books. Check out my top 8 investing books. And make a commitment to yourself that you are going to spend a little bit of time to better yourself and change your life.
Even if the thought of reading a book intimates you, I’ve done my best to condense the material into my own small action guide that you can get by subscribing to my website. I encourage you to take advantage of that as well.
2. I can’t compete with the Elites
The next excuse is, I can’t compete with the Wall Street Elites. And, really when people have this excuse, they are looking at the whole thing backwards. They are not understanding what investing is all about.
Because investing is not a competition, you are not battling somebody else for money. There is not a limited supply of money and everybody is going all out for it. On the contrary, there is an infinite supple of money which is created and multiplied everyday by hardworking entrepreneurs and business people.
And so, all it takes on your part, is to be part of that abundance creation. And that’s all that Wall Street really is, is it’s a place for growth and prosperity.
How it works is that, there are these successful businesses in the world with proven business plans, that are growing but maybe want to grow faster. So they look to Wall Street to get funding, so that they can grow from small mom and pop shops into international businesses that can service billions of people worldwide.
When you see a company that started small and gets an IPO on Wall Street, and then expands another tenfold, that company is not stealing money from any other company. That company is producing money through its productivity and contributing to our economy.
This creates more money for shareholders, its employees, for its customers, who now have a higher standard of living. This all works together in a loop, that continually makes our quality of life better.
That’s what makes America such a great place to live, because we have all these companies and innovations that are constantly striving to make the world a better place for its customers.
Because if you aren’t making the world a better place for your customers, someone else will make the world a better place for their customers.
And so, because of those free market forces, you have to provide value for customers in order to grow. With that growth comes opportunities, and thats where you as an ordinary citizen, you can put your money in the stock market and have these companies grow that capital for you.
Now that you understand that abundance is created instead of stolen (in most cases), now comes the concern of “Well I can’t compete against Wall Street Elites”. And again, you need to understand that its not a competition.
There’s Equal Opportunity
I used this example in my post about HFT– which you can check out the link here— that investing is kind of like fitness, in the sense that you wouldn’t NOT go to the gym because there’s better people at the gym than you are.
Just because there’s athletes and bodybuilders who are so good at lifting and exercise that they make thousands and thousands of dollars from this activity, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go to the gym and try to make yourself fit as well.
If your neighbor gets super fit and maybe works out harder than you, well that’s great for them but they aren’t hurting you in any way. Because you have just as much of an opportunity to get fit as your neighbor.
It’s the exact same thing with the stock market. Just because there are people who do it for a living, and make thousands and thousands of dollars from it a day, doesn’t mean that there isn’t any opportunity for you to make a better financial future for yourself.
Anybody, I mean anybody, can start buying stock today and own their little part of a business. If you picked well and that business continues to grow and continues to produce cash flow, then suddenly you have money working for you.
It doesn’t matter if someone is doing better than you, because we are all in this together. We are all trying to make better lives for ourselves, that’s why you are on my website right now and that’s why you are reading this material.
And it’s why you have just as much of a chance of success as anyone else. We are all trying to create wealth for ourselves and for the people we care about.
This idea that you can’t compete is absolutely nonsense and is completely off base.
3. I’m too Poor
I love to try to tackle this excuse because its really a deeper issue than what people think it is. Dave Ramsey likes to say that you have a choice. “You can choose to be broke or you can choose to be poor.”
You see, broke is temporary. But poor is forever.
It’s so true. I understand that many of you may be in a tough situation right now. Trust me, I’ve been there. I’ve mopped kitchen floors and washed dishes for minimum wage. I have work as a terribly underpaid intern in the blistering California summer heat, in a room with no AC.
So I know what it feels like to have no money in your bank account and be working a dead end job. I’ve been there, I’ve had several of those types of jobs. I’m not saying it’s not hard, it is. It can really put a drain on you emotionally. And obviously financially because you can never get ahead with that type of an income.
Therein lies the decision. That’s the decision to blindly accept the situation you are in and lose all hope, or to work your butt off and strive to never be in that situation again.
Now, there’s plenty of opportunities out there to make money, especially with the way that technology is lowering the barriers to entry for businesses. More people are making money online than ever before.
Anybody who has enough ambition, drive, and frankly, brains to understand that you can’t do this on your own, you need to seek out the right resources, information, mentors, and utilize it to make a better life for yourself.
Now, The idea that you have to be extremely wealthy to do well in the stock market is absolute garbage. I’ve shown in the past how you can be making the median income in the United States which is $50,000, and if you are a young 25 year old, all you have to do is invest 10% of your income a year and you’ll have $2.4 million by age 65.
That’s not making any outrageous claims, that’s a very conservative return percentage that really anybody can achieve. It just shows you the power of compounding interest and the power of time and money working for you can do to your wealth.
Even if you aren’t that young, it’s never too late to start. Even if you don’t become a millionaire, you could still easily multiply your net worth by 10x or more just by starting today.
If you are thinking that $5,000 a year is a lot to invest, well, what about instead of spending your tax return on a downpayment for a new car or a new stereo system– why not invest that $2,000. If you can’t do 10% I’m sure you can do 5%.
Add $2,000 from the tax return and scrape up the remaining $3,000 throughout the year, it would really only come up to around $200 – $250 a month which is only around $50 a week.
If you are honest with yourself, you can find $50 a week to save instead of spend on something that you don’t need.
That little amount, like I said, can compound over time. $5,000 a year for 40 years making 10% returns, turns into $2.4 million dollars. If you want to read more about that, you can read my post here.
There’s really no excuse. I know that anybody can scrape $50 a week. It all comes down to your choices. When you make money a priority, money will reward you for it. When you don’t, you’ll end up worrying where did all your hard work go.
4. Wall Street is full of Crooks
The 4th excuse that is overused and highly popularized by the media is that Wall Street is full of crooks, and so you have to stay away from it. Sadly a lot of people do believe this, and they actually stay out of this market for this reason.
In some ways, I don’t really blame them. What kind of track record has the stock market had in the last several years? We’ve seen the accounting scandals at Worldcom and Enron, we’ve seen the stocks crash after the dot com bubble just a decade ago.
Those make really great stories and headlines, but when you really investigate what is going on behind the scenes, you’ll see things like the fact that in the past 20 years or so, there’s only been 35 major bankruptcies, while at the same time there have been thousands more companies that have done well in the same time frame.
So really you’re talking about a failure rate in the range of 1% or less.
A lot of companies have actually done well in the past 20 years. Look at the S&P 500 today. Not to say that it’s going to continue on the same patter right now, nobody can tell the future, but its’s done pretty well for itself.
It’s completely recovered from the lows that we saw in the dot com bubble and has increased even past that, and has hit new record highs. Plenty of companies are doing well. There’s no reason why these businesses can’t continue to serve their customers and produce cash flow for their shareholders.
But the media and the public always get so caught up in these dramatic, romanticized tragedies that we’ve seen, and it makes everybody on Wall Street look like crooks.
When in reality for every 1 crook on Wall Street, there’s 100 good guys that nobody is ever talking about.
For every 1 Enron, where the CEO has been corrupt and greedy, there are 10 companies that have been run in a disciplined and shareholder friendly way with honest and transparent leaders. Like Berkshire Hathaway, Apple, Corning, Chevron, all these companies are doing well for themselves in spite of the crooks that you always hear about.
Popular Scandalous Behavior
Remember Bill Clinton’s affair? Miley Cyrus’s twerking? Lance Armstrong’s performance enhancing drugs scandal? The Patriot’s Watergate cheating scandal? Reagan’s Watergate scandal? Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire and the steroid era?
I’m not saying that all these people are crooks, but they all have been leaders that we look up to and they’ve made mistakes.
We just saw a team called the Seattle Seahawks win the Super Bowl, and it’s well known that most if not all of their players on defense are on PEDs. Does that make the whole NFL bad? No! Does that make Russell Wilson’s accomplishments void? No!
Do the bad decisions of Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds take away from Derek Jeter’s legacy? No!!
There have been guys in the world who despite all the crooks, have stayed away from evil behaviors and have prospered greatly in their fields. No matter what field you are talking about, whether its sports, business or Wall Street.
I like to think of the world as generally a good place.
There’s always the bad apples and you always hear about them because they make for great stories and Shakespearean-like tragedies. In reality there’s a lot of good people out there. A lot of people trying to make a difference.
Just because there are mean, scary Wall Street bullies out there, doesn’t mean that everybody is like that. It doesn’t mean that they will impede your success in any way.
Because honestly they are few and far between.
Most of the actions and decisions made by the leaders of corporations and businesses are logically and beneficial for everybody involved. This excuse is only limiting you from achieving your dreams.
5. I’m having Information Overload
I’ve tackled this issue. I’ve written about how you can analyze a stock in 5 minutes or less and you can click on the link to see it. Guess what?
Now you have no excuses. Go out and win.
**Wisdom Wednesday #50**
**All Rights Reserved. Investing for Beginners 2013**
**Photos shown above have attribution here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5**
**The 5 Stupidest Excuses That are Keeping You from Investing**