I was recently asked to post on another personal finance site with my top money tips. Many of the other contributors focused on saving money or opportunities to earn more money through entrepreneurship. These are topics I cover extensively here on my site, so I wanted to think a little bit outside of the box.
In this article, I am going to discuss how to get into the perfect mindset for investing over the long term.
Why investing sucks
You don’t see the results for years
When you read about investing online, the writers love to show you how your money will grow because of compounding. It all looks very attractive and the gains can be massive, but for compound interest to work it takes decades. Not only that, but to maximise the return, you have to continuously invest over this time.
You can lose money
Investing is not without risk and anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar.
It’s important to note that while the values of your investments may go up and down, you only lose money when you actually sell them. During the pandemic, the value of my own portfolio decreased by over 30%. Did this cause me sleepless nights? ABSOLUTELY. Has the value of these investments returned since the pandemic and is now a little bit higher than before? Also yes.
It’s complicated to invest
When deciding to become an investor, you need to ensure you understand how you are investing your money. I’ll admit, this can seem incredibly complicated and the information you need to process often isn’t something we’re normally aware of. Investing in precious metals for example scan be very complicated for those who don’t know what they’re doing.
Investing shouldn’t be scary and investing shouldn’t put you out of your comfort zone. Today there are many investing apps and platforms that allow you to invest from as little as £1 through the purchase of fractional shares (part of a share). There has never been more information online to help you to make an informed decision on your investments.
In addition to this, access to fantastic financial advisors is no longer reserved for the already wealthy. There are thousands of fee-only financial advisors in the UK who will take the time to understand your financial goals and help you make the correct choices to achieve them.
“I don’t need to save for retirement, I’ll probably be dead, so I’m going to enjoy my life now.” If I’d a pound for every time I heard this or something very similar, I would be pretty wealthy. This process of thought is pretty common, especially for those in their 20s and 30s.
Saving and investing money is hard. But you know what’s harder? Having to work in your 70s because you can’t afford to retire.
Few of us truly consider where we’ll be 30, 40 or 50 years from now, but to live the life you want then or sooner you need to sacrifice just a little bit now. Because of the magic of compounding, the earlier you start, the fewer sacrifices you have to make.
How to fall in love with investing
Obviously a lot of the above was written tongue in cheek, but many of the points are the common objectives you’ll be thinking about when deciding to start investing for your future. And for the most part, a change in your mindset towards investing will help you to focus on this and make positive steps towards your financial goals. So how can I help you to fall in love with investing?
Understanding delayed gratification
If you bought a new car or a new handbag today, you’d see the benefit of this immediately. By investing your money, you have to become acutely aware that the gratification is delayed for the longest time and you know what? That sucks! Until you realise that putting your money to work for you now and over the long term will secure your financial future.
When you are comfortable with the knowledge that delayed gratification is equal or greater in value to instant gratification then swapping one for the other becomes more manageable.
If I can give you one piece of advice to take away from this entire article, it’s to train yourself to understand and accept delayed gratification. If you do this consistently over your lifetime, you can become incredibly wealthy.
Treat your investing as a purchase
One of the best tips for falling in love with investing is to treat each stock or share purchase as you would a new item. When I considered that I was buying security in my future I started to feel the same level of joy as I would when buying clothing or video games. Every month when I got paid, instead of rushing to amazon or into the high street, I would automatically assign money to my investing and treat this like my “me” purchases.
Instead of treating your investing as taking away from your present self, learn to enjoy the process knowing that you are making your money work for you. In return, you’ll get so much more.
Gamify the process
When you understand how much you need to retire or to reach your financial goals, gamifying the process becomes incredibly easy. If you consider the total amount you need to be invested as 100% of your goal, then every contribution you make increases the percentage you have completed the game.
Personally, I kept a tracker of where I was against the target and reviewed this each time I added money to my investments. As your wealth and investments start to grow, the value of your investments starts to snowball and the growth of the investments begins to outweigh any of your contributions. It does take time, but when you level up your investments, they are supercharged.
Most people are mindlessly trodding towards their retirement without a firm understanding of what this actually means and how a lack of decisions decades before will affect their quality of life. I am all about living for the moment, but the stark reality is that without planning and taking action, many will not be able to afford to retire.
Good investing should be boring and come with a lack of drama. But because of this many of us would rather spend our money on the here and now. By falling in love with investing, you can begin enjoying the process and hopefully achieve your financial goals much more quickly.
Connect with me: Want more information like this? Head over to the Foundered Money Youtube Channel where I have a wealth of information on starting a business, building a business, earning more money and of course investing.