In my last post, I wrote about how to "decipher financial mumbo jumbo". Hopefully that post, along with others, has inspired a few to learn about taking control of their finances and made some want to invest. But I have noticed in my short time on this earth that one of the most powerful forces in the world that often stops people, including me, from doing things that are ultimately good for them is (drumroll please)....................................fear.
Yes, a simple four-letter word often paralyzes us and prevents positive action!
I was checking out the blogosphere today, and I came across a blog called "Thinking on the Margin". One of the posts was entitled "Failing Forward" and it immediately caught my eye. Over the past year or so, I've been on a journey to take control of my life/destiny, so anything that involves conquering fears and failing intrigues me. Here's the link to it, just in case you want to check it out for yourself:
The post basically talks about how many in society have ingrained in them the notion that failure is bad. That failure is a horrible thing to be avoided at all costs. As you might have guessed, the author disagrees and so does this author. Failure means that you are venturing out into new territory and trying new ways of being.
Think about when you were in elementary school. When you were first learning how to multiply, you "failed" numerous times before you got the hang of it. If you're anything like me, when you first learned how to drive, you "failed" a few times too. I've managed to break a few sideview mirrors and scrape a few doors and bumpers in my day.
Consider this quote that I found on the "Thinking on the Margin" blog:
"Don't waste energy trying to cover up failure. Learn from your failures and go on to the next challenge. It's okay to fail. If you're not failing, you're not growing." -- H. Stanley Judd
Ahhh...truer words have ne'er been spoken. Similarly, if you're not risking financial failure, then your money is probably not growing.
If you would like to grow your money so you can buy a house, or pay for your wedding, or your child's college education, you can't just rely on savings. You need to place it in investments that will earn higher rates of return than an online savings account. You need to be and should be in stocks, especially in your 20s. But too often, fear of losing money keeps people out of one of the greatest money making machines known to mankind - the stock market.
If you have neither the time nor the inclination to learn how to research investment options, that's quite alright. And if you'd like to hand off your money to someone else to manage, that's fine too. But don't fail to invest simply because you're afraid of failing at it. At the very least, educate yourself about stock/mutual fund newsletters or financial advisors who can help you make investment decisions.
Fear of doing anything won't go away until you actually do the thing that scares you. Investing is no different. In investing, yes, there is the possibility of losing money. But this risk is far outweighed by losing purchasing power due to inflation. (Check out the post entitled, "Why We Invest vs. Just Save")
Thanks for reading and until next time....