I am going to explain this, so we are clear about investing. The term “investing” is perceived to be such a loaded and complicated word when it means merely:
Expend money (or time) with the expectation of achieving a profit or material result.
That’s it! Now, where it gets interesting is when we start asking the question, “What should I invest in?”. I get asked that quite often, and my response is always “what are you trying to accomplish?”.
The most common answers I get are “I don’t want to work anymore” and “I want to have money for retirement.”. It is rare that I would hear “I want to be rich” or “I want to leave something for my kids”. I’m shocked by that, but not really. Here are three reasons why investing seems complicated.
1. Not Knowing Why We Want to Invest
I’m sure you’ve heard the term “Knowing is half the battle.”. If not, you’ve heard it now! This statement is true in everything you do in life, especially when it comes to investing. By doing that, you are setting a target to hit, an end game, an object of attention to attack, a goal to work towards, a satisfaction mark.
If you want to invest (and you should), know why you want to invest. Seriously, think about the specific thing or reason you want to do it. I’m not talking about “I want to have more money”, be specific! Example:
- I want to own and live in that house on the hill.
- I want to retire in the next three years with $xxxx monthly/yearly
- I want to pay for my kids $20k a year tuition
Answers like “I want to make money” is like saying “I want to be a better person”. These are too open-ended and have no end game. Answers like “I want to make $20k before the end of the year” and “I want to adopt a pet and give it a home”. Set your end game up. Now go more in-depth into those specifics until you’ve reached your conclusion. Once you completely understand why to a conclusion, you are ready to move to the next part.
2. Not Realizing What We Have to Invest
Resources! Investing in an everyday context revolves around money. There’s a quote I use to hear a lot that goes, “You need to spend money to make money”. While that might be true, not everyone has a lot of extra money to spend. That’s good! That means you have extra money do invest! …see what I did there?
Let’s keep this simple. You can invest Time or Money. These two aren’t mutually exclusive. They often work together, and one can assist in gaining the other. Money can buy you time (in a timeline context), and time can get you money. The goal is to figure out how much of each we have and to use it wisely!
A person can spend time getting an education in a specific area or even spending time on a blog like this one or BiggerPockets.com. Resource help is readily available to help guide in seeing your potential and answering the original question.
3. Taking Action To Invest
I can come up with plenty of reasons why many of us don’t take action to invest; however, most of it revolves around the “unknown”. We get excited when we have figured out why we want to invest. We get even more enthusiastic when we’ve realized what we have to invest. Oh boy! It’s getting good! Yep! It’s that time to invest! Yay! Let’s do it! I’m all in!
OR you might still be saying to yourself, “I’m not sure yet.”. Then start at the top and reread it until it clicks. Once you know why and what you have, the take action part should start to take shape.
The “action” goes back to the first question of “what should I invest in?” and the answer is “what are you trying to accomplish?”. Remember, be specific!
With these specifics, the road becomes more apparent.
Example: You now know making $20k before the end of the year is what you want to do, you’ve realized you’ve got money on your side and not much time. The $20k is for your childs tuition at school. Your child will be in this school for the next three years, and it’s a monthly payment of $1,666. Now, you can focus on the action and options available.
I am not a financial advisor or an expert, so my thoughts around this scenario are strictly my opinion. In my opinion, I would probably invest in a passive income asset that will bring me the $1666 or more in cash flow monthly. This way, I won’t have to worry about working myself like crazy to keep my child in school. I would find an asset like real estate, dividend stock, etc. that is attainable which will meet all the requirements found in my “why I want to invest?” question.
Now take action!
I hope this helps.