Investor Paid the High Cost of Inertia

I would have to say that my biggest investing mistakes were not what I did, but what I didn’t do.

Sometimes great investment ideas are close to home and daily life

If something is great, and you use it and love it, and everyone loves it, maybe you should invest in it. I started using Amazon.com early on, say around 1998. I liked it so much I became an Amazon Prime (paid) member in June of 2006 and have been ever since.

But sadly, we miss these chances of returns that are staring us in the face

If I liked it so much and so did everyone else, why did I not buy a few shares of the stock? Now it is up 4,000% since 2006. I’ve never owned a share in the company, but I pay for the service. I then think of the old fortune-cookie wisdom – “Many a false step was made by standing still.”


Andrew’s takeaways – Avoid these mistakes to become a better investor

Sometimes the best investment opportunities are right in front of you

Learn to be aware of investment opportunities around you but keep things simple. If you’re using a product or service, and you like it, always ask the question: “How can I invest in this?” But, remember too that having a good product or good service or being a good company does not mean that it’s a good investment. That is because the share price already reflects this good news. The risk then is that you would end up buying it at a price that is too high. There are some cases in which you know of a good opportunity that you’re thinking about how to invest in it. You may even have money available to invest, but because of fear you don’t make a move. Failing to do so can be a big mistake, and of course, acting in the wrong way can be also.

Keep it simple and ‘don’t get emotional about a stock’

Emotions and long-term investing mix like drinking and driving. This is one reason why it is good to make an investment plan and stick with it because it removes some of the emotion from investing. One of the big emotions is fear of missing out (FOMO). Take a lesson from Warren Buffett, who explains that being an investor is like being a baseball batter, except that with investing you’re not penalized for not swinging. So, wait until the investment is right and you’ve done your work on it and then swing.


Mistakes in this story

1. Failed to do their own research

  • Let things get too complicated

3. Were driven by emotion or flawed thinking

  • Failed to invest in a familiar, good idea
  • Let emotions drive their investment decisions
  • Were driven by FOMO

 

Learn about the six ways you will lose your money and how to avoid them here.

About the author, Andrew

Dr. Andrew Stotz, CFA is the CEO of A. Stotz Investment Research, a company that provides institutional and high net worth investors with ready-to-invest stock portfolios that aim to beat the benchmark through superior stock selection.

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