Do you view investing as a cold, calculated means to an end? Does it feel like a dry administrative task that simply eats into your valuable free time?
Or do you enjoy investing as an exhilarating hobby? Something that occupies the recesses of your thoughts. Not because of stress or worry, but the curiosity, hope and thrill of ‘what might happen?’
In this article, we’ll look at why some people receive more joy from investing than others and share some tips and how you can put the fun back into investments if you’ve felt it sapping away.
How to tell that investing isn’t joyful anymore
Here’s a quick checklist that should highlight if planning and making investments is no longer fun:
- You procrastinate making investment decisions
- How spend the minimum time possible managing your financial affairs
- You use intermediaries to distance yourself from direct investment
All of these factors suggest that investing has become a chore for you. The logical response is to do it therefore as efficiently as possible, ask others to help you and to defer the task where the opportunity arises.
How to bring joy back to investing
1. Connect with the dream of success
Investing is a risky business that creates great uncertainty in the eye of the investor. That’s a double-edged sword and many grasp the negative side.
There’s a potential lottery win inside every investment portfolio & perhaps you have forgotten this.
2. Cut out intermediaries
One reason you may find investing dull is that there may be nothing remaining in the exercise for you to really sink your teeth into.
Automated portfolio services such as Nutmeg are simple and efficient but if you’ve set up your investment on autopilot with a monthly direct debit, not much is actually happening at your hand each month. A stockbroker is simply collecting a pre-agreed sum via direct debit and investing it into a pre-selected passive fund. Where is the joy supposed to be in that?
If you want investing & financial planning to feel like a hobby, then it needs to resemble one.
If you built a portfolio of individual shares, this would require active research and regular decision making and you’ll see financial results within months that you can take as feedback on your approach.
Can you picture yourself having an inspired investment idea? Spending an hour discussing it with others, then putting your money where your mouth is? This is a possibility of active trading. It’s endlessly more fun than watching a direct debit leave your bank account each month.
3. Optimise, Optimise, Optimise
There isn’t such thing as a ‘perfect investment’. When we normally talk about the ‘best investments’, we’re discussing subjective predictions or cyclical timing or efficient, low-cost vehicles that should produce a good return over the long run. But just because perfection doesn’t exist (or you won’t know it even if you have it), that shouldn’t stop you from incrementally improving your portfolio, step by step.
Have you decided that increasing your Asia equity exposure to balance the lack of geographical exposure in your other global equity holdings?
Do you think you’ve discovered the best investment for this year? While debating these questions with yourself, you’ll soon realise that you have brought the joy back to investing once again.