The Only Thing You Have to Fear is Fear Itself

fear, denver financial advisor

Do you have fears that keep you from moving forward with your life goals?   I do!  I have a fear of asking businesses for donations and sponsorships for fundraisers.  This stresses me out since I find myself serving on many non-profit boards where that is the principal activity.

 

What to do to get over my fear?  I don’t know yet, but in the meantime, let me tell you how to get over your fears of investing.

 

Fear that I might lose money

Yes, some days/weeks/months/years, you WILL lose money in your investments.  This is the very underpinning of taking risks and being rewarded for it.  If there is no risk (investing in CDs), there is no reward (2% interest on your 2 year CD).

 

Bust through the fear

Remember how long you have to be an investor.  It’s the rest of your life!  If you are 60 years old, it’s possible you will live to 95.  That’s a 35-year investment time horizon for most of your money.  That’s 3 to 5 more recessions.  Are you going to freak out during every single one?  What a waste of energy.  Just embrace down years as a natural part of life and concentrate on things you do have control over.  Like your flossing habits or vegetable intake.

 

Fear that I will ask dumb questions

Guess what?  No one is born with some innate knowledge of how to invest money.  It takes time, study, practice.  Financial advisors LOVE answering questions because it makes us think we are smarter than we are.

 

Bust through the fear

Would you leave your doctor’s office after a scary diagnosis without asking questions?  No!  Because it’s important that you understand what your options are.  Who cares what the doctor thinks, it’s your understanding that is paramount.  Think of your financial/accounting/legal advisor the same way.  They owe it to you to make the information they give clear and actionable.

 

Fear that I am trusting the wrong person

Let’s face it, trusting someone with your money is scary.  How do you know they aren’t a Bernie Madoff disguised as a nice guy?  Actually, Bernie Madoff WAS disguised as a nice guy.

 

Bust through the fear

First, you can do some research.  FINRA’s broker check tool allows you to look up your potential advisor and see if there have been a bunch of lawsuits or judgements or disciplinary problems in that person’s past.  Second, you do have a gut instinct, don’t you?  Trust it!  If something feels uncomfortable, or you don’t feel listened to, or you feel pushed into an investment product that you don’t want, just walk away.  There are plenty more advisers out there who could be a better fit.

 

I hope this blog helps you move past fear and into action on creating your best financial plan.  And if you know some ways to get past my fear of soliciting donations, please pass along those tips!

 

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