Can I share something with you? I’m an impatient person who dislikes waiting.
That could be waiting in traffic, on hold on the phone or in a queue at the supermarket.
To be honest, it could be anywhere and anything. I just don’t like waiting.
I know I’m not the only one feeling this way. Over the last few weeks I have been driving to and from work. Whilst driving, I watch the cars ahead of me swapping in and out of lanes. They are looking for the fast lane and trying to get where they are going in the quickest way possible. I get that. They don’t like waiting either.
We base our decisions on what has been, not what is about to come
What I have also noticed a few times, is that the cars who duck in and out of lanes don’t seem to progress a lot. Often the lane they have just moved from, begins to move more quickly than the lane they changed to.
What I’m observing are drivers basing their decision on what has happened, and not knowing what is about to happen.
I know I too, swap lanes at times. There seems to be a difference in doing the swapping to watching someone doing it. When I am part of the action it seems perfectly reasonable behaviour. When I watch someone do it, I think it is erratic and impatient behaviour.
The behaviour underpinning our decision to change lanes made me ponder on how it seems to also apply to investment decisions.
The journey of investing can sometimes tempt us to act in the moment
When our investments stall or go backwards we can feel the temptation to make a change and look for a better option than our current one.
Like the driver in traffic, we are basing this on what has happened and not what is going to happen.
Like the impatient driver, we don’t know what is going to happen. Making move after move and continually changing lanes can add to frustration and see us go slower than we were before.
The solution to driving well and investing wisely
What is the solution?
For the driver: know your destination. Have a clear idea of where you are going and the route you will take.
If there are road blocks or detours along the way, make time to reassess your route at those points and make adjustments if necessary.
Making change after change adds to stress levels and most of the time doesn’t get us to our destination any quicker.
Stick in your lane and allow yourself to enjoy the ride with a clear destination in mind.
Your cheat sheet to enjoy the ride in investing:
Financial Advisor and Founder – Core IFA