“Investing”, as an ideology, isn’t helpful

Recently, I observed that everyone gets too involved with their investments, whether it is stocks, real estate, precious metals, or any thing that ‘helps the money grow through time’. Investing, thus, has a degree of control over every investor. For example, when was the last time you could stop yourself from looking at a company’s stock price after you had bought it just to re-evaluate yourself on the choice already taken. I get it, it’s difficult to ignore.

However, I bet all of us have had this consequent behavior where we’d kick ourselves for not buying more if the price has gone up, and hate ourselves for buying too much if the price has gone down. Or too worse, make judgement calls at the worst times, further alleviating the despair.

It’s crazy how people tend to stick to this old behavior even when they have seen a fair share of losses on their end.

I think there is a solution to this. What if we shift our perspective towards investing altogether?

The core reason for this behavior is expectation. Mostly, every investor is in the game looking for profits, which I totally understand. But the same thirst for an increased buying power has drastic consequences that can jeopardize itself, akin to a snake consuming itself.

If we, however, treat investing as incurred cost, it changes the behavior significantly. The transaction ends when one buys a chocolate from the shopkeeper. Similarly, the thinking that investors should adopt is: The transaction ends when we buy a financial instrument.

I can safely say people will bash at me if I just say ignore the ticker tape. Come to think of it, one doesn’t really ignore the chocolate that they buy. But, they make sure they enjoy every piece of it, consuming consciously at distributed time intervals. The bigger the chocolate, the more the intervals, and hence, more the observation. This delayed outlook towards investing will not only be helpful in avoiding constant stress but making sure the decisions made around it are more informed and rewarding.

“Investing” as an ideology isn’t helpful, “Incurred costs” is.