Are you going through FODTWT?

Amar Pandit , CFA , CFP

I was talking to an investor Jai Mathur (30-year-old and married a year back) the other day who told me “I don’t know whether I am doing the right thing”. I asked him what he meant by that. He said, “I don’t know whether I am doing the right thing investing now”. He further said it looks like things will get bad before they get better.

Jai was going through a classic case of FODTWT (Fear of Doing the Wrong Thing). In fact, in such times, fear is the first thing that strikes most people (whether it’s the shortage of toilet paper, food or basic safety). Fear can either paralyze you (to react and do things not in your best interest) or act as a Fuel for you (to reflect and do wiser things).

I told him that there was nothing wrong with the way he was thinking as these are times when people think about things such as Risk, their Future, Security, the need to plan and so on. Thinking followed by action is good but overthinking and worrying about something will generally not change anything (besides your stress levels and health).

I asked him “What are you really worried about? You have a steady job and a decent flow of income. You have an emergency fund that you had planned for in place. You are one of the wisest people who has planned at a young age and saved well. You are not investing today for your Present you. You are saving today for your Future YOU. Your Future You Will Thank you for investing now.

He calmed down and said “You are right. What am I worried about? I guess I just got sucked into what I am seeing all around in terms of bad news.” I told him “Stop watching the news then because you are doing fine. Spend time on sharpening your existing skills or learning new ones.”

Jai has sowed the seeds for a very strong portfolio by investing and continuing to invest prudently. The way he has planned, he will not only come out stronger from this crisis but will be able to financially be extremely comfortable in the next such crisis (Never say never).

This is in fact the best time for most people to start investing if they haven’t. The timing couldn’t have been better. Don’t get stuck into analysis paralysis (FODTWT) and wait for a GOLDEN moment… The Best time to start was Yesterday. The Second Best is Now! 

Start Small but Start / Continue Investing as this is the RIGHT THING TO DO

Like the saying “A journey of a thousand mile starts with a single step”, Investing is indeed a journey so let time create loads of money for you (power of compounding) and say goodbye to FODTWT!