7 reasons you’re probably not investing, and why they’re stupid

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Afraid to dip your toe in the waters of property investment? Catherine Lezer, mortgage adviser with Smartline, explains the most common excuses used to put off investing – and why they’re flawed.

Excuse 1: “I’m not intelligent/qualified enough”
It’s not a question of qualifications or being smart – in fact, a degree can even be a barrier, as the skills taught on many degrees teach you to be a good employee, not necessarily a good investor.

Excuse 2: “I don’t feel comfortable dealing with property”
Ultimately, there isn’t anything about property investing that’s ‘comfortable’. Every time I invest in a new property, I have to deal with agents I don’t like, legal contracts that baffle me, and so on. However, you have to accept that uncomfortableness and do it anyway. Bear in mind, too, that feeling of discomfort can even be a benefit – it keeps you alert, stops you getting complacent and prevents silly mistakes.

Excuse 3: “I don’t have enough time”
Frankly, no one has enough time, which is why prioritisation is so important. You need to make time for the important things.

Excise 4: “I don’t have enough money”
This is another big one. It’s a common misconception that you need money to make money – you just need to look at all the tales of tales of famous businesspeople who started with nothing to see that’s not true. It’s more about mindset, and how people can use their circumstances to their advantage.

A more serious problem, however, is when people are addicted to spending. Some people are – I see people with five maxed-out credit cards earning just $35,000 a year. In situations where a person is addicted to spending, it’s essential to seek out professional help from a credit counsellor.

Excuse 5: “I just don’t understand money”
This excuse is particularly prevalent among women – who are often told as children that “women don’t handle money”. Alternatively, deadling with financial affairs can be left to someone else because it’s easier. The only solution to this is to educate yourself financially, I’m afraid!

Excuse 6: “I’ll do it when I win the Lotto, or meet Mr or Ms Right”
This is a typical procrastination excuse – it’s a way of putting off doing something daunting. I often see a version of this in my clients – and myself. Ultimately, though, it’s not logical – what if you never win the Lotto? What if Mr or Mrs Right only turn up when you’re 55? You need to see through the irrationality of the excuse and be brave enough to act.

Excuse 7: “This guy said it’s not a good idea”
This happens more than you’d think: someone – usually your mum or dad – will talk you out of investing.  It’s a very common conversation within families: but then a decade goes by and you’re still thinking about investing, not doing it. This is where a group of supportive, like-minded people can really be of benefit – to egg you on and say you can do it.

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  • Theo Kavieris says on 20/10/2012 04:49:23 AM

    I liked the article. One other 'reason' people put off investing is: waiting for the market to change, interest rates to drop etc.

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