When it comes to preparing for investing you need to ask yourself, ‘What do I hope to achieve through investing my saving, the surplus that I have?’ When you know why you are investing, it provides the motivation to keep investing. So how do you achieve this? So, make a list of ‘What all you need and want in your life, and roughly by what age.’ Don’t sweat too much over whether the list is right, or seems impossible to achieve.
Once you have the list, go through each item one by one and ask,
- ‘How badly do I want this thing?’: Does, not having it, make you seriously uncomfortable or make life for you and your family insecure? If the answer is Yes, then it goes in your Security Bucket, e.g. a large corpus of money when you retire
- ‘Will doing this or having this will give me the greatest joys?’ (If the answer to the 1st question is ‘No’): Not doing it or having it will be my deepest personal regrets? If the answer is Yes, it goes into your Growth Bucket e.g. starting your own restaurant
Do this exercise sincerely, and find a few things that you must have and do in your life. The stronger the image of these things in your mind, higher motivation you will have to do what it takes to succeed in investing.
To set yourself up for success in investing say to yourself, ‘My future needs and dreams are important to me. I am setting aside some money for it—the money I promise not to touch. The rest of my money is available to live my life today.’ This balance is important. And, no one recommends living an unhappy life today. But, now you look at some of the things you spend on today and decide, ‘Can I do without it or a lower cost version of the same? And, it’s fine because I am funding my future needs and dreams which are very important to me.’
So, the first thing to set yourself up for success in investing is to know why you are doing it, your long-term goals—the things that make your life well-lived and worthwhile for you.
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