8 Reasons We Choose Not to Invest

Should I Invest

"Invest? No thanks!"

If current trends continue, Social Security will be over budget soon and depleted by the year 2036.

Medicare is faring even worse.

Projections claim that it will be unable to pay medical expenses by the year 2024.

Retirement isn’t looking as comfortable as it did twenty years ago.

Today’s young and middle-aged adults need to be planning for the future.

They need to be saving and investing their money to ensure a long and comfortable retirement.

Why then are so many people ignoring these statistics and not investing their money? Research has provided a number of reasons why. Some of those reasons can be negated through a little time and effort while others may take a different approach to overcome.

1. Lack of funds due to overspending. Many people feel they need to spend 100% of their income for one reason or another. Whether they are happy to have an income or they are compulsive debtors, it appears that there are those individuals out there who spend what they make.

2. Lack of funds due to low pay. Many individuals find themselves unable to invest due to a low income. The whole of their net pay may be going to provide food, clothing and shelter with very little left over for investing.

3. Lack of education. Education in investing is not easily available. Most schools are not including it in their high school curriculum and college only offer those types of classes to business majors. Where does the average person go to find the education? How does the working class person, who has skipped college, find a source for investment education? Can everyone afford their own money coach?

4. They do not trust strangers with their money. With cases like Enron in the news for the past few years, many people have grown leery of using a brokerage to invest their money. They fear for corruption.

5. Uncomfortable with the risk. When you invest your money in the stock market there is a level of risk involved. The higher the risk, the greater the reward, typically. However, many people feel that avoiding the (potential) loss is a wiser decision than the possibility of a rewarding payout.

6. Focusing on debt reduction first. Paying down debt in order to free up more money for investing is a good idea. However, if you have an employer offered 401K with a match, be sure to invest up to the match. Even while paying down debt, you do not want to lose out on the “free” money that is being offered to you.

7. Don’t believe a small amount of money makes a difference. Some people do not invest their money because they believe that what little they can put aside will not make a difference. When, in fact, a small amount can make a big difference.

8. Avoiding the future. For one reason or another, many people choose to avoid the future. They do not plan for it nor do they take the necessary steps to ensure that it is full of the life they want it to have. It could be due to fear, severe procrastination or laziness. Whatever it may be, avoiding the future is going to harm them in the end.

With investing there are just a few things to remember. First, the sooner you start, the better. In fact, consider opening a Roth IRA for your child to help their future become financially stable.

Secondly, start investing with a small amount (Even if you can only invest $25 a week.) now if that is all you can afford. As it grows, reinvest it. Each time you do, the amount you are earning on your return grows, as will your portfolio.

And finally, if you have thought about your future, and you are concerned about how it is going to play out, seek out the information you need. The internet is a wonderful place to learn information. It is an excellent starting point with low risk and little intimidation.

Investing can be simple to do, and with a little research you can find a reputable online stock broker to handle your investments to help them grow even quicker.

This article was written by Jessica at Everything Finance. Everything Finance is a site about just that, everything related to finance. You can get information about investing, saving money, shopping, blogging, and making money online.

Image by mahalie



Last Edited: October 24, 2012 @ 9:15 pm The content of ptmoney.com is for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Visitors to ptmoney.com should not act upon the content or information without first seeking appropriate professional advice. In accordance with the latest FTC guidelines, we declare that we have a financial relationship with every company mentioned on this site.

Comments

  1. Great post. I think people avoid investing are for most of the points above. People spend 100% of their income and then complain they don’t have enough to invest. But even if they made more, they still wouldn’t have enough to invest. To invest, you save first then spend the rest.

    Also, fear plays a huge role. I blame the media. If the market drops, it’s the lead story, they interview those who predict more doom and gloom. Watchers get scared and stay out of the market. Then when the market rebounds, they miss it. Where I work, we show clients a slide that shows what the market returns over a given period of time. For the given time, the market returned close to 9%, but the average investor only returned 1%. Why? Because they bought and sold at the wrong times. They bought high and sold low. Invest and then ignore the short term volatility.

  2. seanhopcraft says:

    I am currently in the debt reduction time..But just a small credit card and a car. I don’t have employer sponsored at my work but I should start automatically saving some of what I use paying off my debt and just be patient.

  3. Not sure I agree with #6. Your age till retirement and how much longer you anticipate being in debt also play a role in deciding to forego the 401K match. Not to mention how long it takes you to be fully vested in that matching funds. Focusing on your debt for a short time can really pay in the end.

  4. I’ve probably been guilty of at least 7 of these 8 in the past. Now we are living on less than we ever have, but are conversely happier. All I need now is the extra $100 a month to start investing regularly. We have finally overcome the fears and excuses and when there is extra (even $20) into the savings/investment fund it goes. I can say though that it is a hard row to hoe and unsurprising that so many have difficulty investing.

  5. Freedom 48 says:

    I think not believing what a difference a small amount will make is a big one. Also not knowing the power of compound interest…

  6. DebtChronicles says:

    Right now I’m enrolled in a Debt management Plan and I believe it makes the most sense to pour my funds into eliminating my debt. Fortunately, my employer does make monthly contributions to my 401K as well. #6 applies to me, so this article gives me something to think about.

  7. schubertian says:

    Great article. Some clarification on the first statements about Social Security and Medicare, which, at their 75 year projection worst, are still able to provide significant benefits if no changes are made.

    The Social Security Trust Fund will be depleted in 2036, not the entire program. From the report:: “Thereafter, tax income would be sufficient to pay only about three-quarters of scheduled benefits through 2085.”

    Same is true for Medicare:

    “The projected date of HI Trust Fund exhaustion is 2024, five years earlier than estimated in last year’s report, at which time dedicated revenues would be sufficient to pay 90 percent of HI costs.”

    Thanks.

  8. One of my biggest fears is getting to old to work and having no money. I see homeless people in their 80’s and one thought comes to my mind. “That’s it! They can do no more, this is how they will die”. I know that is a grim outlook but it’s the truth. They have had their whole lives to save money and to plan for their retirement, but they chose a different road. Most likely spend spend and spend and don’t save. Why they aren’t collecting SSI I don’t know. All I know is these folks are where they are and there is nothing they can do about it anymore. Very sad… And very scary

  9. EverythingFinance says:

    A 401K employer match should be taken full advantage of. This is a very good automatic way of investing. The trick to investing is not, put in a large sum, but to start early.

  10. Investment is not taught in schools. We have to make the conscious effort to acquire financial education. Lack of financial education can make you shy away from investing, or invest in something you have no clue about. There are tons of books, tapes, videos and seminars on educating yourself financially. The best way to invest is to first of all invest in your financial education. Become an investor before you invest. Become a driver before you drive. Common sense really

  11. Stuff About Money says:

    I see some people save but they park their money in a crappy CD or money market barely yielding 1%. At least that’s a start but some younger people are just scared out of the stock market these days. When you factor in the tech crash, the housing crash and the financial crisis, we’ve had a rough decade. I think we just have to get people to look at a longer term horizon.