I can’t tell you how many times that people tell me about their friend’s cousin’s girlfriend’s brother who got rich by choosing one or two stocks that performed well.
“All you have to do is find that one company,” they say, “and put your money in at the right time. Boom.”
It sounds nice because it means you don’t have to work hard or spend a lot of time figuring out how to create and build wealth. Just pick the one thing that will take off for you.
This does happen. That’s why it’s so tempting to think we can do this too. We know people who have done it; we’ve seen it happen.
And we think, “why not me?” Surely there’s nothing stopping you from duplicating that same kind of investing success. You just need to know the right piece of information.
But this isn’t realistic. It’s random. And you shouldn’t be fooled by randomness when it come to investing wisely.
Randomness and Chance Events Can Tempt You Off Your Strategic, Planned Path
This comes up a lot recently with Bitcoin. I see people getting really excited over this new investment opportunity.
A recent Bloomberg article shared how “Nearly a Third of Millennials Say They’d Rather Own Bitcoin Than Stocks.” Yikes!
Personally, knowing that so many people in their 20s and 30s would rather dump cash into Bitcoin scares me. But not because I have an opinion on whether or not Bitcoin will do well, or because I don’t believe that putting money in the right stock could make you rich.
It’s frightening because the chances of finding that “golden investment” and buying in at the right time are so, so incredibly slim, that you’re essentially gambling.
You might as well go to Vegas. You might face better odds than randomly picking a single investment. (And you’d at least have some fun with your money this way.)
Don’t Randomly Chase Down Hot Tips and Insider Secrets
Many people waste a lot of time and energy seeking out the one investment to solve everything. It’s really tempting to think if you can just unlock a secret that only rich people know about, you can be wealthy too.
And again: Yes, sometimes you can “strike it rich” if you just happen to luck out and pick the right stock or the right investment.
That’s not a good reason to deviate from a strategic, long-term, rational investment plan, though. It’s usually just a distraction from your goals. For one, the odds of managing this probably sound better than they really are.
People remember their wins and love to talk about that one time an investment gamble paid off. At the same time, they minimize the memories of all the other times they lost money, or made a mistake, or wound up worse off than they would have been had they just stayed the course…
And they certainly don’t share these negative experiences even if they do remember them.
Two, chasing financial success that way is kind of like saying you’re going to run a marathon. Then you spend the months leading up to the race searching for the absolute best running shoes available.
Don’t be surprised when you don’t actually make it to the finish line in that race.
If you don’t put in the work and do the training, taking those consistent actions over time that align with your overall strategy of managing to run 26.2 miles, the best shoes in the world can’t do you a bit of good.
Don’t Be Fooled By Randomness; Stick to the Process!
Just like training for a marathon, financial planning is a process. It requires a strategy made up of small, consistent actions taken over time.
And randomness and chance don’t really play much of a role in either of these processes. Nope, it’s not sexy or flashy. Nor is one magical thing going to allow you to breeze your way to your goals without work or effort.
What will allow you to achieve your financial goals and create the life you want?
Creating good financial habits. Making smart, strategic, deliberate decisions with your money. Taking the right actions consistently over a period of time. When you follow a structured process, you see results.
Investing isn’t about choosing that one great stock. It’s about designing a prudent investment strategy and turning up your savings rate to achieve growth over time.
This is how most people who aren’t already independently wealthy can create and grow wealth and reach financial freedom.
We all want to believe there’s an easy way to riches, but most of us won’t get lucky randomly gambling in financial markets.
Don’t be fooled by randomness. Find a tried and true way to create and grow wealth, and implement that process today. Time is of the essence and the sooner you start, the sooner you open the door to financial opportunity.