Procrastinating investment decisions could cost you a fortune

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When we start earning, the last thing on our mind is planning finances and preparing for the future. We are excited to finally earn our own paycheck and find multiple places to splurge our money. As we grow older and the need to take on more responsibilities increase, we begin to broaden our horizons and plan ahead. But what we may or may not realize is that we will never get back the time we’ve lost. Therefore, we will never be able to earn as much as we would have, had we started investing when we started earning. In the investment world, Time is just as important as money. In fact, time creates money.

In investment terminology, time refers to the power of compounding. It implies that our savings, when invested, have the power to grow exponentially. It may start slow, but with time the returns pick up and are eventually unstoppable. Let’s use an example to illustrate just how advantageous it is to harness this power.

If you invest ₹10,000 in a monthly SIP at an interest rate of 14%, in 10 years you stand to earn ₹25,90,689. Delaying it by days, months and/or years could cost you a lot.

The cost of delaying investment decisions by even a month would encourage any investor to not waste a single minute. So why do we procrastinate with our investment decisions, when we stand to lose so much?We don’t truly understand the power of compounding up until we experience it and by then it is too late to capture lost time.

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Another reason why we delay making investments is because we try to time the market. We want to ensure that any investment instrument that we choose to add or remove from our portfolio is bought or sold at the right price. Terrified of making the wrong call, we just stand by and don’t make any call. But there is no such thing as timing the market. Waiting for the market’s best days will just erode our returns in the long run.

Instead, avoid making investments as a lump sum and invest in a SIP. The SIP is designed in a way that the periodic investments average out the cost of investing, whilst ensuring that we do not miss out on lucrative opportunities when the market is favourable.

Many of us believe that once we have invested, our job is done. But as our life situation changes, our financial goals tend to evolve. If we do not review them from time to time, we could miss the mark on achieving our goals and this too could cost us dearly. Therefore, we should make it a habit to continuously review and make changes to the investments as and when our financial goals evolve.

The other downside of delaying investments, is the haste we find ourselves in when we do start to invest. To make up for lost time and money, we make hurried decisions that could cost us dearly. From not doing our research to not reading the fine print, we make several mistakes whilst investing in a rush. Instead, when investing, it is prudent to meet with a financial expert who will guide us in making the best decisions at that point in time.

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The cost of delaying investment decisions is revealed to us only when it is much too late. Do not waste time in thinking about when to invest, as the time to invest is always NOW!

(Article By- Amar Pandit, CFA & Founder, Happyness Factory)

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