I don’t have money to invest. I don’t have the time to invest. I don’t know how to invest. You’ve probably heard or said these words before when the question comes up as to why a person isn’t investing. To be fair the statements are usually said in response to a particular investment product or method but all of them show a reluctance of some sort. Realistically investing is for everyone. Perhaps at times, people are chasing the wrong methods or tools for their goals but ultimately the principles of investing are for everyone. Here’s why;
Investing is the act of allocating resources, usually money, with the expectation of generating an income or profit. We can all understand the idea of investing in a business or financial asset with the expectation of financial gain in the future. However, we can invest other resources such as time with the expectation of rewards in the future that range from monetary rewards, improved relationships or improved kills as examples. Investing can be analogised to sowing seeds.
It’s for you (and those that matter to you)
When we invest a resource in the present with the expectation of gain in the future we are doing it for ourselves. When we invest time in learning a skill for example we are doing so to derive some sort of gain in the future. A work-related skill can be leveraged for increased earnings while a leisure skill can simply improve the way we feel about ourselves or our lives. By performing a task that is important to us or those that matter to us better, we can improve conditions in our circle of concern.
Investing vs Gambling vs Speculation
It doesn’t surprise me that many people do not know the difference between investing, gambling and speculation. To be fair sometimes people can do all three with the same thing. Some people can invest in currency, while others take positions to speculate on the currency while others still in the same market gamble on the currency. So what’s the difference between these three? Well, we have already defined gambling so let’s look at the other two.
Speculation is the formation of a theory or conjecture about a subject without firm evidence. Speculation is a normal activity and there’s nothing wrong with it as such. Consider that in many markets, financial or otherwise, speculators form a part of the market and weigh in. What we can discern here is that the speculator differs from the investor in the degree of evidence gathering to support their conclusions.
Gambling is taking risky action with the hope of a favourable outcome. So we quickly realise that there may well be many people who believe they are investing but are in fact gambling. Again the investor and the gambler are not separated by much. Can the gambler win? Yes, they can but their chances of winning are minimised because of how little they know about the likely outcomes.
Investing is an ideology
The point here is that investing is a way of thinking. Investing is a way of behaving, It is an ideology. They say the way we handle anything is the way we handle everything. If you learn to invest through the ZSE, Unit Trusts, ETFs, Real estate, business or some other tool you may see a difference in how you think about things going forward. You may find yourself more cautious or intentional with your time or associations. You may find your work differently because you now see the bigger picture in what you do. Investing changes the very way you think because investing is a way of thinking.
Find your way
Finally, there are many methods of investing out there and you need to find the one that works for you. If you don’t have a lot of money to invest consider products like Unit Trusts and ETFs which have low buy-in thresholds. If you don’t have time consider using an asset manager or investment advisor. If you don’t know how or where to start use the search bar on www.startupbiz.co.zw to start learning about investing. Whatever your reason for not investing you will find that there is an answer and more often than not the obstacle you face is the way forward.