The tendency to let things stay as they are can be a serious impediment to your financial progress. The power of financial inertia is very strong.
In physics, inertia refers to the tendency of physical objects to resist change in speed or direction; a similar form of resistance affects how you act upon financial decisions. Inaction begets more inaction and before you realize it, months or years have passed with the status quo still intact.
You intended to schedule an appointment with the estate lawyer to update your wills; you meant to change your IRA beneficiaries; you had everything ready to transfer your old 401-k… but you didn’t follow through. Financial planning progress dies through inaction.
WHY INERTIA STANDS IN YOUR WAY
Financial planning inertia has become an increasingly prevalent factor over the past decade. Failing to act on your planning decisions can easily become the largest roadblock between where you are now and where you want to be in the future.
Why do people stick their heads in the sand when it comes to acting on their decisions? While there are plenty of reasons for avoiding action – fear, confusion, and competing objectives top the list.
Fear freezes you in place because you are over-focused on what might go wrong. Confusion sends you on an endless loop of researching attributes and drawbacks of every action. Finally, competing objectives tug at you to take another path toward your financial goals.
What’s holding YOU back from taking affirmative steps to break the hold of inertia?
Your long-term financial aspirations are yours alone and many actions can only be initiated by you. In a world where pushing a button on your phone starts an action, it’s sometimes difficult to muster the initiative to carry through on decisions. Your actions, however, are much more important than your intentions.
HOW TO START TAKING ACTION STEPS
There are real consequences to your financial life from inertia. You are fearful of making a money mistake so you opt to do nothing; you can’t decide which financial direction you want to take so you stay put. Avoiding action on a decision actually is a decision –and wasting your wealth is the consequence.
People get stuck waiting on the “perfect investment” or the “ideal financial strategy.” I’m here to help you along by letting you know these flawless actions don’t exist in real life.
How you perceive a particular investment or financial planning strategy provides motivation to act or stay put. The role of perceptions, positive and negative, in how you evaluate opportunities is underrated.
Fully engaging in the financial planning process requires that you make decisions and then act upon those decisions. Without action steps, you can’t make progress toward your most important goals. Start there.
Related: Spooky World, Spooky Markets