Currently I’m on the train from Karkow to Warsaw, Poland watching the countryside flash by my window. Sitting always gives me time to reflect and today I was reflecting on some of my good and bad financial decisions.
I have made a several challenged financial decisions in my life. Financial missteps somehow feel more painful than other life mistakes, especially when your financial cushion is thinner.
But mistakes are how we learn and we cannot learn without failure.
Buying lots of real estate using 50% leverage until the 2009 financial meltdown might have been my finest mistake but there have been others:
- Investing in Norseman Gold shares and watching the stock price fall to £0
- Signing up for an expensive personal development weekend event without reading the “no cancellation or date changes under any circumstances” terms and not being able to attend the event therefore forfeiting the money
- Donating money to a friend of friend for a hospice charity fundraiser. The man was a scammer and took the money and disappeared
- Not investing in Bitcoin when it was presented to me in 2013 at a price of $50
- Exiting a purchase contract on a house because of a crack in the exterior wall. The fix was £1100 and the house is now worth 3 times what I would have paid for it.
- Investing in peer to peer lending loans in Lendy, Funding Secure, and Collateral. Oh and Moneything.
Those are the mistakes that stand out but I’m sure there are many more I have blocked from my memory as pain relief.
One personality trait I hate about certain people is a victim mentality. People who cannot take personal responsibility for their action and always blame someone of something for their mistakes.
I used to be “that” person.
Then I took a personal growth seminar that taught me about the value of taking personal responsibility for my actions. The idea of always looking at your part in the situation before looking to place blame on others. It was a powerful theory.
Some of my poor financial decisions have been a result of company mismanagement and fraud caused by others, but most of my mistakes have been caused my me.
Blame creates resentment and resentment is like drinking poison expecting someone else to die.
For example, when I was scammed by a person collecting money for local hospice, I felt extremely resentful but eventually came to peace with the financial loss by asking myself, “what was your part in the situation?”.
My part was that I gave money to someone I barely knew without researching them. Who else can I blame for that than myself?
My Biggest Financial Mistake of 2022/2023
My most reason financial mistake was a stinger and it happened due to impatience resulting from emotional decision making.
In September 2022, I watched as the British £ fell towards parity (£1 to $1). I had some money sitting in my UK bank account and I panicked. I honestly thought the Pound was going lower and that it was going to become weaker that the US dollar.
I absolutely nailed the very bottom of the exchange rate at £1 to $1.06 and moved most of my £’s to $’s. Shortly after I made the exchange, I cringed as I watched as the £ became stronger against the $. The rate rose to
$1.12, $1.21, $1.30.
This turned out to be a five figure mistake and if I had practiced patience this would never had happened.
Most people make financial mistakes when they panic. The most common mistakes are buying shares high and selling them low for a variety of reasons. The main reason being fear of a share falling lower and watching losses increase.
I can’t tell you how many times I have regretting dumping shares out of fear and watching them rebound. (Hi Kalerya).
Don’t do this.
First off all, investing in single stocks is a terrible idea. Yes you might score a few goals with some stock choices but most investors fail to beat the indexes when they pick their own stocks.
My friend who works as a Wall Street hedge fund manager explained to me that removing financial and investment agitation out of ones life leads to peace. Stock picking is full of financial and emotional agitation.
Index trackers really take the emotional agitation out of investing. Read this article to learn more.
If you pick your own investments, remember this. Do your research and invest for a reason. If you don’t have any conclusive evidence to derail your reason for investing, don’t sell so you can avoid making the same financial mistakes I have made in my life.
Remember the saying, patience is a virtue.
It will serve you well through your lifetime.