Over the last twenty years in both the counseling and financial business, I have seen many cases of what I call decideophobia. The symptoms of this “disorder” come in various forms. However, the common themes are: a seeming inability to make a decision, extreme avoidance of the subject at hand, a mistrust of the advice of professionals, a fear of being incompetent to make a good decision, and an unwillingness to ask for help. Decideophobia can manifest when making any type of decision but is particularly pervasive when it comes to making important decisions such as about “your money or investments”. Some of the root causes of decideophobia are the following:
1) fear of making a wrong decision
2) a lack of understanding about the available options
3) wanting to maintain a sense of control over the issue “whatever it may be” and finally,
4) not feeling confident about the advice/ professional offering the service.
For instance every single time I have to buy a car, I have this feeling of dread. I dread going to the car lot. I dread being swarmed by the salespeople. I dread having to sort through and understand all of the options. I especially dread the negotiations to finally make a purchase. To top it off, I hate the time that it requires doing all of these things. So what do I do? I put it off until my car absolutely won’t “go” any further and leaves me stranded at Bass Pro-to be towed in the middle of the night by a three time ex-convict (I’m not kidding, he told me prison stories all the way home!) to my dark house. All this because my decideophobia had been acting up for several weeks. Lesson learned!
So, save yourself some grief! If you find yourself with a bad case of “decideo- phobia” about your money or investments, make a plan. Give yourself a limited time frame to make a decision.
During that time frame set goals to think about what you want. What do you want from an advisor? What do you want from your investment? What is most important to you? (safety, growth) Proactively research the options available. You can easily find information online.
Find a professional service you trust. Ask family and friends, research different advisors websites, Google their name (you can find out a lot about an advisor and their practice this way). Who you trust matters. In this type of market environment, not making a decision could leave you stranded in the dark with an ex-convict. I should know.
Decide and move forward! You will be glad you did. For more information go to www.waterstonewealth.com Melanie Hasty-Grant, Experienced Licensed Professional Counselor and Managing Principal at Waterstone Private Wealth Management. Securities offered through LPL Financial Member FINRA, SIPC.
*The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investments may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing.