Tips on overcoming analysis paralysis in investments

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Many people face analysis paralysis when making decisions. Do you know what the term means?

According to Healthline, analysis paralysis is a type of overthinking which results in a neverending loop of “what if this, what if that” scenarios.

Vicki Botnick, a therapist from California, shares that our decision-making process usually involves a list of options. As we progress, we begin narrowing this list down, removing choices that are unfeasible. But a person with analysis paralysis will often find themselves trapped.

“They feel ever-expanding, endless, and all equally probable,” she adds.

What is analysis paralysis in investments?
a stressed man in front of a laptop

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Putting things into perspective in the financial realm, analysis paralysis makes perfect sense too. In this case, it refers to a situation where you overanalyse investments so much that your ultimate decision becomes paralysed. You end up freezing and are not able to make a move.

Sounds familiar? Do you find yourself not acting on the plan you have made after all those time spent in planning? If you are stuck on making a decision, then it is about time you stop being in a state of analysis paralysis.

Investing is not that difficult if you’ve done your due research. The only thing you probably need right now is the courage to jump in and start! While it’s not guaranteed that you will make money or succeed, take heart if you have a promising investment strategy.

For those who are still sitting on the fence and waiting for the right moment to take the first step, this article will help you. It’s time to hold back no more and get your head in the game.

#1: Don’t be a perfectionist


Those undergoing analysis paralysis often end up waiting for the perfect scenario. You need to know that such occasions don’t come by often, and you will only end up wasting time and effort.

For example, some investors were sitting on the fence of Netflix Inc (NASDAQ: NFLX). Yes, while it’s true that they have burnt billions to build the business, with many questioning their business model, 2021 might be their year to becoming self-sustainable.

If you’d trusted your guts with Netflix against what other investors thought, then maybe you wouldn’t have to deal with their recent share price spike of over 10%. Be a perfectionist in investing, and we assure you there will be a slow success.

#2: Narrow down on what matters

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Many time, overthinking happens when you don’t have an idea of what to focus on. That is why we’re suggesting that you narrow down on what matters. In other words, prioritise the main objectives regarding your investment strategy.

Let’s say you’re considering between these three:

  • ETFs that track benchmarks
  • Growth technology companies
  • Value consumer discretionary companies

Rather than going with all at one go, it would be wise to start investing with just one or two to get your engine moving.

This perfectly leads us to the next point.

#3: Scale as you go


Whenever you are thinking about investing, try to start with a small amount. Don’t get fooled by “experts” who advise you to go big or go home.

So, what is the right amount to start with? We think a few hundred dollars is an ideal sum if you’re new to the venture. Once you’re comfortable dealing with the market fluctuations, you can gradually increase the stakes with higher-risk investments.

Starting small is a direction that works not just in investments but life in general too. This is especially true if you’re entering as a greenhorn.

#4: Cut out neighbouring negativity

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It also pays to not dwell too much into the negative news about losing your money.

The main point here is that if you have a sound strategy, then all is well. You don’t need to listen to friends or neighbours who are discouraging your idea of investing money in the stock market.

While other people’s pitfalls are good to know, shut it out if you know it will only hold you back. Ultimately, it’s your money you’re playing with, and you possess the key to unlocking the door of investments.

#5: Welcome a little impulsivity


Don’t get us wrong when we say to welcome a little impulsivity. We assume that you’ve spent a considerable amount of time crafting a solid investment strategy. If so, then maybe what you need is that little nudge of impulsivity to get started.

Research done by automated investment firm Stashaway revealed that impulsive investors who withdrew their money during a market correction lost about 2.2% on average. That’s why we want to reiterate that hasty investments will do you no good in a general sense.

Please don’t take this piece of advice out of context.

Final thoughts

The stock market will not stop for you. As Professor Karyl Leggio of Loyola University Maryland rightly points out, “The reality is you aren’t able to time the market. Over time, you miss more opportunities than you save by trying to time the market.”

Continue letting analysis paralysis grab hold of you, and you will be missing out on several golden investment chances. Recognise that you don’t have to be a perfectionist to begin. Focus on what matters, start small, and don’t get buried in negativity.

Take that little spontaneous step forward, and good luck!

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