To make the most of your investments, you need to think about them in the right way. Investing immaturity can hold you back from reaching the next level with your finances.
Investing immaturity — a potentially costly condition that a surprising number of investors exhibit — is not easy to identify during the early stages of accumulating wealth when there is not much to lose. However, as time goes on and more wealth is built, immaturity can be spotted quickly in a conversation.
I want to be careful in using the term investing immaturity … I am not insinuating that someone is juvenile, what I am suggesting is that the way some investors think about their money and their investments can at times be immature.
In fact, what I have found in most people who are experiencing investing immaturity is that once they are provided more education about how to invest, they often move past this stage into more advanced wealth strategies.
The best way to look at this is that like anything: We only know what we know. In other words, the root cause of investing immaturity for most people is simply not knowing any different.
What follows are five signs of investor immaturity. For someone wanting to reach the next level of growing and protecting their wealth, these are behaviors to avoid.
1. Return Chasing
Recency bias can be a symptom of investing immaturity. This can be defined as a tendency to be critical of one’s investment performance, or a “grass is greener” feeling, when comparing their earnings (or losses) to another investment that may have done better during a specific period of time.
An example of this is when an investor experiences a loss in one of their investments while learning of another investment from a friend or a Google search that had a gain, and then acting on that information to chase the return.
This behavior is a blatant disregard of everything we know about proper diversification and risk management fundamentals.
What a mature investor realizes is that performance is like a photograph of a specific point in time with specific market conditions that are unlikely to be repeated in exactly the same way in the future.
The fact is that if it were truly that simple, everyone would simply hold that one investment (whatever that investment is), but it is not — which is why we diversify our portfolios.