When it comes to investing, have I missed the boat?
‘Have I missed the boat?’ is one of the most common questions we get asked at The Curve. We always say there is no silly question, but in all honesty this particular one frustrates me a lot. The answer is always the same - absolutely not! We usually get asked this because people think there are A) no investing opportunities left and all the good ones have been taken. Or B) they’re too old and the investing boat is sailing away on the horizon.
Firstly, let me ask you a question….what age do you think you’ll die? I know this sounds brutal but bare with me. Most people expect to live a pretty fulfilling life, and hopefully pass away in their late 80s or 90s right? However in reality, nobody knows when they’ll die and more importantly nobody knows what the future will hold. It’s the scary and wonderful thing about living.
You can start investing at any age. Even if you’re approaching your 80’s or 90’s, you could still have many years left in the tank, and therefore, many more years to grow your wealth. The key is to just adjust what you’re investing in, the older you get. The general rule of thumb is:
If you’re younger so you have a longer time to invest you should invest in more risky investments (aka higher returning investments)
If you’re older so you have a shorter time to invest you should invest in less risky investments (aka lower returning investments)
This is due to the volatility of the market. We always use the V word, but you might not fully understand what it means. Essentially, over many many many years, the stock market smooths out. There are times when it’s up and times when it’s down, but if you zoom out and look at the market over 20+ years - it’s always going up and to the right.
That means if you are older, there is no excuse to not be investing - it might just mean you have a different portfolio to an 18 year old! You can still invest and grow your money, you would just likely have more of your money invested in cash and bonds (lower risk investments) than stocks (higher risk investments).
Any kind of investment is risky; it’s just that some are more risky than others. But would you rather take the risk in the hope of growing your money quicker? Or keep it under your mattress, or in a cheque account losing value every day due to inflation?
The great thing about investing is that there are SO many different assets to invest in. Firstly we have the four different asset classes - stock, bonds, property and cash - but within those asset classes are also different types of assets to invest in. For example, there are over 60,000 publicly listed companies globally for you to choose from (but don’t freak out - we know that’s a lot)!
Money is powerful. People, particularly men, like to sound like they know what they're talking about when it comes to money. They like to share all the good stories around investing, making you think you have missed the boat and that all the opportunities have passed you by. As someone who has invested for the majority of her life, and spent 13 years in the industry managing millions of dollars on behalf of clients, I can assure you that you haven’t.
Even if your Uber driver, hairdresser or neighbour tells you about all of the money they’ve made, don’t get fomo. You absolutely have not missed out!
The great thing about investing in the stock market is that it changes every day, even multiple times a day. Therefore, there are plenty of opportunities to go around. Take Meta for example…
Let's imagine it’s September 2021 and you’re at a friend’s dinner party when John pipes up (your friend's husband who is a little full of himself), to tell you how much money he has made in Meta. He put in $100,000 at the beginning of the year, and now has $138,000 - that's nearly $40k he’s made in 9 months. Meta’s share price went from $273 to $378 - a 38% return in less than a year - which to be fair is worth boasting about. At this point you’re probably sitting there thinking “Dammmnnn, I have totally missed the boat on Meta. I wish I’d invested like John”. Fast forward another 9 months, and Meta’s share price is now only $140 - the boat is back in the harbour! Woohoo! You’ve now got a chance to buy that same company at an even better price than John!
Admittedly some boats have sailed, but there are PLENTY more waiting in the docks just for you. And just like with the Meta example - some of those boats who have metaphorically sailed away, come back into the harbour eventually anywhere.
Invest in whatever lights your heart up, but remember - you have never, ever missed the boat.
INVESTING IS FOR COOL KIDS
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