Brilliant Investment Strategy #3: Change

“You can’t suddenly say, ‘I want a brand new habit tomorrow,’ and expect it to be easy and effortless.” -Charles Duhigg

Sometimes it’s hard for an old guy like me to think about change. It’s uncomfortable. It’s intimidating. We all have our ways of getting into routines and habits. We like what we like; we do what we do. Sometimes we don’t even know what our routines are or how important they are to us until something, or somebody, interrupts them. In many ways, these routines are just fine. They’re normal. They keep us steady and civil.

When it comes to investing, the same thing can be said. Our routines with our money can be stabilizing, keeping us from impulsive decisions when news broadcasts or dooms-dayers (who sometimes are the same thing) try to get us to panic. It’s good to have a financial strategy and stick with it because it helps us weather uncertain times.

But our routines can also hurt us.

They can be the difference between loss and growth; between stagnancy and opportunity. They can keep us from doing what’s best because of our fear of what’s unknown and they can blind us to what’s best.

This is why we need to learn to adapt. Adapting, in terms of investing, doesn’t mean jumping at new shiny investment opportunities or philosophies of financial management that come along. Adapting, instead, means making strategic, thoughtful moves with your money when the market and your personal situation give you the opportunity, or the responsibility, to do so. Adapting means taking steps to start investing when you’ve never really taken it seriously. It means doing what needs to be done to move on from bad financial decisions from your past. It means having the wisdom to know when you have to course-correct along the way. It means learning to be driven by vision, purpose, and wisdom in new ways.

Adapting means making the right moves even if you’ve not made those moves in the past.

Perhaps you’ve not surrounded yourself with the right financial advisors. Perhaps you’re not where you think you should be by now. Perhaps you have bad financial habits. Perhaps you’ve spent more time regretting your financial past than preparing for your financial future. Wherever you are, maybe it’s time for you to adapt to your situation. Maybe it’s time to put a little bit more toward saving or investing. Maybe it’s time to meet with an advisor and make a detailed plan. Maybe it’s time to learn investing in a way you’ve never learned it. Maybe it’s time to adapt.

When it comes to financial planning, change isn’t bad, even if it can be scary. But it has to be the right kind of change. So make the choice to develop better habits. Surround yourself with the right financial support team. It will guide you with wisdom. Set a financial course and stick to it, until it’s time to correct that course along the way. It will give you a standard by which you can measure future decisions. And don’t be afraid to build new financial habits.