Earlier this week a friend sent me an investment proposal on an early stage software company looking for funding. Within a few seconds I was able to write back that I wasn’t the right person to look at the proposal, saving me much time and dithering that I would have usually used up trying to help my friend. It simply is out of my scope of expertise.
In writing this blog I’ve been very privileged that so many people have opened up to me on how they think about investing and the problems they have with it. This ranges from professional fund managers with 100s of millions at play in the markets, to private investors managing their own money.
The biggest finding for me is that people do have a lot of interest in many types of investments, but no time or energy to manage all the investment news and data that comes at them...
The markets are on 24/7 and there is always a shiny new company or growth trend to investigate.
For me personally the best efficiency practice I’ve started is something advocated by a few self help experts including Danielle Laporte and Jim Collins – have a “stop doing list”.
You stop doing things that you don’t truly enjoy or that don’t help your investing goals.
This is my personal investments stop doing list that I’ve been trying to follow the past few months…..
Types of investments – I don’t look at anything that isn’t publically listed (no angel investing, venture, moon rockets or unicorns)
Geography – I only look at companies in the US, Northern Europe and India. If there is a presentation on China or South Africa, it’s out of bounds.
News – I read the Economist weekly and the Financial Times daily. I’ve stopped looking at the business news in other papers.
Market surfing – I don’t track the markets or individual stocks on a daily basis … never ask me what the FTSE or S&P 500 are doing, it doesn’t make me a better investor to follow daily gyrations.
So give yourself a break from the investing news this week… instead of plodding through piles of market data that won’t make sense to you an hour later, spend the time in creating a stop doing list.
Here are two authors that I think have a lot of wise advice on how to “stop doing” things that aren’t getting you to your goals: