How to forgive yourself for procrastinating on investing decisions

I’m back after another guilty few weeks of not blogging… trying to get back on the proverbial horse.

One of the things I have managed to do in the past few weeks is give two talks at the London Business School hosted by Prof Narayan Naik on value investing and data structuring. I enjoyed myself immensely, here’s a picture:

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So speaking of guilt for not investing in my blog, I’m terrible at actually committing money to an investment idea.

It’s hard for me to buy something even when I have high conviction that it's the right thing.

The more I speak to people the more I realise that most folks have a lot of trouble making investment decisions -- pressing the “GO” button.

Like me they spin into a cycle of procrastination and self doubt.

An explanation might be garnered from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs… a framework often used in psychology to explain the priorities us human beings automatically place on our needs.

Here’s a quick diagram, but basically we need our physiological (water, food, sleep) taken care of, then our physical safety, then belonging to a loving group etc.

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I think investing decisions can only take place in the Esteem and Self-actualisation states… when one feels like you want to expand your life or you are feeling secure enough you can commit to an uncertain future.

If your job/pension are under threat, for example, in a major stock market upheaval or a political event such as Brexit, it becomes difficult to move to those states.

Where are you currently in your state towards investing? Are your basic needs being met?

I’m not sure what the solution is for helping you make investment decisions in a timely manner, but surely you’re better off forgiving yourself knowing there are innate human evolutionary biases that often prevent us from making the best investments for the long term.

Let me know what you think.

Best,

Mallika