Overcoming the Fear of Investing

Looking at that blue pool, you think you might drown…

But you get some help to put on those orange swim floaties & start kicking those legs in the water to complete a full lap

Staring at that big brick building called “school,” you wonder how you will do in a brand new environment for a day…

But your mom (or dad, brother, sister, nanny, babysitter, etc.) grabs your hand, walks you in, and your kindergarten teacher flashes you the biggest smile

Watching people cruise down the pavement on their shiny bikes, you contemplate how you will ever be able to learn to ride a bike without falling…

But you start by using those sturdy training wheels until you have the comfort to coast on down the park pathways

Checking out the full plate in front of you as you sit at the kitchen table at your friend’s house, you gulp because you have never tried this type of food before…

But you pick up that fork and manage to take a bite since it’s the polite thing to do, and now wonder why in the heck you haven’t been introduced to one of the best tasting foods in your life thus far

Pinning a number to your uniform as you look at the talented kids around you all preparing to try out for the (soccer, basketball, dance, tennis, track, etc.) team, you wonder if you’ve got what it takes…

But instead of running away, you muster up that confidence because you’ve been practicing day in & out for this moment to get a chance to make the school team

Buckling up in the seat of a car as the Driver’s Ed instructor takes the front seat, your palms begin to sweat as the heat of the dashboard makes the car feel like 300 degrees…

But you’ve been waiting for-ev-er to drive and know what type of freedom it can entail. You place your foot on the break, put the car in drive, press the gas pedal, and begin to steer

Sitting face to face with your interviewer, you hope that you will even just make it out of the room without passing out. This is the first time even exercising this question and answer process as your applying for your first job…

But you answer each question with tact & professionalism. Your interviewer was impressed and you receive the call a week later that you landed your first job ever

Feeling like you are in the midst of a giant as you stand staring wide-eyed at that steel structure. You hear the muffled screams as the next round of people take the plunge down the newest roller coaster in the theme park. You have never been on one before…

But your awesome friends convince you that the endorphin rush will be worth way more than chickening out. You take a seat, buckle on up, and hold on for dear life as you experience your first roller coaster ride ever

Combing through the forms you wonder how you’re ever going to make it just through the paperwork to apply for college. You mull over if all that you have worked towards will amount to being accepted to your school of choice…

But you power on through, crossing your t’s and dotting your i’s. There is going to be some admissions office out there that will accept you as a brand new student. It feels like forever, but months later you receive that acceptance letter marking the beginning to the next chapter of your life

Standing in the front of the office, your heart racing as your about to go before the panel of hiring managers. You know there’s a long list of applicants, and your nerves start to get the best of you…

But you’re here, in a new city feeling bold & ready to go. Instead of storming out that door, you walk into that conference room with grace. Even if you are not selected for this opportunity, there will be hiring managers from another company ready to offer you a job with open arms. Every application process regardless of outcome is a new experience to learn & grow

Reading through the words of that unexpected email, you can’t believe the opportunity that has just found it’s way to you. As thoughts come rushing to your mind, you question whether this is something you can take on…

But you put your doubts aside and reassure yourself that you’re more than prepared. Opportunities do not always find your way directly to you, and you hit that ‘Reply’ button to start this new venture

Staring at the lump sum of money you’ve been amassing over the last year, you commend yourself for having the willpower to not spend it. You’re ready to put your money to work, but you’re overwhelmed with what you can do to start building wealth…

  But you take the plunge and you set up your 401(k) through work, open an investment or brokerage account online, and start learning from money mentors, financial advisors, and personal finance resources around you. If anything, you know that investing will allow your money to grow and not just sit on the sidelines

We’ve faced fears in many areas of life since our very beginnings. The type of fear that kicks in your adrenaline where your body is contemplating fight or flight mode. Although doubts may find their way between our thoughts, the outcomes of such terrifying moments typically turn out to be some of the most positive experiences. You may even face situations where you have no knowledge, no expertise, no sources of help…but did that ever stop you from lacing up your cleats to make that soccer team for the first time, forgoing the chance to acquire your drivers license, miss out on the opportunity to receive your first job leading you to financial independence?

Just because we may not know everything, doesn’t mean we do not have the opportunity to try.  

Go for it. Take those risks even if they instilled a fear that originally made goose-bumps run up and down your arms. The outcomes will allow you to develop and prepare for the rest of the experiences in life to come. 

Learn along the way. Not even the people who are professionals in their field have mastered every bit of knowledge they can. If the idea of something gives you fear, get comfortable with it. Speak to those who can provide you with the knowledge you need. Reach out to multiple sources, and take bits that are applicable to what you want to know.

No matter how much investing scares you, just think of every other time in life that you felt scared.

And where those moments of fear led you. You are better, stronger, more brilliant. You are starting to master those skills, passions, and opportunities. Along the way you had friendships, family, support systems, and communities to aid you in your journeys. Independently you may have been able to take on your fears, but collectively you have been given opportunities to conquer them. Overcoming the fear of investing can be done, all you need to do is take the first step.

Does investing scare you? How did you overcome the fear to start investing? Do you think fears you’ve overcome in life have led you to where you are today? Let’s discuss below!


19 thoughts on “Overcoming the Fear of Investing

  1. What a great, inspirational post! I was scared to invest until I read about basic index funds. Opening the account was the scariest part. It’s always the first step! And, just like bike riding, you can’t ever forget how after you figure it out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can definitely relate to the fear of investing, and definitely started out on the super conservative side of things (intermediate term bond funds, anyone?). Over time, I’ve gradually gotten more comfortable with the risk, especially once I came to understand that *not* investing is a risk all its own, because the risk that inflation will more than overshadow the gains on a low interest savings account is virtually 100%. Of course, when the market is volatile like right now, it tests my resolve. But then it’s helpful to have an automated plan to invest once or twice a month without thinking. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Starting out on the conservative side with investing is always & great initial way to do so! Yes, it’s definitely try that not investing actually is incredibly risky (and people think keeping money under the mattress is the safest route 😉 ). Surely, a volatile market can make anyone feel a bit weary – even for those not investing based on the headlines! The automation aspect is the best, I have that all set up and makes investing such a seamless process. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree that you can learn by doing, but you need to have the right attitude going into it. When investing, you can and will lose money on positions from time to time. If you understand that and have the attitude that you’re just “paying tuition to the markets” and learning things when you lose money, you’ll do fine. If you swear off investing forever when your index fund drops by 10%, you’ll hurt yourself long-term.

    In general, if you want to invest, as opposed to gamble, the four things to do are:

    1) Invest with a long time horizon (like 10 years or more). Time reduces risk.
    2) Invest in different sectors of the market. When you spread your money out, you will always be in something that is doing well, plus you eliminate the risk that one sector does badly and sinks your whole portfolio.
    3) Keep investing more. If you invest regularly, you’ll buy get better prices since you’ll buy part of the time on the dips, as opposed to investing all at once.
    4) Never have more in one position than you can afford to lose. If you $100,000 in XYZ stock and the CEO gets indicted for embezzlement, you’ll lose it all. Cut positions when they get too big.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, attitude is everything! It’s more of a psychological thing above all. We are inclined to run when the going gets tough, which makes it challenging to hold when the market is so volatile. Thanks so much for this breakdown! The long time horizon is key, that’s why I am such an advocate for people to get started as young as they can to invest. Thanks for stopping by!


  4. Great post, Alyssa! I’ve felt this fear about many things in life (investing included). “Just get started” is some of the best advice I’ve heard. Mistakes will happen. But being frozen in fear is much worse.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, investing (in anything that is not guaranteed) scares me! Luckily for me, I am great at budgeting and saving and my husband is great at investing. When we do our financial check ins each quarter, I feel sick when our stocks have gone down a bit (although I am thrilled when they have gone up, hahah)! I really try to focus on what my husband says about investing (in our case) being a long game. We don’t need this money now and it will have to ride the waves of the market, but time is on our side! But, yes, I am still scared 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jess, that’s so great you and your husband have a balance between investing & saving! It’s definitely scary to evaluate short term activity, but knowing the long term you will make huge gains is key to always remember. 🙂


    1. Yes, great point! Some investment decisions may not always yield gains at the time. You have to be willing to recognize that a long term strategy is more effective than short term gains! Having savings/emergency fund while investing is incredibly smart. Thanks so much for stopping by!


  6. Really wonderful post! I think anything that is new is scary. Every time I think something is the most scary thing ever, I try it a couple of times and suddenly it’s not as scary. Same goes for investing. We have to try new, scary things to move forward out of our comfort zone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yes, I completely agree. It’s great to try something a few times to get familiar with it, and all of the sudden the scariness factor goes away! I definitely feel that getting outside our comfort zones allows for growth. 🙂 Thank you so much for stopping by!


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