The feeling of inadequacy is probably one of the worst, because you know that you want to do something but for a reason or another you never feel “up to it”.
I have been toying with the idea of investing to supplement a pension scheme that I thought I was likely to get if I worked until 60/65. Then all of a sudden (thanks to financial crises, corrupted politicians, work life that looks all good and nice when you are a student but turns pretty sour when you join the rat race) the realisation that the “supplement” might actually become the “main course” of my future sank in and I decided that it was time to start investing with a longer “scope”.
I read a lot of blogs, I did my research, I am an Economics major after all.
One of the worst initial troubles is (yes at the time of writing I still feel quite “weak” on several points) “entry points”. On one side I decided that I wanted to start investing, on the other I have a market that is close to the maximums and everyone is screaming for “bubbles” and “crashes” behind the corner.
Well if all the readings are good enough entry points are not so important if you are planning to hold the stocks for a long time, of course monitoring P/E ratios and other indicators is important, but in the end if you are planning to stick with a stock for long, entry points (pretty much like “exchange rates”) are not a major issue.
Clearly if the stock that you want has a low P/E or the exchange rate is particularly favourable, nobody is going to complain! Certainly dividends can supplement or become a great part of a retirement scheme, but also getting the stock to appreciate over time is quite nice (especially because always seeing red numbers is quite depressing).
All things considered, in these 6 months, after I started “swimming” in this pool, a lot of fears have gone away, but I also see that there is a lot of reading and research to do in order to make “half” sensible choices with one’s stock picks.
And what about you out there? When you started investing, what was the thing that blocked you the most?