Laziness is often seen as the mark of an underachiever. A person lounging on a couch while the world passes them by. A sweaty brow and calloused hands are sure marks of success. We can will ourselves to a brighter tomorrow if we only commit enough energy.
But you know what? That lazy person has discovered their financial superpower and is blowing past you.
Laziness – Your Financial Superpower
This post has been written by Brandon from 30and0.com.
When I was younger I was stressed out about a test that I had to take and sought out a teacher for advice. The teacher told me something that I live by for tests to this day; most of the time anyways.
“Trust your first instinct on the answer. If you go back and correct yourself, you usually get the question wrong.” -Instructor Exposition
The idea is that the extra work we do (correcting the answer) actually sabotages our initial effort. We confuse our extra effort as raising our chance of success. In reality knowing when to stop is every bit as important as extra effort.
To the joy of college slackers everywhere, the same is true when it comes to our finances. Laziness is the financial superpower that requires you to do nothing. If my mom reads this she would be less than surprised to find I am making excuses for my continued laziness. But the statistics are on my side!
Also, a messy room is a sign of a genius, so stop yelling about my socks and appreciate the Einstein you raised.
Laziness Activates Compounding
One of the basic tenets of investing is placing your money appropriately and allowing it to grow. The mistake most small investors make is frequently adjusting their investments. TV finance experts scream about how this is the worst or greatest market ever seen and they have to act.
What the “experts” neglect to tell us is that they are wrong the majority of the time. Also, every trade we make comes with fees and locking in whatever rate we gained or lost on that sell. I say gain to be fair to those of you who are giving Jack Bogle a run for his money. If we are honest though few people are selling something that is appreciating in value. Odds are it was sold because it was under performing.
This is where laziness becomes our financial superpower. One of the best things you can do for your finances is……nothing.
Seriously, leave your investments alone to grow. Leaving it alone will allow for the compound interest to kick in and work its magic. Your appreciating asset will begin compounding free of trading fees. Compound interest takes time to work and every time you disrupt it the clock resets. Here we confuse action with protecting ourselves while thinking laziness makes us poorer.
This is not the case at all.
If you invested wisely then added activity is kryptonite against your financial superpower. It will leech away the strength of your investments cent by cent. Kick up your feet and enjoy a Pina Colada or hot chocolate. Whichever is appropriate where you are in the world while reading this.
Passive Income Needs a Passive Investor
Passive traditional investments with stocks and bonds perform far better than active trading. Warren Buffet recently won a bet against a hedge fund using this mentality.
While those “financial gurus” were analyzing data, Warren was running his full-time company. You know, the one where Class A stock costs over $300,000 for a single share. Surprisingly, the active investors could not will their investments to beat Warren’s. No matter how furrowed their brows became.
In fact, financial professionals recommend the small investor not check their investments often. They know that the average person will see their investments value going down OR up and feel the need to react. Once again laziness proves its superiority.
Leaving the investments to do the work you hired them to do will keep emotions from steering the ship. Most day traders don’t make any money. The more frequently you interact with your investments, the more likely you are to lose money.
Stop Doing Stuff and Win With Your New Financial Superpower
In every superhero movie there is a montage where the hero learns to use their powers. Your montage should be you working hard in the first few minutes and then doing nothing for the rest of the movie. Your financial superpower doesn’t require you to train in a martial art or master the effects of a radioactive George Washington bite.
Just kick up your feet and be lazy.
Hard work is for suckers. Laziness the absolute finest financial superpower.
What do you think? Are you ready to institute laziness – ie. your new financial superpower?
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.