Common Barriers to Investing

Barriers hold people back from engaging or following through on actions, and it’s common for people to face barriers when it comes to investing. In this post, we break down some key barriers that can prevent people from getting started with investing.


Investment anxiety can arise in several different ways including feeling like you’re lacking in math skills, being overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information on investing, or just feeling like you don’t understand how investing works.

Feeling anxious can prevent you from considering an investment plan. If you’ve experienced anxiety around investing, a good place to start is to think about what you want to achieve.

You start by examining your financial situation to determine if you feel you have money to invest. For example, paying off high-interest credit card debt might be a better option for you at this time.

If you feel you are ready to invest, think about your short- and long-term goals.

Once you outline your financial goals, you should have a better understanding of whether investing is the right path for you to reach those goals.

Not Knowing Enough to Get Started

You might feel like investing is a good fit for your financial goals, but you may not be putting your plans into action because you’re not sure where to find unbiased investing information. Not knowing where to start can be a major barrier to getting started with investing.

If you’re looking for independent investment information, you’re in the right place. We suggest starting with the basics, and working your way up. Learn about what it means to buy and sell investments, and about the different types of investments. Take some time to learn about investing concepts like risk, diversification, and liquidity.

With this information under your belt, you can take the next steps in your journey to becoming an empowered investor by considering whether you want to use a professional service, such as working with a registered investment advisor, to help you build an investment plan.


Procrastination can be another roadblock to your investing plans. Are you putting off investing because you don’t see it as a priority? Short-term financial goals such as saving to buy a home or paying for education may be more important for you at this time. But if you’ve determined that investing is right for you, then starting now can benefit you in the long run.

Opening an RRSP or TFSA account may be a good place to begin. Before you take this step, be sure to learn about how these accounts work and the types of investments they can hold.


Feeling intimidated might be preventing you from getting started with investing. But remember, you don’t need to be a Wall Street expert to get started. Familiarize yourself with common investment terms, and determine how much risk you’d feel comfortable with according to your financial situation. Arming yourself with investment knowledge can help you become a more confident and informed investor.

Investing isn’t the only way to reach your financial goals. But if it’s something you’ve been considering, then building a solid foundation of investment knowledge can help you overcome these common barriers.

Report a Concern

If you have any concerns about a person or company offering an investment opportunity, please contact BCSC Inquiries at 604-899-6854 or 1-800-373-6393, or through e-mail at [email protected]. You can also file a complaint or submit a tip anonymously using BCSC’s online complaint form. is the British Columbia Securities Commission’s investor education website. Subscribe to receive email updates from BCSC InvestRight.

Suggested Reading

BC Securities Enforcement Roundup – October 2013

Warnings and alerts from Canadian securities regulators

How to Start a Conversation About Elder Financial Abuse

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