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Overcoming Emotional Investing Barriers

This image of an athlete jumping over a hurdle on an outdoor track represents common investing barriers that can act as obstacles on our investor journeys, but there are ways to overcome them and continue on the road to becoming a confident and informed investor.
Learn about ways you could overcome common emotional barriers to investing.

Emotions can affect how we approach our finances.

If topics like investing your money make you nervous or uncomfortable, you might find it more challenging to plan for your financial future.

Nevertheless, you can tackle emotional hurdles with the right tools and resources. Keep reading to learn about common barriers, and how to overcome them.

Feeling Overwhelmed

Feeling overwhelmed by investing information can cause people to put off making decisions. There is a lot of information, and it can be overwhelming to sift through if finances isn’t your thing.

We created Get Started with Investing for this reason! This plain language video-based resource provides unbiased and independent investing information. It can help you cover the basics and learn about common terms and strategies so that you can start your investing journey on the right foot.

You can also find more information in our Investing 101 section where you can learn about common investment types and the basics of buying and selling investments.

Feeling Anxious About Investing

Do your palms get sweaty when you think about investing? Feeling anxious about investing may prevent you from considering it as an option to reach your financial goals. There may be various factors that lead to anxiety, including the following:

  • Concerns about the risks associated with investing. Investing comes with risk, and it can be unsettling to know that you could lose money in investments. Understanding risk and determining your risk tolerance can help ease anxiety around investing. We all have different levels of risk tolerance according to our unique financial situations and our personalities. It’s important to make investment decisions accordingly.
  • Family or peer pressure to invest. It can be intimidating if a friend or family member is suggesting you get in on an investment or telling you to how to manage your money. Take your time to research the opportunity, or reach out to a registered investment professional for independent advice. Feeling pressured to buy an investment could also be a sign of investment fraud. Remember, you should never feel pressured to invest.

Feeling Uncomfortable About Investing

Do you tend to push the topic aside or avoid investing conversations?

It’s common to feel uncomfortable about investing if you don’t know whether it’s the right option for you.

A good way to tackle this emotional barrier is by learning about your financial self. A key component of knowing your finances is evaluating your current financial situation. You can do this by determining your:

  • Income
  • Current expenses
  • Debts you owe
  • Ability to save

After re-familiarizing yourself with your financial position, you might learn that investing is not the best option for you right now; it may be better to pay down high-interest debt like credit cards, or establish an emergency savings fund. Or, you may decide that you’re ready to start investing. Either way, understanding your financial self will help you set more specific and more realistic money goals.

Feeling Intimidated by Investing

Investing can feel intimidating if you see it as only for people with a lot of money, or for those who seem to have expert knowledge.

You can start demystifying investing by familiarizing yourself with some common investment terminology. Our glossary can help you navigate hundreds of commonly used terms.

It’s also important to know, that you don’t need a large sum of money to get started with investing. You could look into opening investment accounts like a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) or a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA).

Seeking professional advice can also help strip away some of the intimidation around investing. A registered investment advisor can help guide you through options, and create a suitable investment plan tailored to your goals and risk tolerance. Having someone in your corner can help you build the confidence and knowledge you need to become an empowered investor.

Before working with any investment advisor, you should run a background check and conduct a formal interview.

Report a Concern

If you have any concerns about a person or company offering an investment opportunity, please contact BCSC Contact Centre 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.

InvestRight.org is the BC Securities Commission’s investor education website. Subscribe to receive email updates from BCSC InvestRight.

More Resources

Get Started with Investing: The Basics

Get Started with Investing: The Basics

Kick off your investor journey by learning basic investing terms and topics. These videos can help you understand differences between saving and investing, how common investment accounts work, what it means to be a passive versus an active investor, and more.

Read More

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Test Your Crypto Asset Knowledge.

This quiz is designed to introduce you to the basics of crypto assets. It is not intended to provide investment or financial advice, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for such advice.

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain are the same thing.