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Handling FOMO

Jonathan Pond, writing for Ponderings:

FOMO – fear of missing out – is a very real phenomenon that has been the subject of considerable research. FOMO is becoming even more acute thanks to social media and the speed with which information becomes disseminated. You hear about someone’s financial success or a big increase in the stock market and worry that you’re being left behind. This can lead to bad or at least ill-timed decisions. The same can be said for FOMO in declining markets where an investor may lament missing the opportunity to get out of bad investments before they plummeted.

Like most good habits, inoculating yourself against FOMO takes discipline. The day-to-day vacillations in the investment markets and the feelings of envy of those who apparently benefited mightily from some investments are going to get in the way of your otherwise sensible approach to your own financial life. Sure, some stock sectors or individual stocks hit it big in a single day, but these are the ones that usually lose as much or more soon thereafter. Who cares about the big winners, anyway? If you maintain a consistent approach to your investing and are prudent in your financial life, you’re almost bound to eventually be a big winner, leaving those afflicted with FOMO in the dust.

While Mr. Pond may have been referring more to the stock market in this instance, I thought the timing was still great for this time of year, as we’re inundated with ads, emails and the like telling us “only 11 hours left for the greatest deal ever” or “such and such TV is on sale even though you just bought one last year,” etc.

With that, how have you managed to avoid FOMO this holiday season or in general? Feel free to leave a comment below!

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