Investing Regrets & How To Avoid Them


In a recent online survey conducted by MagnifyMoney.com, people with investment accounts were asked about any regrets they had. It turns out that 77% did have a regret.

In this show we find out what those regrets are and talk about how to avoid them.

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Podcast Transcript

Daniel Wendol 0:00
In a recent online survey conducted by a group called MagnifyMoney, people with an investment account were asked about any investing regrets they had. It turns out that 77% did have a regret. That’s a big percentage. Let’s find out what those regrets are and how to avoid them.

Hello and welcome to another Dolphin Financial radio show with me Dan Wendol. Alongside me today is Tony Shore. Tony, we’re going to be talking about regrets. And you heard from my intro 77% of investors have regrets. Now before you break into your song and dance….

Tony Shore 1:15
Yeah, the first thing when you say regrets, I think we should play Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.” Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention. I did what I had to do, Dan.

Daniel Wendol 1:32
I’d say my goal as an investment advisor is to help people retire with increasing income and decreasing stress. I would make a point that regrets are a big cause of stress. So I don’t like to hear this. I don’t like hearing that so many people have these regrets.

Tony Shore 1:53
Well, and here’s the deal, Dan, you said the survey said 77% of Americans regret not investing earlier. And when it comes to not investing earlier once you reach a certain age, I think the number is a lot higher.

Daniel Wendol 2:07
Well, the title! I didn’t tell you that. You’re cheating. You ran ahead. I said they have regrets. Their biggest regret is, you said it, not investing earlier.

Tony Shore 2:21
Well, I think I think that number is probably even higher in reality. It’s like the song says regrets, I’ve had a few. Everybody has regrets about certain things. But I like your point. And I think this is an important point you’re making – regrets cause stress. If you regret doing something, and you remember what I told you when you first said, hey, here’s what I want to do the show on, regrets, I immediately responded with, you mean that feeling people get after they buy a boat?

Daniel Wendol 2:55
Buyers remorse!

Tony Shore 2:57
Buyers remorse or regret- same, you know? Yeah, it’s that feeling people get after they buy a boat. I’m gonna say after about three months of owning it. Some sooner.

Daniel Wendol 3:13
I have a friend that I could pick on right now, but I’m not going to call him out on it. He knows though he knows who he is.

Tony Shore 3:22
I know it’s it’s the oldest line in the book and everybody’s heard it but the two happiest days in a boat owners life are the day he buys it and the day he sells. So people have regrets about finances and about purchases. I know that.

Daniel Wendol 3:46
Before we get into the details of a let me make a point here that I had to dig deep into. This isn’t a scientific study. So you have to be careful with it because they’re trying to make a point which is you should invest. They asked people with investment accounts. So they didn’t ask the average Joe off the street. They asked someone that actually has an investment account. The survey was only investors. So we’re not talking to general public. We’re talking people that actually have money to invest. What are they regretting? And so then when they asked them, what was interesting is 77% said they have regrets. Two out of three said that regrets are inevitable. So, you’re going to have regrets when you’re investing. I thought that was interesting to note that two thirds of the people said, Yeah, you’re going to have regrets when you invest. It’s like buying a boat. Yeah, I kno I’m going to regret this, but I have to do it. So what are these regrets? Let’s look at this. And this is, like I said Magnify Money. You can read the study if you want. But the biggest regrets all surround one big word, which is procrastination, and not investing sooner.

Tony Shore 5:15
Oh, and we’ve talked about procrastination before on the show. Yeah. And you kept trying to put it off. But we eventually talked about.

Daniel Wendol 5:23
I think you used that joke when we did the show.

Tony Shore 5:25
I did. It’s probably the third or fourth time.

Daniel Wendol 5:31
Yeah, I’ve been meaning to have this conversation with you. But I haven’t I’ve been putting it off. So let’s look at the top three. The top number one, investing regret. So we’re not going to talk about boat ownership. We’re not going to talk about buying that fancy car, or taking that student loan out and getting a degree in something that’s irrelevant. We’re talking about investing regrets, and so on.

Tony Shore 5:55
How dare you bring up art majors? Oh, anyway, go ahead.

Daniel Wendol 5:59
Didn’t you say you’re doing daughter is or your niece or something is doing….

Tony Shore 6:03
Yeah, my nephew. He got a degree from a very expensive school in philosophy. And guess what job he go out of it?

Pottery Barn?

Pottery Barn. BINGO!

Daniel Wendol 6:21
Those are bigger regrets. Maybe we’ll do a show on those type. I think we did a show on those?

Tony Shore 6:27
Yeah, we probably did, but what are we talking about here? We’re not talking about buying boats or getting a degree in pottery or in philosophy. What are we talking?

Daniel Wendol 6:36
We’re talking about investing and what do they regret about investing. So the top and investing regret was not saving for retirement sooner. They asked these people, like 1000 people I think it was, and they gave them a list of all the regrets. So I don’t think these people were pulling them out of a hat. They were looking at a list and saying, yeah, check this one. Check this one. And check multiples. And the most common one checked was “not saving for retirement sooner”, followed by “not investing in stocks sooner.” And then the third one was “not purchasing a certain stock earlier.” So all three of those were procrastination issues.

Tony Shore 7:19
Right. And the older the people they talk to the more said they regretted it. So I think if you talk to 55+…everyone I talk to in that age category will say I regret not saving more in general. And if you ask my son, who’s 20, Do you regret not starting saving yet? No.

Daniel Wendol 7:50
You know what I found interesting in the survey, they said that it was across all generations, so 77% of millennials versus 76% of baby boomers. So the millennials regret it even more. And even 69% of Gen Z, what is Gen Z? Again? Gen Z is 18 to 22 year olds. How do you regret not doing something sooner at 18-22?

Tony Shore 8:26
Yeah, that’s my son. He he doesn’t necessarily regret it yet. Because he’s just at that point now. So I don’t know about the survey to be honest. I think the older people get, the more they realize that they should have…at least that’s the way it worked for me. If you asked me 10 years ago, I’d go Yeah, maybe. But if you ask me now and I’m like, oh man, definitely regret not saving more earlier.

Daniel Wendol 8:51
But when you get to be a Boomer. Okay, Boomer. When you get to be a Boomer, you’ve already bought the boat and sold the boat. So your like – you know what it can’t get much worse than that. Do I really care about investing? Eh. I’ve had worse.

Tony Shore 9:04
That’s true. You might have a good point there. Honestly, the apathy of “Yeah.”

Daniel Wendol 9:09
Of course, I regret that right@ But the Gen Z- So you’re talking these 20 year olds, right? You got to remember, they’ re asking people that actually own a investing account. How many 20 year olds do you know that have an investing account? Those people are more likely to say, Yeah, I wish I did this when I was 10 instead of buy that pack of gum. You know? Maybe that’s their philosophy there. They all have to do with not getting in sooner. Across all the ages. So I guess it doesn’t matter when you start, you’re going to regret not doing it sooner! Wow. That’s a big letdown.

Tony Shore 9:51
Wow. Yeah, it is. That’s surprising to me. Honestly. I mean everybody has regrets and it’s easy to say you wish you had more money now and it started saving earlier. Yeah, I think most people would say yes.

Daniel Wendol 10:05
Well, they did ask the older crowd, what would you say to younger Americans? For a majority, the big one was start saving now. Invest as soon as possible. That was the big take away. Thatt was by far the biggest. Some other ones they said were prioritized retirement savings. 20% said that. Diversify. 7% said that. Don’t invest based on emotions. 5% said that. We’ve had shows on that. But 61% said start as soon as possible. So that’s the message.

Tony Shore 10:45
Yep. That’s the majority of people. That’s the message they want to pass down to younger generations. That’s what I’m saying – they know. The Baby Boomers know. My parents regret not saving more for retirement right now, I’ll tell you that, because of all theier health care issues.

Daniel Wendol 11:01
“Mmy life’s gonna slow down I’m not going to need to spend as much.” But those older people, generations of people, they know the power of compounding interest. They’ve seen it. They’ve actually lived it. We’ve done shows where it says hey, if you invest at 20 versus 30 versus 40 versus 50…you could save a whole lot less in your 20s and come out ahead of the person saving a whole lot more in their 50s just because time is on your side.

Tony Shore 11:35
So that’s why we should invest now. That’s why invest while you’re young invest as soon as possible because of those compounding returns is what you’re saying.

Daniel Wendol 11:46
Yeah. Long term, that’s what you want to do. Now. I don’t know if you noticed this, Tony. There was a little dig at financial advisors in here. Let’s see if I can find it – “not using an investment advisor.” So not calling Dan or not working with Dolphin Financial Group. Only 7% had that regret. So it was low on the totem pole of regrets. It’s still there – not using investment advisor. What they suggested was that those that did actually hire and use an investment advisor, they had higher regrets than those that didn’t. So 59% of those that use an advisor said they wish they would have invested sooner whereas only 41% that didn’t use an investment advisor said they wish they would have done sooner.

Tony Shore 12:52
And that’s education. I mean, that’s what working with an advisor does, it educates you so you can see Wow, I really really could have, you know, this is what I’ve been missing out on. Whereas people who don’t work with a good financial advisor like yourself, sometimes they don’t realize how much they’re missing out, and what they’re doing to their financial picture. They will eventually. It catches up with you. But if people are already working with a financial advisor, they see it’s been laid out for them. You know, here’s what can happen, you know, here’s where you’re at. And here’s where you’ll need to be to to live comfortably in retirement or to have that money you want to leave, depending on their situation. So, I think that’s huge. But yeah, 3% of baby boomers would advise, would advise young people to hire a financial advisor in the survey. So that didn’t come up as much. But you know what, I think it’s just as important as anything else here. And I just read a recent survey that said those who work with financial advisors typically, on average, end up with 4% more. It was between three and five, it was closer to 4%. It can make a difference of 4% versus those who just work with a stockbroker or just invest in stocks or do it on their own. So there is a definite advantage of working with a financial advisor.

Daniel Wendol 14:26
I gave you the opportunity to throw me under the bus here and you didn’t. You didn’t take it! What is going on? Did you not drink your coffee today?

Tony Shore 14:34
No, I see that, oh, 3% of Baby Boomers said they’d advise people to work with with a financial advisor. But I’m, I’m saying when I see that 3% I’m like, hey, I want to at least increase my account by that much. And that’s after and that’s after any fees or costs involved. You can still see a 3% increase. So I think that’s really good and in some many cases more, it depends on your situation. And it depends on how soon you start working with an advisor. That survey was not people who started young. That was the average. I think people average start working with an advisor…In the youngest, most people start in their 40s or 50s. But, you know, I know there are exceptions. I know you work with some young people, you work with people who are already well into retirement, but the sooner you start, the better is the message here.

Daniel Wendol 15:27
It is the message. The idea that those that use an advisor have more regrets, you’re right, it’s education. Ignorance is bliss. You don’t realize what you’re missing so you don’t have regrets. But as soon as an advisor comes in, and says, Look what you been could have been doing all these years! I try not to beat up on people.

Tony Shore 15:45
You’re like, holy cow – if I if I had talked to you before I filed for Social Security over my lifetime, I could have had up to $100,000 more in retirement. That’s insane. And that’s a lot of money. I mean, that’s, that’s real money to you and I.

Daniel Wendol 16:02
And so the advice – start soon. Let’s talk about some tips. We’re not going to beat a dead horse because everyone, everyone’s saying this. Across all ages, everyone knows start sooner, but it’s easier said than done. It really is. Actually, it is pretty easy. And here’s the tip, you have to automate it. I’ve talked about this before. If you are 20 something…now my audience are closer to retirement. But you might have a kid or grandkids, get them to automate it. Have them take it from their paycheck. You know, they do the 401k matches. A lot of people do that. Get them to at least do what the matches. That’s just common sense. But why not just add more? If they get a raise, keep the salary the same, but just take whatever the bonus is and add it to your retirement so you don’t miss it. I find that people won’t miss it when they just have it automatically deducted from the paycheck. When you get a paycheck, you get $100 a day, in your pocket, you’re like, Oh, I got this hundred dollars spent. But if you only get $80 to spend and the other 20 goes in retirement, you’re like, Okay, I got $80 to spend, you don’t think, Oh man, I gotta get that out of my retirement and so forth. You just don’t think about it that way. So if you can automate it and increase your contribution in your automatic savings account through your employer, that’s the way to go. You might say, I don’t have an employer match. I don’t have a company that gives me anything. Well, then you can automate it yourself. Create an account online, where you have an investing account, like these people in the survey, and automate it, have it come 20 bucks a week out of your checking account. You can do that, right? And if you automate it, you won’t miss it. It’ll just be part of your life. And you’ll thank yourself later and then you’ll still say, I should have started sooner.

Tony Shore 18:07
Yep, I say that all the time. And I think most people do. But yeah, the tips on really how to do that how to start investing, how to make sure you’re saving for retirement and for later on in life. And, you know, you got to look long term. I mean, people have different things you want to save for that emergency fund. You have to do that. But this is long term saving where you really see it grow your earning interest on your interest on your interest on your interest. And you let that happen over time you start in your 20s. Wow. I mean, that’s huge.

Daniel Wendol 18:44
Yeah, it does compounding interest really helps. And I want to make one more point about the investment advisor- hiring a financial professional. When you’re young, I could see why people saying you don’t need investment advisor and I can get on that bandwagon because even though I’m an investment advisor, I think the financial advisor concept, what they’re offering, is skewed incorrectly. I think people think I’m going to hire an investment advisor, and they’re going to tell me how to invest my money. That’s not the way it is anymore. I mean, that’s the way it is for a lot of people and that’s the way people still see it. But that’s not what’s important. I don’t think you need to overthink this. As a 20, 30, even 40 year old, you don’t have to overthink how you’re investing. Because if you do overthink, you usually get in your own way. So if you’re one of these people that constantly are buying and selling and trading, overthinking, maybe hire an investment advisor to et them do it so that you don’t get in your own way. But if you’re just saving money in a 401k, you don’t need an investment advisor to tell you how to invest. What you want to hire the advisor for is where the real value is, and that’s in the financial planning part. That’s in the decision making. The big decisions. Investing is becoming commoditized Tony. Investment advisors of the past, and the stockbrokers, the people that say, let’s get the next hot stock tip, or let’s buy this mutual fund – they’re going away. They’re going away because it’s become so commoditize that you can get it real cheap. The money that you spend to hire an advisor should be used to value the things such as, should I buy this house? Should I rent? What should I do about student loans, my debts, credit management, just big life decisions. Yes, investing is part of that. How to invest and where to put your money as you get closer to retirement, that kind of thing, which is where I specialize. But the actual buying and selling of stocks or bonds or mutual funds, that’s not as important anymore, and I think people are realizing it. So if you’re going to hire an advisor, hire them not for that. Hire them to help you with the big financial planning decisions.

Tony Shore 21:03
Yeah, there you go. I think that’s great and good advice. Now, we’re almost out of time for today’s show. Dan, is there anything else you want to add? Before we go?

Daniel Wendol 21:12
Yeah, the key is to start early. Start early. Put as much as you can in. Buy cheap funds that are long term that follow the market. Don’t try and be a stock picker. Don’t try and time the market. Just invest for the long term, because that’s what’s going to help you in the end. If you start facing difficult financial decisions or start facing some new issues that you didn’t have to deal with before, that’s when you bring in the pro. The bottom line – don’t regret it. You’re going to regret it actually, let’s just say that we agree that you’re going to regret not saving early.

Tony Shore 21:44
Yes. Everyone’s going to regret it!

Daniel Wendol 21:47
I think the saying is the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is today. And that’s very cliche, but when it comes to this topic that we talked about today, that’s the way to do it. You can’t regret not planting the tree because it’s too late. And if you did plant a tree five years ago, you wish you would have done it 10 years ago. There is always going to be – you could have done it earlier. And one last point before we go, if you have grandkids and you’re thinking about saving for them, invest for them, open an account, put it in some stocks, put it in the s&p 500 and let it go. And just don’t think about it. Better than putting in the savings account.

Tony Shore 22:32
Or a CD these days.

Daniel Wendol 22:36
Thanks, Tony. Thanks. You for not throwing me under the bus, You had an opportunity. I was going to shoot you down. I had my defense ready. But you just went on my side. Thank you for being nice today!

Thanks for listening to Dolphin Financial Radio based in the Clearwater, Tampa area.