It’s no secret that I’m a huge Zombie fan. I love the movies and TV shows, including The Walking Dead. I’m already having ZWS (Zombie Withdrawal Syndrome) now that season two of The Walking Dead has ended. In my previous post, 5 Reasons to Do Financial Planning…Even During A Zombie Apocalypse, I discussed the merits of financial planning no matter what the situation.
On my way to an appointment recently, I was driving through the University of Kentucky campus. I couldn’t help but notice, as the students crossed at the four way stop and waited for campus buses, that they appreared…well, mindless. Tinkering with music, thinking deeply about their futures and playing with their iPhones, they looked like Zombies! So that gave me an idea to write about. It occurred to me that some investors are much the same way. Going about their futures mindlessly and ignoring their portfolios. You didn’t think I was going to write just one blog article about zombies did you?
Here are the 3 Zombie Investor Symptoms to Avoid
Basic brain function. It’s a know fact that Zombies aren’t very smart. In fact, they’re stupid. It’s not their fault. They were infected by a serious virus outbreak that caused severe brain damage. As investors, we can get into a brainless mode too. I’m not saying investors are stupid, quite the contrary, they are really smart. However, complacency can sink in and we tend to leave a portfolio unattended. Not making corrections or rebalancing when necessary. As an investor, you not only need to get interest on your portfolio, but you need to get interested in your portfolio. If you don’t, no one else will.
One track mind. Zombies also have a one track mind – eating human flesh. I know most of you reading this are not going to go out and order a Human Happy Meal. What I mean by having a one track mind is that Zombies think about this one thing all the time. Some investors will tend to obsess over a loss in a single stock or their entire portfolio. This kind of behavior can be detrimental to your financial planning. Emotion will not allow you to move on and make money in your brokerage accounts for fear of a future loss. Having this symptom can be deadly to your portfolio.
Easily Distracted. It’s also a well-known fact that Zombies are easily distracted. Loud noises and light will cause the Walking Dead to stop what they are doing and make a bee line to the distraction. Investors can be distracted by noise too. I’m not talking about car theft devices or flashlights, but noise in the media. Headlines on TV and newspapers are enough to make even the most disciplined investor feel uneasy. Ignoring the media will help you go a long way in becoming a better investor. Dale Carnegie said in his book, “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living”, that 95% of what we worry about never happens.
All joking aside, it is very important to spend some time reviewing your portfolio with your financial advisor. Emotions and the media can influence even a disciplined investor to second guess his or her decisisons. If you would like a review of your portfolio, or just a second opinion, write me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (859) 225-2596, before your symptoms kick in.