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Delaying Decisions

Peter Katevatis - Jun 06, 2018
A typical first world problem that I often deal with is having too much stuff.  In my household, we try to be diligent by asking ourselves, “Do we really need this?!?” In the past, I have often found myself holding onto items for many years, u

A typical first world problem that I often deal with is having too much stuff.  In my household, we try to be diligent by asking ourselves, “Do we really need this?!?”

 

Not my actual workshop

 

In the past, I have often found myself holding onto items for many years, until there finally comes a situation in which that item becomes useful.  Here are the typical outcomes:

  • I can’t find it
  • It’s not the right fit/colour/type etc.
  • A new one would work much better

The answer to my problem is to de-clutter and do away with items that serve no immediate purpose.  However, as humans we often have irrational connections to inanimate objects. Often, even if an item fails the practical use test, I ask myself, “Do I love this?”  If the answer is yes, I keep it anyways.  If the answer is no, say goodbye.

 

By getting rid of clutter you feel better.  For example, a simple pile of magazines becomes a delayed decision of “I will sort it later”.  Once that pile of magazines gets added to 25 different things around the house you soon become depressed and over-burdened.  By making a decision NOW you will be happier.

 

The same situation can easily creep into an investment portfolio.  We buy companies on the expectation that they will appreciate, so we can sell them at a higher level in the future.  Some companies do just that and, unfortunately, some do not.  By selling the winning trades and keeping the losing ones, many investors find themselves with a “pack of losers” that leave them feeling frustrated.  In this situation, we rarely look at the overall historical return of the portfolio and stay focused on the current future.

 

It is important to go through a review of your holdings and identify which holdings are your proverbial clutter. If you don’t love it or use it, then lose it.  Delaying your decision would just add unnecessary length to your To-Do list and create much more stress than needed. 

 

If you want to act, act now.  If you don’t, move on.  Either way, do not delay your decision.