Investing is like Shopping…Kinda

A few years ago, I started building up my investment portfolio.  I started paying more attention to business news and the stock market – probably a little later than I should have.  My dad is in finance, but unlike my mom, who TRIED to get me interested in IT (didn’t work – if one can flunk computer camp, I was that person.  Of course, that was some 30 years ago.  I DID pick up on “computer languages,” but coding?  NOPE.  Not even for that data processing course in high school). 

After I got married, I realized that reading the business section, learning more about businesses and their value, and perhaps buying shares of public companies, is kind of like shopping.  Of course, it’s not something you can physically touch, but becoming more educated about it and deciding what may be a good nor not-so-good buy, is, to me, fairly similar.  Looking at various stocks makes one think “is it worth it in the long term?”  Perhaps even like trying something on in the fashion world or sampling something at the supermarket.  Sure, there’s quite a bit of impulse buying in the “real” shopping world – that’s why we have fashion.  But is fast fashion (or fast ANYTHING, for that matter) really a good thing to begin with? 

Of course, investing in the stock market – or even just reading about it – takes time to understand.  And a few years after I truly started getting into it, I’m still learning.  I’ve made mistakes – I bought RIM/Blackberry, only to watch it drop.  I really thought their tablet could take on the iPad (how dumb of me)!  At least I didn’t buy Twitter, unless you include a social media ETF (exchange-traded funds, investment funds traded on the market which holds the names of companies under a specific theme or area, such as social media or the top publicly traded companies in Japan).  In any case, thanks to a diverse portfolio, I didn’t lose too much at all.  Diversity is key.  And while I’m happy with what’s happening so far (it’s down as I write this, but still higher than the beginning of the year), on the short term, I’m a little worried at how quickly it’s been going up.  Of course, long term-wise, it’s only going to be better.  And when I mean long term, I mean REALLY long term.

Investing and reading business news has really kept me from impulse buying in the “real” shopping world – it’s allowing me to examine if something is TRULY worth it, especially in the long term.  Okay, I still have that lipgloss/lipstick addiction which probably stems from my hoarding of crayons and markers when I was a little girl, but at least I better understand what I think is better to get NOW – in other words, it’s something I feel will be good for me in the long term.  For the most part, anyway.


Image Credit: leungchopan/Shutterstock


About Cynthia Cheng Mintz

Cynthia Cheng Mintz is the founder and webitor-in-chief of this site and the petite-focused site, Shorty Stories. She has also written for other publications including the Toronto Star and has blogged for The Huffington Post. Her first novel, Aspirations, was published in 2007. Outside of writing, Cynthia researches and advises philanthropic ideas for family funds and foundations and also volunteers.

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