Invest Before You’re Ready


In reality, no one from the self-proclaimed experts really knows what will happen in the future. So, better start before you’re ready, and embrace the mindset ‘let’s just see what happens’.


We all know people who are highly motivated to learn. They invest their time and money in attending seminars and buy the latest books on self-help investment and personal development.

But ask them what they have done so far with their learnings. Their blank facial expression would immediately tell you there’s none. Their usual excuse is they don’t want to mess with what they want and it’s better to study further before moving.

I’m not saying it’s not good to study or research on things we are going to embark on, but many people miss the boat by over-analyzing the particulars of things they will venture in.

Of course, having the right financial education will tell us what is legit from scam investment, but being educated and well-informed will not eliminate the inherent risk of any investment you will get into. As Casey Neistat said, “Life shrinks and expands in direct proportion to your willingness to assume risks.”

I started investing in the stock market in 2009. It was during the end stage of the global financial crisis. Many people laughed at me for they know the market at that time was almost useless. True enough, it was like an endless bloody experience. Whenever I check my account, everything was in red.

But I kept putting money each month into my account. I was having the same thinking as the people who were trapped by the crisis that it is a long-term investment. What’s funny with most traders I knew is that they view themselves as short-term traders. But once they are trapped, they will use the long-term view as their excuse.

I viewed myself at the beginning as a failure in my investing strategy. Little did I know that a spectacular failure is the secret ingredient to my ultimate success. Most beginners invested terribly. That’s okay. Their subsequent experience will get a little better if they bother to stay in the market.

When I’m fail on my strategy, I never give up. Instead, I take a long look and review how I’ve been doing things. It turns out that I was buying base on the wrong analysis. I humbled and studied more of fundamental analysis and tried to separate my emotion and ego while doing my investing. Yes, I am studying but I never stop investing.

On the early years, I thought the only thing I needed to be good at was investing. If I could pick a winning stock, everything would fall into place. Then I learned the basics of investing. Being a registered financial planner helped me realized just how many more skills and knowledge I needed to master, like protection planning, risk management, behavioral finance, time value of money, taxation, and many other things. My advice to beginners is to just start. More will be revealed to you as you go along the way. And this will happen only if you actually dive into the world of finance.

Enrollment is coming. Many toddlers will turn from kindergarten to grade 1. I remember how afraid I was when I first step into my grade 1 class. I believe all of us experience that kind of fear. Our parents did the right thing by allowing us to overcome that fear by enrolling us even before we are emotionally ready.

Maybe it’s true that being “ready” is a myth. Most people think there’s going to be a perfect timing in investing, a time when they will buy a real bottom price, and really strike a good deal that will lead to great fortune. But this is just an illusion, a good excuse of not starting now.

In reality, no one from the self-proclaimed experts really knows what will happen in the future. So, better start before you’re ready, and embrace the mindset ‘let’s just see what happens’.

There are people we think are experts. This is true not only in investing and money but in all areas of personal growth and development. Remember that even how good they may appear, they can all still be wrong. In my latest book, Life Begins, I wrote: A long time ago, I learned that there is nothing permanent in this world. Even the greatest invention and innovations are nothing but a temporary solution. We must be ready for any change that life will bring us. What is true today might be a sin tomorrow, no right explanation will hold forever. The moment you understand that life is a continuous seeking—seeking and heading to the right direction, that the best answer begs more questions — that is the time you will understand that every day.

I hope you will be able to read my latest book and learn not only about money but the lessons in life that helped me to become successful.

Capt. Christopher G. Cervantes is a registered financial planner of RFP Philippines. He is a seafarer for more than 15 years and author of the best-selling book Financial Planning for the Fast Changing World.


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