Tis the season for holiday gatherings, cocktail parties, and a whole lot of conversation. For many, it’s a joyous time to gather with the ones we love, share stories and catch-up. For some, however, that sparkling conversation can quickly sour as FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) creeps in.
Often felt like a wave of anxiety, or fear of being left out, when you hear about someone else’s good fortune, FOMO is the brain’s emotional response to the belief that important opportunities are being missed or other people are living better, more satisfying, lives. FOMO is often associated with tangible items and life experiences, but did you know that it can also apply to your financial life? Read on to learn what Financial FOMO is and ways to better manage your need to keep up, financially, with the Joneses.
What is Financial FOMO?
Financial FOMO is the anxiety that you’re missing out on potentially lucrative financial opportunities. It’s that nagging feeling that everyone else is making smarter financial choices while you’re left out in the cold. It’s seeing a friend’s retirement account skyrocket and wondering why you didn’t invest sooner or hearing about a hot stock tip after it’s too late. Financial FOMO can be driven by news headlines, social media, or simply by seeing others around you making successful financial moves.
The downfall with Financial FOMO is that it often leads to impulsive and irrational decision-making, which may result in significant financial loss. You might be tempted to jump into investments without proper research or take on more risk than your financial situation can afford. Those who suffer from Financial FOMO may also experience stress, anxiety, depression, and other negative feelings that can interfere with their ability to make rational, financial decisions.
Ways to Help Manage Financial FOMO
Good news… With a little practice, the below pointers, and an ability to be aware of your emotions (understanding where they come from and how they affect your financial decision making), you can help effectively manage your Financial FOMO.
1. Embrace your unique financial journey:
It’s important to realize that your financial path is yours alone. Embrace it and remember that comparing your journey to others’ can be misleading and counterproductive.
2. Build a Support System:
Surround yourself with a network of professionals, i.e., wealth advisor, accountant, attorney, and insurance broker, who can provide you with objective advice. For example, an experienced wealth advisor can provide the guidance and support you need to make informed financial decisions, develop a long-term investment strategy, and avoid the pitfalls of Financial FOMO
3. Implement a comprehensive financial plan:
Make sure that you have a sound financial plan in place that considers your unique long-term goals and risk tolerance. This can help you avoid making decisions based on short-term market trends or hype.
4. Ignore the noise:
Avoid the temptation to frequently check your investment portfolio, newsfeed, or market trends, and remember you have a long-term plan in place. The potential for anxiety and depression is reduced by limiting these activities
5. Focus on the positive:
Focus on your financial achievements rather than comparing your financial situation to others.
6. Take a time out:
When in doubt, take a time out! If you feel the desire to make a hasty financial decision, give yourself a day or two to consider it and speak with your support system.
Importantly, remember that you’re not alone! Financial FOMO is a natural human emotion felt by many that may worsen during the holiday season as we socialize more with family, friends, and colleagues. While you can’t simply ignore the success stories that surround you, you can take steps to be aware of your emotions and connect with the right people to help you make informed, financial decisions that align with your specific goals. Don’t forget! One size does not fit all. Every investor’s journey is different, and what matters most is finding the path that’s right for you.
With the right mindset and a little help, you can turn Financial FOMO into a positive force for your financial wellbeing. WARNING: Side effects may include a more enjoyable cocktail party season. Happy Holidays!
Data Source: RBC (The impact of FOMO on Financial Decisions, 8/1/23), WhatIs.com (FOMO-Fear of Missing Out by Kate Brush), Anxiety & Depression Association of America (10 Tips To Minimize Holiday Season FOMO, by Debra Kissen, PhD, MHSA, 12/15/22), and what’s up moms (FOMO La-la-la: How I Deal With Holiday Season-Envy, by Alice Leiter, 12/1/21). This blog was written with the assistance of Artificial Intelligence, specifically Chat GPT and Jasper. Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock.
LS Investment Advisors, LLC (dba LSIA) is a registered investment adviser. The information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.