Attention Young Investors: Swing for the Fences

Have you ever wanted to start your own business? Have you ever wanted to try your own hand at investing in stocks and bonds? Do you want to go backpacking through Europe after you graduate college? Do you want to join the Peace Corps? The time to take these kinds of chances is when you are young.

You have very little real responsibilities and your entire life ahead of you if you need to recover from what turns out to be a mistake. Now is the time to swing for the fences with your life and investments.

Long Time Horizon

The beauty about being young is that you have a long time horizon to work with. If you are going to start a business that will ultimately fail (hopefully not, but you never know), you can recover from whatever mistakes you have made. If it is early enough in your working life, you can even recover from something as dramatic as a bankruptcy.

It would be better to make a mistake, try and fail when you are young rather than make an error close to retirement. How much risk is involved when you are starting a business at the age of forty when you have mouths to feed and people who look to you for support? Now, turn the tables. How easy is it to take that chance when you are young in your twenties?

Few Responsibilities

You may not have a family to support yet when you are young. You can safely swing for the fence without taking anyone else down with you if your venture does not work out. The responsibilities of families and other commitments are what keep a lot of older people from implementing their great ideas, goals and dreams. We are much more conservative when we are older and the dramatic and risky action needed for great ideas is not the thing for someone who has to be conservative.

Plenty Of Energy

Starting a business, inventing something, leaving your job or even taking a chance on an opportunity offered to you takes a lot of energy. It also takes a lot of guts too. Young people have both starting out. Maybe it is more innocence or ignorance than guts in some cases, but that is okay, too. Now is the time to take a chance that seems risky.

A Lot of Opportunities

There are so many opportunities available to a young person. The world is their oyster.

Robert Pagliarini lists ten different ways to become a creator of an idea, product or service in his book, The Other 8 Hours. If you look at the people living in the McMansions of the world, they are not the ones who skipped their morning lattes on the way to work or those who did not go out to lunch every day. Cutting costs out of your budget will only get you so far. Despite the many books and articles written on the subject, those cost-cutting ideas won’t make you rich. Only creating and owning something will get you there.

The time to try new things, make mistakes and learn is when you are young. You need to have a long time horizon available to you in case you fall down or fail. If you have enough time, you can recover from almost any mistake that you make. The real problem is that most people just do not try. Every young person should swing for the fence.