My Biggest Investment Mistake (Lately)

No, it’s not picking the wrong stock to invest in. (Although I’ve done that too.) My biggest investment mistake lately is that I’m not really following my plan. I was supposed to be contributing $416.67 each month to my IRA, but that hasn’t been happening. Instead, my investing plan has been running in slo-mo.

Of course the portion that IS working is the part that happens automatically — my 401(k) contributions are humming along like clockwork. That’s what happens when money comes out of my paycheck without any additional work from me.

Maybe I ought to automate my regular investing as well. I added a recurring event to my Google calendar to remind me to send in money each month to my IRA, so in theory that should be enough. In reality though, when the event arrives I realize that I don’t have the money to invest unless I take it out of savings.

I’ve fallen behind because I have been on such a spending kick.

I’m not just buying things willy-nilly though — most of the money I’ve been spending has gone to a course that’s helping me out. Still, it’ll be nice when I get back on track.

The thing with priorities is, they have to stay the priority in order to be effective. I need to do my investing first.


  • I find it helpful to just go ahead and do my full contribution at one time that way I can buy my investment’s and the transaction fees are less. Lately, I have started putting my Roth IRA funds in a investment fund so I can buy stocks at the right time. So, my contribution for 2010 is sitting in an account all invested so I can just roll into over to the Roth IRA in January.

  • I would like to do that too — put it all in the account at once and then buy monthly or on some other pre-determined schedule, but I’m not there yet with having a $5k lump sum like that. Someday though!