Broker Check

Fear of Missing Out

July 28, 2022

                “Fear-of-missing-out is more powerful than the fear of losing.” – Unknown

                It has been more than fourteen years since the Great Recession, and while the impacts of that historical event are slowly fading away, the behaviors that caused it are still prevalent in our society. It is interesting, for instance, that right before that market meltdown, there were people of all ages who owned three or more properties and had mortgages that were 110% financed (because “the market will never go down!”) The fear of missing out on a bull run is always fascinating. This month we will explore how people are influenced by society, how they tend to react, and how we can fix our relationship with this causality.  

                In the book, Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior, author Jonah Berger discusses how we are all influenced by the people around us and how many of our actions are driven by a need to conform. While conforming isn’t necessarily bad, it does become an issue when it’s the result of a fear of missing out. There are countless historical events that have compelled people to follow others to placate their fear of missing out on an opportunity.

                 People are frequently motivated to act based on a fear of missing out when there’s a potential opportunity to grow their wealth. In this case, a tale of fortune beyond the realm of reality is spun up to illicit the masses to follow in anticipation of their own fortuitous fate. Everyone overlooks how many people have actually made vast riches (in the case of bitcoin, for example, there are 100,000 people who invested over $1M – or a mere .0013% of the world population, per the website below), and with reality set aside, they dive headfirst into fantasy. We are driven by the opportunity to succeed beyond the reality of our own life.

                Obviously, this undercurrent of pressure to avoid missing out is beyond our control. Or is it? In response, the best habit you can form is one of discipline and patience. Because, in reality, while there are an infinite number of ways to build up a fortune, almost all of them take consistent self-restraint and endurance. Beyond winning the lottery, other popular vehicles we can use are real estate or stocks – especially if you have a plan of action and stick to your routine. Adhering to a long-term plan of investing creates a strategy to put you in a place of building great wealth without any fear of missing out.

                Being afraid of missing out on wealth drives many poor decisions. It can be difficult to ignore the influence of those around us and our desire to conform. Hence, the opportunity to grow our wealth beyond our current position can compel us to ignore reason. As we discussed, it is best to have discipline and patience instead while following a long-term plan designed to create wealth. The journey of life is always one of chaos and uncertainty, but with a plan you can at least test your assumptions and have a sense of confidence knowing that you aren’t missing out but rather heading towards a predetermined outcome.

                “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments.” – Jim Rohn



CA Insurance License #0E47827

Peter T. Waldron is a registered representative of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. Securities offered through Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., a broker-dealer (member SIPC).  Investment advisory services offered through Sagemark Consulting, a division of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., a registered investment advisor.  Insurance offered through Lincoln Marketing and Insurance Agency, LLC and Lincoln Associates Insurance Agency, Inc. and other fine companies.  Waldron Partners is not an affiliate of Lincoln Financial Advisors.  Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. and its representatives do not provide legal or tax advice. You may want to consult a legal or tax advisor regarding any legal or tax information as it relates to your personal circumstances.

References: – Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior, Jonah Berger