What To Do If You're Not Ready To Invest

To put yourself in position to invest successfully for life, Clean Up Your Defense + Experiment With Offense.

“Mike Tyson’s Punch-Trout!!”

“Mike Tyson’s Punch-Trout!!”

To Clean Up Your Defense:

  1. Make as much as you can while still feeling free (or caged, if that’s your thing),

  2. Spend as little as you can while still feeling comfortable (gash every expense that you don’t need or love—don’t read fifteen books on minimalism),

  3. Plow the profits from (1) and (2) into eradicating all high-interest debt (credit card debt is predatory lending and paying 23% interest is the financial equivalent of the greatest investors of all-time investing against you all the time), then crucially

  4. Build a $10,000 cash cushion (or more, until you get to a place where you feel newfound creativity and constantly calm).

Once you’ve got those pieces clicking, you will be perfectly positioned to take smart risks with staying power—to go fully on offense while maintaining your defense—and stocks become your strongest weapon as you keep this pace for the foreseeable.

The worst thing that can happen—and I hope you’re not just skimming this like some Lululemon email because this will cause you far more trauma than not investing in the first place—is buying stocks that you must sell before you calmly, clearly, want to. So until you’ve ticked those boxes, “Clean Up Your Defense” is The Main Thing.

“Bass-Energy Equivalence”

“Bass-Energy Equivalence”

However: if you truly want to learn investing, and if you agree with Albert Finstein that “the foundation of knowledge is not analysis, but experience,” then there is one piece of not-demanding side-work that you should try today.

Experiment With Offense:

  • Pick one company—any company you are experienced with in the past, addicted to in the present, and intrigued by for the future (your most-used app, your most-visited site, your most non-negotiable expense)—and buy 1 share of that company within the next half-hour.

  • You can do this on Robinhood (no minimum balance, no setup fee, no trading fee, slick setup experience, no incentive for me to recommend you this outside its being the best service of its kind right now) and only pay the price of 1 share out of pocket (less than $100, probably, unless you're investing in Amazon).

    • If you’re in Australia, check out Stake (to invest in US companies) and CommSec (to invest in local companies).

    • If you’re in New Zealand, check out Hatch (to invest in US companies) and Sharesies (to invest in local companies).

    • If you don’t like these options or live elsewhere, Google “best deep discount brokerage firms” and pick one via coin flip (don’t get lost deliberating).

  • If you can do this today, you will have months of experience by the time you're in position to get serious—and you will have demystified investing, which will no longer be this scary abstract thing that you are distantly preparing for. (For any skillset on the planet, remember: In 10 years’ time, you can have 10 years’ experience.)

  • If you can’t do this today, ask yourself: ”What is keeping me from buying 1 share of 1 company within the next half-hour?” and think hard on how you’ll conquer the one-word answer to that question.

In short: the fear, the inertia, and the debt will be dead, positioning you perfectly to invest successfully for life—if, and only if, you Clean Up Your Defense + Experiment With Offense.

“Man-of-War Dance”

“Man-of-War Dance”

One misperception that I see afflicting people—that I want to make sure isn't afflicting you—is that "everything" needs to be "perfect" before you can start.

Nonsensical perfectionism is the mother of self-sabotage. If you’re stuck and want my help—once your defense is clean (not before)—let me know and I am there.

-Cole

PS: If you have no idea what I’m talking about, here is a replay of the Your First Stock® presentation.

PPS: If you do know what I’m talking about, here’s an interview with a Finatic who started right where you are, then cleared a 150% return and made more than $200,000 during his first two years as an investor (with decades of Fat Fishing in front of him from here).