FOMO (“fear of missing out”) is often cited as one of the causes of distress in the social media age. Social media is so immediate – we can see our friends having a great time with somebody else; and in the pre-COVID days (remember them?), we could see groups of friends meeting up and enjoying themselves. Some cyclists even looked on enviously through social media at their semi-retired friends out enjoying a ride in the sunshine and a coffee, whilst they were working… FOMO has always been there, but social media has made it more immediate.
If you’re not there, the fun you are missing out on seems so much better. When I’m looking at my friends’ midweek rides, I don’t think that there could have been punctures, a headwind in every direction, or, even, no cake at the coffee shop. All I see is the photo of the smiling faces and the great route.
Now let me introduce you to investment FOMO. Again, it’s not a new thing, but social media has made it more immediate and increased its impact. Fraudsters are also turning it to their advantage.
At the moment the investment fun you might feel you are missing out on is, probably, Bitcoin, but it could be equally be Tesla shares or any other idea. A quick click on social media will tell you how everyone else is making huge profits, as the price increases every day. You might wonder why you weren’t invited to the Bitcoin party and whether you should just join in now anyway.
I’m not going to talk about Bitcoin here – you probably already know that I’m not a fan. But I’m sure that when the Bitcoin party is over, there will be another fad we’ll feel we are missing out on.
Whilst social FOMO might just be a distraction, investment FOMO can be ruinous. Your retirement plan can be knocked off track by chasing the latest investment fad, and, in the current environment, investment FOMO can take you down a direct path to a scammer.
Help is here though! Our job is to sort the investment wheat from the chaff, and we spend our time looking at investment opportunities for our clients. It’s rare to find anything new in the world of investments.
If you feel like you are missing out on an investment party, do give us a call. It’s likely that we’ll tell you that you were better to stay at home with your familiar old retirement plan.
Philip Wise | firstname.lastname@example.org
Managing Director and Chartered Financial Planner