What are you missing out on? Not as much as you think.
But in our hyper-connected world with its 24/7 news cycle, the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) has made many people focus more on what they’re not doing than on what they are doing.
That FOMO can lead to bad decisions and missed opportunities to improve Return on Life.
Here are three ways FOMO can distort your perspective on what’s important.
Losing perspective on your portfolio
Most investors who build wealth through the markets do so by investing in a balanced, diversified financial plan.
That might not sound as exciting as jumping on the latest social media investment craze. But over time, this tried-and-true strategy is a lot more reliable than trying to take shortcuts.
For example, the “meme stock” craze boosted shares of GameStop in 2021, which came crashing back down to earth in 2022.
And while all shares experience ups and downs, many suffering from FOMO “bought high” right before the meme stock bubble burst or overinvested in these trendy stocks instead of diversifying into traditional investment portfolios.
Will some of these FOMO investments rebound and turn profits over time? Maybe.
But if you treat investing like a slot machine, you may “miss out” on the ability to build a strong foundation for long-term financial growth.
Losing perspective on your time
According to Statista, in 2022, the average person spent 147 minutes per day on social media.
Some of that time spent online educates us about what’s happening in the world, connects us with friends and family, and brings an extra smile to our coffee breaks.
But many of those 147 minutes are spent watching others do things we’re not doing.
Not surprisingly, more and more scientific studies are finding a link between high social media use and FOMO.
And when we’re looking at exquisite snapshots of meals we can’t afford, or tropical holidays we can’t find time for, that can lead to feelings of low self-worth and even depression.
Rather than worry about what everyone else is doing, it might be worth reexamining your daily timetable to make sure you’re spending time on the things most important to you.
If you’ve always hated running, training for a half-marathon just because your friends are will only make you — and them — miserable.
Instead, consider unplugging at the beginning or end of every day to do something you love, whether half an hour of yoga or reading an extra bedtime story to your children.
Using your time your way will be much more fulfilling than eating food you don’t like, planning for a trip you don’t feel like taking, or buying a boat you’ll never take out enough (observe any local marina if you don’t believe me).
Losing perspective on Return on Life
As we age, FOMO can take on some complicated new dimensions.
Seeing colleagues promoted ahead of you might make you worry that you’ve peaked in your career.
Market fluctuations and global economic challenges might make you worry about your retirement security.
Packing your kids off to boarding school or university in the UK might make you worry about missing out on their lives.
But don’t despair
Acknowledging, planning for, and celebrating all the important moments in your life is an essential part of our Financial Planning Process.
Reflecting on your crossed milestones should fill you with pride and gratitude.
Hopefully, those feelings can help you stay focused on the personal goals you’ve plotted for the future and the financial plan we’re working on together that will help you achieve them.