If you live in The States you’ve probably been to Costco. While the store is practically busting at the seams with stuff, Costco typically only carries about 4,000 unique products behind its walls. Your much smaller local grocery store, however, carries ten times that amount. So what’s the deal?
Costco understands psychology and the paradox of choice.
If you’re like me, you’ve gone to Costco to get a box of cereal and some chicken, but an hour later you walk out $200 poorer with a cart full of Paydays (best candy bar EVER), pretzels you didn’t even want, and a three-gallon tub of mayonnaise that will expire before you finish it.
I’ve blogged for over a year now about how I am going to start investing for the short term. Wanna know how much effort I’ve put towards said goal? Not one freakin’ ounce. I don’t consider myself a lazy person, but when it comes to investing outside of retirement, I shut down.
There are too many different avenues to explore. Which stocks, bonds, or mutual funds should I buy? Is real estate going to appreciate over the next 8 years? Should I invest in gold, silver, or other precious metals?
Instead of answer the questions above, I do nothing.
Research indicates 401k plans that offer dozens of different investment options, on average, have fewer people contributing to them than 401k plans with only a handful of choices.
I bet some of you are guilty of this in one way or another, aren’t you? Maybe you haven’t started paying down your debt aggressively because you feel like you don’t know where to start. Maybe you haven’t contributed a dime to retirement because you can’t figure out which fund you should buy. Maybe you changed your major in college 87 times because you kept re-discovering what you wanted to do with your life.
I’m sick of being paralyzed. I met with a Financial Planner over the weekend and I’m ready to punch my short-term investing goal in the face. It’s about freaking time.
Has the paradox of choice ever affected you? If so, in what ways?
p.s. I am working on getting a link to our TV interview from the producers for those that couldn’t catch it yesterday. As soon as I have that, I’ll post it up here and give you my two cents on the thing.