The Cost of Delay

User Written by Adam Kemp on October 09, 2015.

The Cost of Delay

For many of us, it’s human nature to delay.

With some tasks in our lives, we procrastinate and delegate some responsibilities to the’ back burner’. It is there where they can simmer away for quite some time. Once in a while, they may nag us but we have just enough procrastination power within to leave them be, assuring ourselves that ‘one day’ we will get to them.

Why do we delay? Is it because we are too busy? Is it due to a lack of motivation? Is it simply out of fear and that if we don’t address the issue at hand, we don’t have to face that fear.

One area where this delay may substantially cost us is in the realm of retirement planning and investment savings. Throughout my professional and personal life, I’ve met many people who know they should invest and who are even quite keen about the idea of investing. When push comes to shove, nonetheless, they have not taken those first steps.

They rationalise:

  • “I know I should invest, but I want to buy this car/TV/vacation/etc first”; or
  • “I’m thinking of starting an investment plan, but it’s just not the right time”; or
  • “I’m will invest soon, but I want to completely pay of this loan first” – having not compared the cost of the borrowed money versus the potential growth of an investment.

The excuses are endless and the above is not an exhaustive list. Others could include not having enough time to research a particular investment, not knowing where to start, not trusting an investment professional and so it goes on.

To their personal psyche, these may seem to be valid excuses. The sad reality is that they mostly are not and, underneath it all, it appears that fear might be a riding factor. The potential investor feels:

  • Unwilling to face the surprise of the required lump sum necessary at retirement to meet their expectations in their golden years.
  • The equate it to speculative risk, like gambling, and if they make the wrong investment selection they could lose their contributions which they’ve worked so hard to save
  • The fear from the media sensationalizing market movements from the recent volatility in the Chinese investment markets to the Grexit and the instability in those countries.

The fact is that no matter what the excuse, the more time these people spend procrastinating and are consequently sitting on the sidelines of the investment market, the larger the opportunity cost grows.

The cost of inaction can easily be quantified in dollar terms:

The cost of delay

It is true what they say, ‘time is money’ and that you ‘can’t wind back the clock’. With this, when the topic of investing comes up I urge my clients, friends and family members to do something, anything, and do it now. By waiting they are only sacrificing the opportunity to take advantage of investing and the benefits it has to offer.

Stop procrastinating today. Make an appointment that can get your savings on track and help you take financial control over your life. Get in touch through email at There is no charge or obligation for an initial consultation.

Adam Kemp

Adam Kemp

Posted on October 09, 2015 in Financial Planning.