What Is The Biggest Investing Mistake You Will Never Make Again?

What is the biggest, or most regrettable, investing mistake you will never make again?
Either something that you had done (or not done), or wished you had done (or not done).

This is not to humiliate anyone.
But I would like to (try to) avoid getting myself into unnecessary investment pain.
And perhaps reading mistakes that other people have made might be really helpful.
It might help other people in the group as well.

Thank you very much for sharing.


      • It still hurts!!

  • Don’t invest in a company solely to catch a falling knife. (I.e. on sale)

  • +1

    There is no such thing as a mistake really if you learn from it.

    Take crypto for instance. A lot of people, myself included, didn't pay it much attention back in the day. If we had a crystal ball we would all be millionaires.

    So fast forward to present times, invest a small amount (relative to you personal assets) and place in the bottom draw. No harm done, upside clearly worth a punt.

    Also make it a habit to list your 'mistakes' and then list how to overcome them. This simple strategy has really helped me in my life.

    I always found i would procrastinate or concentrate on the what ifs not on the tangible problems in front of me.

    There is something concrete about writing this out methodically that really helps you learn.

    • concrete advice !

    • "Crypto" is an asset class, however. There's a lot of coins that make up crypto - unless your crystal ball told you specific ones to buy, how do you know you didn't buy any of the many that went to $0? Related question: which of the 1000's of coins available go into the bottom draw on a punt today to avoid this same issue.

      That's the thing with crystal balls, they only work if you can actually see into the future.

      • +1

        I would stick to Bitcoin. It’s speculative enough without investing in the latest dog coin lol

  • +13

    2011 - Friend suggested me to buy bitcoin worth of $5K and I laughed at him loud and purchased hyosung bike. I still hear the echo of my laugh every night.

    • I feel your pain

    • +1

      Were you the guy on performance forums?

      I remember a guy there got inheritance and asked where to invest, of course the inevitable “buy coke in bulk and resell” comments were thrown around. Then someone popped up saying that he should buy Bitcoin. It had gone from $9 to $20 in 3 weeks.
      Of course everyone laughed at how stupid that idea was..

      • Nope, didn't even care to ask for suggestions at that time.

  • +7

    Investing in the trash ASX for 5 years.

    All liquidated now and very happy.

    Other investments are going to the moon. Wish I broke free sooner but better late than never.

  • +7

    Bought a number of back-of-supermarket-receipt ads for my business. I figured if I got a response rate of about one in one thousand I'd make good money out of it, one in five thousand I'd draw even within a year or so. I got a response rate higher than one in ten thousand. Took me about 5+ years to recoup the cost through the two customers it got me.

    • what was the business/service?

  • +3

    Discovering Ozbargain

    • lol

  • Selling 1.42BTC and 325,000 Doge years ago for a tidy profit, only to realise It could have been so, soo much more. Not really a lesson to be learnt, you just don't know how these things go.

    • did you buy in again after?

  • +4

    Buy high sell low.

  • +2

    Planting an avo tree in my investment property

    Edit: meh too slow for the joke. :D

  • +1
    1. Buying a house in McKay
    2. Buying shares in myer
    • Ooof that's a lot of red candlesticks for a 5 year trend.

      I had no idea they got dunked so badly considering DJS has pretty much the same target market and has trended the opposite direction.

      • David Jones is high end in general, product range and brands to even their store fit out. MYER is slightly better than target with some luxury beauty products.

  • Believing advice on internet forums

  • +4

    investing in myself getting bachelor degree, higher education etc when I could have done better being a tradie

    • +2

      I have the same thoughts too.

      • +1

        Add me to that list 😕

    • +3

      Deep into middle age, I switched from project management to a trade. After training for 18 months at $100K, I'm now on $200K and show up for work five hours a day.

      I spent so long and so much money on so many useless university degrees. What a fool.

      • What is the trade? 18 months training with apprenticeship is quite fast.

        • +4

          Apologies: 'trade' implied a formal apprenticeship rather than a cert IV, which is what I earned.

          I operate heavy machinery at a logistics facility. 2.5 hours on, 2 hours off, 2.5 hours on, go home. (That's an average; it can be a little busier or a little slacker.) My work phone goes dark the moment I clock off and absolutely nobody cares. There are no emails or performance reviews or promotions to compete for. Most of the managers don't even know my name.

          The only downside is that my faculties likely won't be sharp enough to continue the job into my 60s. When things go wrong, which they very occasionally do, you need eyes at the back of your head and some Keanu Reaves-level perception.

          I can't believe I spent two decades hurling myself into the corporate abyss every morning, clawing with other peons for the crumbs that floated down from partners and senior management. What a scam that was.

          • @john71: can you advice on where to look into this a bit further? and how to get formal apprenticeships?

          • @john71: Interested in a formal apprenticeship also. Could you share where one should go to look for one? Middle aged and feeling stuck in my current corp job. much appriciated

      • [Same as above]

    • +2

      Being a tradie is great when you're young and full of energy - not so much fun a few decades later.
      People who invest in the grey matter and start off in lower paid desk work can still show up to the office when they're 60.

      It's all about tradeoffs.

  • +5

    Never buy / grow avocado tree on investment property

  • +1

    Neglecting my Super in my 20s and 30s.

    • What else can we do to not neglect it? I don’t think contributing to it is priority over buying a house to live in right?

  • Trying to pick stocks following advice from friends and internet, much better to diversify with index funds

  • -2

    Staying here.

  • +3


  • I invested in a salad tosser once; turned out to be a better nut cracker come occasional meat beater - an overall money eater, could never please her.

  • +1

    Under estimating crypto and not do sufficient research on it earlier.

    • -4

      researching crypto is the worst thing you can do because its value is 99% speculative. Going in dumb is the best way to get rich on that stuff.

  • Pets.com

  • +1

    Not too sure if this comment is relevant but I did have a good lesson out of a recent stock purchase.

    Purchased a stock which was very one dimentional (basically had 1 main product).

    In hindsight I put too much weight on the numbers and disregarded the market conditions, especially following COVID. The loss was significant (35% loss) which could have been avoided if I bit the bullet and accepted the struggles the business was going through. A clear case of the disposition effect.

    Other than that, a big 'investment mistake' would be doing a conventional course at university. I was lazy and wanted to just get a simple degree (i.e., the graduation paper) and not really 'learn' any skills. I never understood my peers who were always so keen on learning, but now I see they were the wise and earnest people and probably (hopefully) doing working/running a business that they love today.

    This would have saved me a lot of time learning things later down the track!

    • +2

      Let me guess, A2M? Similar story here except a much bigger loss. Thankfully only invested a relatively small amount.

      • Spot on mate.

      • +3

        Let me guess, A2M?

        I'm guessing that doesn't mean what I think it means…

        • +1

          Never go a2m

  • +1

    FOMO: LRS 🚀🚀🚀

  • Bought an investment property with my sister as the GFC happened. While the interest rate was much higher than now (about 4.95%), the Government at the time was doubling the First Home Owners Grant and giving everyone a stimulus payment of $900.

    This was all well and good, but instead of renting it straight away, we lived in it for about 6 years and then rented it for 2 years after that.

    So the initial household expenses negated any potential benefit gained from rent revenue, plus because we weren't charging enough rent to cover the mortgage (a stupid decision to entice potential tenants), I had to personally contribute to cover the mortgage (it was an extra $50 per fortnight, but over 2 years, it adds up).

    Then the extra kick in the guts came from having to pay Capital Gains Tax when we eventually sold that house and being left with a big tax bill with the ATO.

    While the equity on that house did provide me with enough to buy my current family house, I still wonder how much more I could have had if I didn't buy that investment property (or simply made better decisions with it).

    • +5

      Ok - my first reaction - you only pay capital gains tax when you made a profit and it was only a small percentage of the gain. You would still have pocketed over 80% of the gain. Why complaining about a big tax bill?

      Also, considering you lived there for 6 years and rented out for 2 years before the sale, the ATO allows you to treat that property as your main residence, and therefore it can be free of capital gain even it was used as an investment property for a period.

    • Hahaha.. much higher interest…4.95%… haha..

      Didn't cove the mortgage …$50…..

      Big tax bill…meaning it appreciated in price … hahaha

      Dude, you nailed it. Its almost as good as it gets..

      But you should get your CGT back. Google Law of 6 10ths Ato. Ie. You can rent for 6 years in a 10 year period.

  • if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is …

  • Getting too greedy during the Covid dip (which i saw coming), and buying leveraged inverse ETFs ahead of time. Make about $80k on paper. Figured market only corrected about 30% and GFC it went down about 50%. Surely it has more to go.

    Ended up watching all my gains disappear patiently waiting for the dip to return. Finally stubbornly cut my losses down about $50k and with none of the upside gains from just sticking with a buy and hold strategy.

  • Bought Bellamy's via CFD the day before they went into suspension a few years ago. Pretty valuable lesson there re CFDs.

  • before i went overseas to study in 2014, living with extended family so almost no expenses, i had planned to put a third of my money in bitcoin…then i got a flight with 2 days notice and completely forgot in the rush..didn't have an aussie sim to be able to move money around/open accounts cos no access to otp. That and it slipped my mind and when i found out a few months in advance about the big boom coming i was way too (profanity) up from my personal life to care.

  • Investing more than I was willing to lose. I thought I would be ok with losing money because I was confident btc would rise in the long term but then after the tax proposal I panick sold and I realised I was more attached to the money than I thought I was.

  • +1

    Got cold feet on a diversified ETF I bought when it dipped and sold. 6-12 months later it's up 20%.

    Lesson learnt on that one. Stay in it (not applying to crypto- which is gambling, not an investment at this stage)

  • +1

    Buying shares in random speculative exploration mining companies during the GFC crash instead of something decent like bhp FMG or a bank at least. Spent thousands on a few companies that are now worth less than a k after 10+ years . Still got them there

  • +1

    Waiting for the property bubble to burst from 2012 to 2017. Finally realised the stupidity of this thinking if it’s your primary place of residence you are buying as you can never lose if you don’t over leverage.

  • +2

    Reading MotleyFool, shameless contradictions daily.

    • +1

      Hah I am playing this game where I have signed up for emails and keep deleting them. Every email is "this is the last email we are going to send" but they never stop :D

  • +3

    Investing into an off-the-plan apartments in Sydney.

  • +1

    Trying to open my own restaurant in a Meriton building.

  • +1

    Buying cryptos a few years back on platforms ACX and Cryptopia then leaving the crypto on the platforms.
    I even purchased a wallet to transfer them onto but never got around to it.
    Both platforms have now disappeared along with the crypto stored on them.