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 around 40,000 different products. So what’s the deal? 

Costco understands psychology and analysis paralysis.

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.

It took me almost two years to finally get around to investing for the short-term. I don’t consider myself a lazy person, but when it came to investing outside of retirement, I shut down.

There were 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 or stagnate? Should I consider investing in gold, silver, or other precious metals?

Instead of answer the questions above, I did nothing.

Did you know that, on average, 401k plans that offer dozens of different investment options 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.

Has the paradox of choice ever affected you?  If so, in what ways?

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