Opportunity Cost

by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA

Strolling through Tribeca, New York this weekend, I stumbled upon a gorgeous cashmere sweater at a designer sample sale. It fit me perfectly; the only problem was that it was a still little on the expensive side, and I loved it in black and in grey. Torn, I spent a good half hour going back and forth between the two, before eventually settling on the grey one. This really got me thinking about opportunity cost, and how this is present every moment of our lives, always.

Whether shopping for the perfect house, car, or sweater, when you choose one, unless your budget has no limits, you have to un-choose the others. When you buy yourself a Mini Cooper, you give up having, say, a Lexus or a Honda – even one of those yummy Porsche Boxters. Whenever you open one door, you also choose not to open the others.

In finance, the concept opportunity cost becomes even more urgent. Whenever you choose to bet your money on one fund, you choose not to buy others. What if they take off, and yours doesn’t?

And in everyday decisions, like whether to go on a vacation or renovate the kitchen, there will always be things that you do not choose. Always be clear over what your goals and priorities are, and use these as a guide when faced with tough, high-opportunity-cost decisions.

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Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA

Stacy Francis is the Founder, CEO and President of Francis Financial, Inc., a Wealth Management and Financial Planning firm. With over 18 years of experience in the financial industry, she is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®), a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™ (CDFA™), and a Certified Estate Planning Specialist (CES™). She is the Co-Director of the Association of Divorce Financial Planners’ (ADFP) Greater New York Metro Chapter and a member of the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) and an honoree member of the Private Risk Management Association (PRMA). A nationally recognized financial expert, Stacy has appeared on ABC News, CNBC, CNN, PBS Nightly Business Report, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Fine Living Network, and The O’Reilly Factor. Stacy attended the New York University Center for Finance, Law and Taxation.