Is investing a mystery to you? MYSTERY REVEALED.
- The only financial expert you can fully trust is yourself. When it comes right down to it, nobody is willing to pay as much attention to your money as you are. No matter how competent your financial advisors may be, they probably have their own agenda.
You may need a broker for direction and advice, but you must be the one to take responsibility for managing your own money.
- Investing is a lifetime process. To succeed as an investor, you must regularly update your financial education. At the least, this means an annual review and re-balancing of your portfolio. Better yet, develop a life-long financial, educational process that includes books, magazines, TV, radio, seminars, college courses, and meetings with financial advisors. There are so many changes in economic, business, and political conditions over time that you have to stay tuned-in to stay abreast of the trends and actively compete as an investor. Even the most well designed portfolio needs to be monitored.
- Exercise patience, especially with yourself. Intelligent investing requires that you
act deliberately and systematically. Become a master of your emotions. Resist the
temptation of the latest “hot tip”. Take time to be sure of each move that you make.
Warren Buffet recommends that you make each investment decision as if you could
only make 20 choices in your lifetime. Make each decision count.
- It’s OK not to buy. If you aren’t really sure which investment is right for you, keep
the money in the bank. Barry Bonds didn’t hit 73 home runs by swinging at every
pitch. Don’t worry about missing out on an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. There will
be plenty more. Maybe it will take years before you find yours. When you do, you will
know it – and you will be glad that you waited.
- You have to know yourself before you invest. You, like everyone else, are totally
unique. To know what’s right for you, you need to know exactly who you are. What
are your financial skills? Your goals? Your risk tolerance? Your limitations? Your blind
spots? A solid investment plan is built around the answers to these questions. I’m
not saying that you have to change anything – just that you become fully self-aware
before you invest. Take the time to raise your self-awareness and your investment
style will become clear.
- You don’t have to do it all yourself. While I strongly emphasize the need to educate
yourself in order to make intelligent investment decisions, many people simply do not
have enough time to devote to this process. You may wish to retain a financial advisor
to do the legwork for you, make recommendations, or even manage part of your
portfolio. Keep in mind that you will need to educate yourself to be able to select a
competent advisor and monitor their activity. You should never leave everything to
someone else. For advice on picking the right advisor, see my article on Choosing a