When it comes to investing, many first time investors want to jump right in with both feet.
Unfortunately, very few of those investors are successful.
Investing in anything requires some degree of skill. It is important to remember that few investments are a sure thing – there is the risk of losing your money.
Before you jump right in, it is better to not only find out more about investing and how it all works, but also to determine what your goals are.
What do you hope to achieve with your investments? Will you be funding a college education? Buying a home? Retiring? Before you invest a single penny, really think about what you hope to achieve with that investment.
Knowing what your goal is will help you make smarter investment decisions along the way.
Too often, people invest money with dreams of becoming rich overnight. This is possible — but it is also rare. It is usually a very bad idea to start investing with hopes of becoming rich overnight.
It is safer to invest your money in such a way that it will grow slowly over time, and be used for retirement or a child’s education.
However, if your investment goal is to get rich quick, you should learn as much about high-yield, short term investing as you possibly can before you invest.
You should strongly consider talking to a financial planner before making any investments.
Your financial planner can help you determine what type of investing you must do to reach the financial goals that you have set. He or she can give you realistic information as to what kind of returns you can expect and how long it will take to reach your specific goals.
Again, remember that investing requires more than calling a broker and telling them that you want to buy stocks or bonds. It takes a certain amount of research and knowledge about the market if you hope to invest successfully.
Because investing is not a sure thing in most cases, it is much like a game — you don’t know the outcome until the game has been played and a winner has been declared.
Anytime you play almost any type of game, you have a strategy. Investing isn’t any different — you need an investment strategy.
An investment strategy is basically a plan for investing your money in various types of investments that will help you meet your financial goals in a specific amount of time.
Each type of investment contains individual investments that you must choose from.
A clothing store sells clothes — but those clothes consist of shirts, pants, dresses, skirts, undergarments, etc. The stock market is a type of investment, but it contains different types of stocks, which all contain different companies that you can invest in.
If you haven’t done your research, it can quickly become very confusing — simply because there are so many different types of investments and individual investments to choose from.
This is where your strategy, combined with your risk tolerance and investment style all come into play.
Along the way, you may make a few investing mistakes, however there are big mistakes that you absolutely must avoid if you are to be a successful investor.
For instance, the biggest investing mistake that you could ever make is to not invest at all, or to put off investing until later. Make your money work for you — even if all you can spare is $20 a week to invest.
While not investing at all or putting off investing until later are big mistakes, investing before you are in the financial position to do so is another big mistake.
Get your current financial situation in order first, and then start investing. Get your credit cleaned up, pay off high interest loans and credit cards, and put at least three months of living expenses in savings.
Once this is done, you are ready to start letting your money work for you.
Do not invest to get rich quick. That is the riskiest type of investing that there is, and you will more than likely lose. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.
Instead, invest for the long term, and have the patience to weather the storms and allow your money to grow. Only invest for the short term when you know you will need the money in a short amount of time, and then stick with safe investments, such as certificates of deposit.
Don’t put all of your eggs into one basket. Scatter it around various types of investments for the best returns.
Also, don’t move your money around too much. Let it ride. Pick your investments carefully, invest your money, and allow it to grow — don’t panic if the stock drops a few dollars. If the stock is a stable stock, it will go back up.
A common mistake that a lot of people make is thinking that their investments in collectibles will really pay off. Again, if this were true, everyone would do it. Don’t count on your Coke collection or your book collection to pay for your retirement years. Count on investments made with cold hard cash instead.
Never invest money without having a goal and a strategy for reaching that goal. This is essential.
Nobody hands their money over to anyone without knowing what that money is being used for and when they will get it back.
If you do not have a goal, a plan, or a strategy, that is essentially what you are doing. Always start with a goal and a strategy for reaching that goal.