In a nutshell:
Investing is one of the best things to do with your money. However, there are a lot of mistakes that investors make all the time. Thinking long-term, controlling your emotions and not investing based on what other people say are steps to become a better investor and not lose money in the stock market.
- Investing should be a long-term goal
- Never invest based on your emotions
- Always do your own research before investing
- Think about why you are investing. What is your goal?
- Introduction to Investing
- Think Long-term
- First Investment Should Be In An Index Fund
- Control Your Emotions
- Make Your OWN Investments
- Why Are You Investing?
- Final Word on Investing
Introduction to Investing
With major indices such as the S&P 500 being at all time highs; people are making their first investments in the stock market each day.
This is great!
We talked about why you should be investing before, not only does it build wealth but offsets the effects of inflation.
However, there are a number of mistakes investors (us included) make regularly. So, in this post we will be sharing 5 tips that will aid you as you invest through the years.
Whether you’re into stocks, foreign currencies, crypto, real estate, or whatever else, that’s cool as everyone has their own thing!
But, particularly if you’re into investing in the stock market then you need to think long-term! Time plus compound interest will work wonders for building your wealth over the decades.
In a recent Instagram post we showed that if you invest $5 a day each day, for 30 years, with a modest 7% return, you would be left with over $176k!
However, investing is not a ‘get rich quick’ scheme, although a lot of ‘gurus’ will sell you on this idea, in this day-and-age it is nearly impossible to get rich quick by investing. But, what you can do is to invest regularly and over the long-term your wealth will compound and grow!
First Investment Should Be In An Index Fund
There’s a big debate between index funds vs active funds. The main difference being that index funds track the market, whereas active funds try and beat the market, incurring larger fees in the process.
Regardless, we would suggest your first investment to be into an index fund. The reason for this is because you need to work out your risk tolerance. Some stocks, particularly stocks you know such as Amazon, Facebook, Tesla, are very volatile and there can crazy swings each day.
You don’t want to be buying and selling different stocks like crazy, incurring transactions costs and commissions in the process.
But, with index funds the movements are more modest, so you can work out how you respond to ‘losing’ money on paper.
We Were Down -15%
When we were invested into our first index fund we were -15%(!) for pretty much the first 6 months and didn’t even consider selling, so know there’s a good risk tolerance there. You need to work this out for yourself!
Once you know your risk tolerance then it’s a lot easier making investments in the stock market going forward.
Control Your Emotions
Warren Buffett famously said:
The stock market is a device for transferring money from the impatient to the patient.Warren Buffett
People buy and sell based on emotion each day, do not do this!
Buy Low, Sell High?
You’ve probably heard ‘buy low, sell high’. But, in reality, the large majority of investors do the exact opposite. How many people do you think sold everything in the 2008 financial crash? Granted, that was a horrible time – but when the stock market crashes that is the best time to invest!
As human beings it is hard to always control our emotions, but if you’re able to you will make a lot more money in the stock market.
Make Your OWN Investments
One of my first investments was in a stock that I invested in because I saw a ‘guru’ preach about it… and yeah, I lost money.
Especially after reading Tony Robbin’s book, Unshakeable, you gotta realise that literally everyone is trying to get you to invest, because THEY will make more money. Whether that is brokers, online platforms, YouTubers who want you to invest in a stock because they themselves are invested…
Invest In What You Know!
This is why it is helpful to invest in sectors or industries that you have prior knowledge, or in companies where you yourself consume the product and know its great. As regular people we can still get the upper hand when it comes to investing.
However, I would stress that before investing into anything always do your own research and make sure it is YOUR investment, and not someone else’s.
Why Are You Investing?
Whilst it’s easy to say everyone should invest at least part of their money, the stock market isn’t for everyone. Some people can’t handle the swings and for other it simply just doesn’t interest them.
You need to think about why you are investing.
Is it for to pay for your first house deposit? For a new car or holiday? For retirement?
It’s important to know as this will help you stay the course. If you’re 35 and investing for retirement and there’s a stock market crash tomorrow, then in the grand scheme of things it will merely be a blip as the market recovers after a couple years.
But if you’re investing for a specific reason it is much easier to stay the course and stick to your investing plan.
Final Word on Investing
Over the years you will make mistakes, that goes for everything, not just with investing.
But, if you can avoid some of these more notorious mistakes that we’ve talked about in this post, then you will help build your wealth much easier and quicker!