One of the most interesting sectors of industry today is investment. This is the application of capital in a commercial process expecting to get a return. A person who engages in this type of activity is known as an investor. After performing some fundamental research, they commit their money into investments of various kinds expecting to make a profit. Examples of industries where they commit their capital include real estate, the stock market, the commodities market and the precious metals market. Some investors build fortunes and others fail in their ventures. The difference between these is that the winners make as few mistakes as possible while the losers' mistakes destroy their careers. Are you looking to enter this industry? Here are 8 mistakes that every investor makes. Learn them and prepare yourself to avoid them.
Having no plan
If you have no idea where you are going, any road will get you there. Many investors make the mistake of entering the investment industry without a plan for their activities. This results in complete failure or underperformance. If you want to enter the investment industry, you should have a comprehensive plan. Ensure that your plan identifies and explains your objectives and goals. It should also cover the risk that you are involved in as well as the benchmarks that you expect to achieve. Your plan should also indicate how you expect to allocate the assets in your portfolio. It should also indicate if you plan to diversify or not. With this kind of plan, you will be ready to invest and succeed in it.
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Mismatching your asset allocation and your investment approach
Many investors enter the market while their investment approaches and asset allocations are mismatched. There are generally two approaches to investing. These are the long and the short term. The approach that an investor picks is determined by their objective. Those who are investing for retirement pick a long term approach while those who are looking for a quick profit use a short term approach. The one that you pick determines how you allocate your assets. Many investors pick long term assets vehicles expecting a quick profit. This is a mismatch that results in failure. Therefore, an investor should match their asset allocation to their investment time horizon.
Focusing too much on the financial news
Contrary to popular belief, there is actually very little that is on the financial news that can help you to perform better in investment. Many investors make their decisions based on the news and therefore fail in their endeavors. From a pragmatic perspective, if someone had a way to constantly make a profit in the investment market, would they advertise their strategy and stock picks on television for everyone to watch? Of course they wouldn't. They would simply stay silent and make millions while every other investor suffers. Thus, shut off the financial news and focus on your own investment strategy. Eventually, it will pay off.
Avoiding the activity of rebalancing
Rebalancing is an important activity that you should perform on your investment portfolio. When rebalancing, an investor returns their allocation of assets to the plan that they initially had in their original investment plan. It is a challenging activity to perform. This is because some of the assets that you sell off may actually be performing well. Your core asset classes may also be performing badly and the rebalancing forces you to buy more of them. It may seem like an exercise in futility so average investors do not do it. This results in long term failure. However, if you rebalance, your core investment asset classes can eventually take off and make you a fortune.
This is a very common mistake among investors today. They are unwilling to make investments today instead of tomorrow. It is important to make your investments as soon as possible. This is especially important when it comes to long term investments. Being proactive with your investments allows your capital to grow over time. In addition to that, one needs to make the investments a little every day instead of all at once. This allows for steady growth and eventual profit. Avoid making this mistake by making your daily investment activities automated.
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Part of investment is being patient and holding your position until it pays off. Trends cause some unreliable investments to look attractive for a while. This can distract an investor from their long term positions to make their investment in the short term ones. In most cases, the trends end abruptly and the investor makes a loss. Thus, investors should avoid making this mistake. You should be patient, resilient and hold on to your position and overall strategy. This will result in eventual profits.
Why take a little of something when you can take a lot of it? This is the mantra that majority of investors use when picking stocks. Instead of diversifying their assets, they simply over-invest in one or two hot ones. If these stocks drop in value, the investors whole portfolio tanks. Instead of doing this, one should spread their capital over a wide variety of assets. This protects the portfolio from experiencing losses in case a number of stocks fall.
Trying to time the market
Many investors try to perform their investments according to whether the market is going up or down. They imagine that they are being strategic with these trades. They try to get in and out of the market and score a small profit over a wide variety of stocks. Unfortunately, this rarely or never works. Investment professionals understand that market timing does not work. There is literally no way to time the market such that you make money over its volatile rise and fall. The best way to invest is to have a long term strategy and let your assets survive market volatility. It is already proven that the stock market improves over time. Thus, with a little patience and resilience, an investor can make a handsome profit.
The Important Take Away
Investing, when done properly, can reward you handsomely. Billionaires such as Carl Icahn and Warren Buffet made their fortunes in the investment market. They avoided the mistakes that are indicated above. Therefore, if you want to build your portfolio, learn these mistakes and avoid them too.