If you’re new to investing, there’s probably quite a bit you still don’t know. While experience is the best teacher, you may be able to avoid some common mistakes by following the advice of professional advisors. Looking at some of the worst mistakes new investors can make may help you avoid these common pitfalls.
In whatever medium you choose to invest, it’s important to account for the inevitable cost of inflation. Your gains over several years should reflect a profit, even after considering the rise in the cost of living, since you invested the initial funds. For instance, you may invest $100,000 in bonds with a 30-year term limit, yielding a net interest of 4%, which you reinvest in more bonds at the same rate. If inflation also rises by 4%, the $311,865 you have made isn’t any better than what you might have normally saved and that money was tied up in the bonds for those thirty years.
Depending on Margins
Another big mistake new investors make is to essentially use margins as free money to finance their investments. If the investments don’t pan out, the investor is left with the debt of the margin with nothing to show for it. This isn’t much different than financing your investment with a credit card or with car title loans in Orlando. Unless you’re confident in your financial savvy, it’s better to avoid margin investments as much as possible.
Basing Investments on Rumor
Many new investors will throw their funds in on a new business or an established business with a new product just because they have heard people raving about the product. Even in cases where the product sells as well or better than expected, that doesn’t necessarily mean the stock price will see similar gains. Similarly, investment professionals recommending specific stocks on television or the internet is most often just one person’s opinion and you should have more factual information, before risking your funds on that stock. Every investor should do his or her own research.
Diversifying with the Same Risks
Everyone has heard of the importance of diversifying, but this is more than merely putting your eggs in different baskets. If all of your investments share the same levels of risk, you’re defeating the purpose of diversifying. Instead, look for investments with better risk profiles. This may mean investing in precious metals, as well as stocks, or buying bonds to add to your portfolio.
Invest, Don’t Gamble
Investing should be viewed as a long-term commitment and one for which you develop a sound plan to maximize your earnings over several years. If you’re trying to buy individual stocks on the premise that you expect a big return on one or two, you might be better off taking your money to the casino. Investing isn’t the same as gambling and even past stock performances can’t indicate a sudden increase that will lead to a personal windfall. Instead, research your investments and consider consulting a professional advisor to help you develop a promising investment strategy.
Investing can help you save for the future and ensure the financial security, but only when approached with a good strategy and the patience required for a long-term plan. By taking the time to learn about your investments ahead of time, you can avoid making mistakes that could cost you your funds. If you’re uncertain or confused about investing principles, you may want to enroll in an investing course or consult a professional advisor, before putting your savings at risk unnecessarily.