May 27, 2011

Investing is like dieting

We all know how to lose weight and get in shape - take in less calories than your body requires for energy and walk / run / workout at least three times a week.  Easy right - at least in theory but our emotions stop us from doing the right things.  We eat junk late at night, don't eat enough fruit and vegetables and as for working out, I can always find something that must be done instead.

Investing is exactly the same in this regard.  Its all very easy on paper and in theory but much harder in the real world.

We are told to buy low and sell high.  The problem is that like dieting, our emotions take over and yes, that includes you :)  We buy a stock or a mutual fund that has been doing really well, it turns on us, goes down and we buy more (it can't go down any further, can it?) and then well, it goes down some more, argh.

We rationalize it as people do, I'll start dieting for real after the weekend or I bought that stock for the long term anyway.

I am no dieting expert but I have been around investing for thirty years so hear me out.  I have learned the hard way with my money and client money. Here is what I know to be true and how you can get off the investing treadmill and start making some money in the stock market.

  • buy index funds and etf's (not individual stocks or sector funds)
  • buy on a regular basis (you cannot time the market)
  • keep expenses super low (this is all you can really control)
  • fire your financial guy (this only adds to expenses)
  • hire the guy who cares the most about your money - YOU
  • invest with money you won't need for long time (invest long term)
With these simple tips you are likely to do much better in the future than you are now and as you can see, its a lot less time consuming and stressful too.

I love to coach people so feel free to contact me.  Remember I used to be a financial guy but am no more so I do not sell investments of any kind.  This is not advice, its education!

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