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3 Common Beginner Investing Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

By Katie Brockman – Oct 1, 2021 at 8:00AM

Key Points

  • Some investing mistakes may seem harmless, but they can cost you more than you think.
  • Checking your stocks too often or choosing investments for the wrong reasons could hurt your portfolio.
  • By avoiding these mistakes, you can make a lot of money in the stock market.

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Don't let these mistakes trip you up.

Investing in the stock market can be challenging, especially if you're a beginner investor. For the most part, there's not necessarily a right or wrong way to invest. Your decisions will be influenced by your personal preferences, and they may differ from other investors' choices.

That said, there are some investing moves that could end up being costly mistakes. While these are especially common among beginner investors, even those who are experienced in the stock market still fall for them occasionally.

Whether you're just getting started on your investing journey or you've been investing for years, there are a few common mistakes to avoid if you want to earn as much as possible in the stock market.

Person sitting at a desk with their hand over their face.

Image source: Getty Images.

Mistake No. 1: Getting too hung up on the day-to-day

When you've sunk hundreds or thousands of dollars into the stock market, it's normal to want to check up on how your investments are performing. But if you check your stocks too often, you could get caught up in the daily market movements and make some less-than-ideal decisions.

The market will always experience short-term volatility. Even the most stable stocks fluctuate day to day, and that is perfectly normal. But if you're checking your stocks every day and notice that a couple of them have fallen slightly, it may be tempting to sell them or stop investing altogether.

The key to successful investing is to maintain a long-term outlook. All stocks will dip now and then, and there's nothing wrong with that. Focus instead on how your investments are performing over years or decades, not days or weeks.

Mistake No. 2: Trying to get rich quick

It's possible to make a lot of money in the stock market. If you stick with it long enough, you could even become a millionaire investor. However, becoming a millionaire overnight is nearly impossible, and any investments that promise to help you "get rich quick" will likely do more harm than good.

This isn't to say that it's impossible to make a lot of money in a short period of time when investing. However, adopting this type of strategy can be incredibly risky. Any investment that has the potential to earn you a lot of money quickly will also come with high levels of risk. While there's a small chance you could get rich, it's more likely you'll lose more than you gain.

A slow-but-steady approach is a much more realistic way to make money investing. Focus on investments that have achieved consistent growth over time, and hold those stocks for as long as possible -- ideally decades. You won't become a millionaire overnight, but you do have a much better shot at making a lot of money over time.

Mistake No. 3: Forgetting to look at the big picture 

Choosing your investments is one of the most challenging aspects of investing in the stock market. Pick the wrong stocks, and your portfolio could sink. With the right stocks, though, your savings could skyrocket over time.

Doing your research is key to choosing the right investments, and it's crucial to look at the big picture. Just because a company is well-known or has a high stock price, for example, that alone doesn't necessarily mean it's a good investment.

As you're choosing your investments, look at a wide variety of factors to determine how likely it is that this company will perform well over the long run. How strong are its financials? Does it have a solid leadership team? Does it have a competitive advantage in its industry? By looking at the big picture, it will be easier to choose stocks that achieve consistent growth.

Investing in the stock market can be tricky, but with the right strategy, you can earn more than you may think. By avoiding some of the most common investing mistakes, you'll be well on your way to building wealth that lasts a lifetime.

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