Long-term investing is a constant learning process. Even the most experienced investors make mistakes, and it's never too late (or too early) to fine-tune your strategy and sharpen your focus on your financial goals. In this segment of Backstage Pass, recorded on Nov. 3, Fool contributors Trevor Jennewine, Rachel Warren, and Brian Withers discuss key investing lessons they've each learned in their investing journeys.
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Trevor Jennewine: We're nearing the end of the calendar year, got the holidays on the horizon. Every time the year is winding down, a lot of people make resolutions. They take stock of their financial situation and set goals for themselves to make the next year better than the past one. I think that fits in perfectly with the Motley Fool's mission statement, which is to make the world smarter, happier, and richer. My question is, give one piece of financial advice that maybe people should consider as we head into the new year. It could be something that you yourself are working on, or something that you yourself plan to put into action, or maybe something that you wish somebody had told you a long time ago. Rachel?
Rachel Warren: This is a great question. I think if I could give a pearl of wisdom that I've learned in my investing journey, it would be that investing does not have to be complicated. This was a misconception I had before I got into the market not so long ago. I think one of the things I like about long-term investing is that it makes it considerably less complicated than trying to do something like, let's say, time the market. And you don't have to know everything, you don't have to have every inch of the market mastered before you invest in your first stock.
Getting started even with a small investment in a few great companies across a diverse collection of sectors is a great way to get started as an investor. That's how I started my investment journey. I think it's something that's important to remember, and that it's really never too early or too late to get into the stock market. There are so many options available for investors of all ages and trading styles, which is one of the things that I love.
Brian Withers: Yeah, that's great Rachel. It almost sums it up, is just go do it. [laughs]
Warren: Go for it. [laughs]
Withers: There you go. For me, it's a little bit different. I know there's investors of all lengths of time on the call, but one of the things that I did that's really helped me with my investing process is just to figure out what kind of investor you are. If you belong to even a couple of different services from The Motley Fool, you probably get more recommendations in any given month than you can go buy.
Being able to sort through those, and match that against your values, your long-term goals, what you like in companies -- I think is a really great way to filter through that. As I defined what it was that was important to me, it made the decisions about what to buy and what to keep and what to sell that much easier. So my piece of advice is figure out what kind of investor you are. Trevor?
Jennewine: Perfect, I think those are both great pieces of advice. We've already touched on this today, but I just wanted to reemphasize how important it is to think long term, invest on a regular basis, don't try and predict or time the market. Just make it a habit to set aside a portion of your paycheck, even if it's just $5. We have commission-free trades and fractional shares. Make investing a habit and do it on a regular basis, and I think you'll be happy you made that decision down the road.