The nice folks at the Women's Institute for Financial Education (WIFE.org) have just published a list of "10 Tips for Successful Investors." I found it interesting, as so much of it echoes advice we've dispensed here in Fooldom for nearly a decade. Here are some of their tips, along with links to additional enlightenment.
- "Come early to the party, and stay late. Begin investing as soon as you can, be patient, and let time shower your investments with compound growth."
We agree that it's rarely too early or late to begin investing. Even if you're 70 years old, you may well make it to 95, in which case some of your money may remain invested for 25 more years. Indeed, money you plan to bequeath may have many decades to compound. For guidance on how to invest if you're young or older, check out our Teens & Their Money area (or better yet, point a teen you care about to it) and our new Rule Your Retirement newsletter.
- "Keep adding to your investment stash. Each month, invest as much as you can afford, and increase your monthly investments whenever you can."
This is a great way to build significant wealth, by developing the discipline to keep investing regularly, through up times and down times. One good technique is to use dividend reinvestment plans or direct investing plans (often referred to as "Drips") -- learn more about them. They permit you to bypass brokerages and their fees and to invest directly in hundreds of firms such as Time Warner
- "Don't let the bears get you down. Abraham Lincoln once said, 'When you have got an elephant by the hind legs and he is trying to run away, it is best to let him run.' The same thing is true of bears -- don't panic and sell low. Let the bear market run its course, which history tells us is likely to be short."
In Fooldom, Rex Moore offered a nice perspective on bears in his "Battling the Bears" article. In "Bull's Eye Investing," Matt Richey addressed how to invest in what may be a prolonged bear market. Paul Elliott tackled the beasts in his "Beating the Big, Bad Bear" article, questioning "this use of the past to predict the future, especially when statistics are our tea leaves."
- "Don't expect miracles."
This is critical. If you invest with wrongheaded expectations, you probably won't get far. Here's a piece I wrote on what to expect from investing -- such as risk-and-return trade-offs and volatility in the stock market.
- "Ask the experts. Seek professional help if you need it.... Even if you are a do-it-yourselfer, consider a periodic checkup with a financial adviser to hone your portfolio's performance."
Forgive me for tooting our own horn, but we're offering a painless free trial of our professional, personal financial planning service right now. And we offer tips on how to find a good financial advisor, too. If you're looking for stock and fund recommendations, look no further than our suite of investing newsletters.
Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian owns shares of Home Depot and Time Warner.