Investing – The Do’s and Don’ts

Everyone’s personal investment journey will be different.

For some it will be straightforward and simple, and for others it will be a roller coaster ride with unexpected ups and downs.

To help you prepare for your journey, we have put together a list of tips that everyone should keep in mind when they are starting out.

  1. KNOW YOUR LIMITS .Everyone will have a different level of risk that is acceptable to their circumstances.

    No one can tell you what your limit is, this is something you must know yourself and accept.

    At the end of the day no matter the potential outcome you must NEVER invest more than you are prepared to lose.

    No investment can ever be guaranteed, and if anyone tells you differently you should run in the opposite direction as fast as you can.

    If you know you will lose sleep over a lost investment then you should walk away because you must ensure that whatever you are investing is something you are prepared to lose.
  2. DON’T RISK IT FOR THE WRONG BISCUIT. If you are ever presented with an opportunity that outweighs your appetite for risk walk away.

    A lot of individuals get caught short when they risk it for the biscuit and the biscuit turns out to be a turd that has been decorated to look pretty.

    It is not worth getting in over your head, and while yes some investments can be high risk and high reward, if this level of risk is not compatible with your own personal circumstances walk away.

    Risking it for the biscuit is a good strategy as long as its fits into your appetite for risk, if it doesn’t then you need to find a new biscuit.
  3. MINDSET IS KEY. Investing is not a good place for negative Nancy’s and nervous Nellies.

    Not everyone has the personal fortitude to be an investor, and there is nothing wrong with that. It’s better to know your limits that to become depressed and suicidal because of an outcome you could not control.

    When being an investor you need to be able to keep your cool and be calm and logical in your decision-making process. Emotions are your enemy because you don’t want your feelings clouding your judgment and overriding potential red flags.
  4. DON’T BE SUCKED IN BY FOMO. There comes a time in everyone’s personal investment journey where they will feel the tug of FOMO and wonder if they should be tempted.

    Remember to stay strong, if the opportunity doesn’t suit your circumstances or goal plan it’s better to walk away.

    Sometimes you may feel like you have missed out, and then something even better will open up or you will realise that it was better for you all along to have walked away.
  5. HAVE A PLAN. Never go in blindly, it’s always better to have a general idea of what you wish to achieve and what you have to work with.

    This does not mean that you need to go all out and sit down with a Financial Advisor, it can be as simple as just taking the time to sit down and list what your resources are, and what the advantages and disadvantages of are taking a course of action, as well as what your bottom line is to invest and stay invested.

    You must always be aware of your best case and worst case scenarios as this will allow you to decide if something is worth pursuing or if you need to walk away.
  6. PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE. Unless you win the lotto its extremely unlikely you will become an overnight millionaire with very little effort on your behalf.

    A key part of investing is just having patience and working diligently towards your goal. Not everything will pan out straight away and somethings may never pan out but if you go in with the right attitude and expectations you will be much better off emotionally and mentally which will give you an advantage over others.

    It’s also worth reminding that sometimes good things take time, and during market downturns you need to be prepared to hold on if you can to be able to benefit when things recover.
  7. LEAVE YOUR EGO AT HOME. Investing is not the time to allow your ego to take control. You must try and keep your emotions and your ego out of your decision-making process when you are investing.

    This is not the time or the place to prove that you are the king of the castle, instead this is the time to learn and grow and work your way towards where you want to be.
  8. SET GOALS. It’s always better to start investing with goals in mind that you set and readjust as needed. This will ensure that you stay motivated and enthusiastic.

    Set small and realistic goals as well as big ones, because this will help maintain your stamina throughout your investment journey.
  9. GROW SLOW. It is better to set a slow and steady pace, than to be burnt out in a few weeks. Investing is about learning and understanding your capabilities and if you rush into things you will end up becoming sloppy and making mistakes.

    It is much more advisable to take your time and have a slow burn than to burn out and not be able to recover.
  10. LEARN YOUR LESSONS. A big part of investing is educating yourself and learning from your mistakes. It doesn’t matter if you have just gotten started in your journey or if you have been a seasoned investor for years, you will always have something new to learn and grow from.

    You will always have something new to learn, and if you do not take the time to invest in your education and learn from your mistakes you will find yourself constantly repeating your mistakes and getting stuck
  11. CHOOSE YOUR INNER CIRCLE CAREFULLY. You will find that your inner circle can make or break your investing career, surrounding yourself with the right people is key.

    You do not want to have a bunch of naysayers second guessing you and making you doubt yourself, and you also do not want to be surrounded by people who want to manipulate you for their own gain.

    What you need is a circle who will be supportive and helpful, someone you can get honest and open feedback from and someone who will not try to lead you astray.

    You may find that you can’t discuss your investment journey with everyone you associate with and that’s fine, not everyone needs to be in your investment circle and sometimes you just need friends you can blow off steam with and not take things too seriously with and sometimes you need friends who can give you advice.

    As long as you know what friends suit your needs you will be better placed in your investment journey.
  12. NEVER STOP LEARNING. Education is key in investing, this does not mean you need to be highly educated with multiple degrees etc, what it does mean is that you need to expose yourself to avenues for you to learn about what you are investing in.

    It could be something as simple as reading articles about upcoming or related projects, attending talks or watching interviews, or it could be as detailed as joining courses and reading journal articles.

    Whatever path you take, the more you stimulate your mind and expose yourself to new ideas and ways of thinking the better your investment journey will be.
  13. BE ACCOUNTABLE. Everyone will make mistakes in their investment journey. This is the one guarantee that can be provided.

    This does not mean that you are stupid or worthless or that you shouldn’t invest, but what it does mean is that you are human and you will make mistakes and you should be aware of what you did in the past to ensure that you don’t repeat the same mistakes again in the future.

    If you cannot admit that there was an issue previously you will continue to have the same issues and this will cost you time and money, so be smart and be accountable.
  14. STAY OPEN. You cannot become fixated on one particular journey, you should always stay open to the many possibilities that the universe has to offer.

    Just because one thing did not work out doesn’t mean something else won’t as well, similarly just because something is working now doesn’t meant that it will be guaranteed to work forever.

    If you stay open to new possibilities you increase your chances to investment success and you will find that long term maintaining a diverse investment portfolio will have a better success rate rather than putting all of your eggs into one basket.

Remember at the end of the day investing is a journey and a learning experience, and your journey will be what you make of it. So, have fun and stay sensible. We wish you good luck and god speed on your investing adventure!