You have worked hard for your money and you should take the same approach to managing it. While most investors are certainly capable of managing their own money, very few have the dedication and discipline to do it successfully. The key is to plan before you research…and research before you invest.
Most investors fail to succeed because they either do not have a plan or they do not have the discipline to stick to their plan. Plain and simple. Investing is a business and it should be treated like a business. As with any business, if you do not have a solid business plan, your probability of success is very low.
3 Principles of a Successful Investment Plan
We believe that there are three key principles that are critical to the success of any investment plan. The plan must:
- Fit the personality and beliefs of the investor;
- Be quantitative enough to remove your emotions from the process; and
- Be simple enough to follow consistently.
The bottom line is that you will not be able to stick to an investment plan unless it fits your personality and you truly believe in it. Some investors consider the term “trader” a four-letter word. It’s just not in their DNA to actively trade their investment capital. On the other hand, some investors classify a position that they hold overnight as “long-term.” There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to one’s investment beliefs and investment plans will be as unique as the investors themselves. However, your plan should only include strategies and time frames that you are comfortable with executing. Be honest with yourself!
Emotions cloud your decision making, so establishing concrete rules for investing is critical to keeping your emotions under control. Write your rules down and follow them religiously! This will put the odds of investment success in your favor. In addition, keep your rules simple. If your rules are too complex, you are setting yourself up for failure because you probably will not be able to follow them consistently.
Once you have established your plan, it is time to focus your attention on research. Clearly, the ultimate goal is to find investment ideas and strategies that match the parameters of your investment plan. However, without a consistent flow of actionable ideas, your investment plan may not be worth the paper it is written on.
Our dividend-focused research will help you build and monitor your own DIY Dividend Portfolio and to help you invest with confidence. In addition, you will find that our research is simple to use and easy to follow.
Our belief is that investors should keep an open mind with regard to various investment strategies and investment time frames. You never know where you will find an investment “edge”.
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“Investing” is the last step in the process and it is really just the execution of your plan and research. Investing is the act of entering, monitoring and exiting a position within the context of your investment plan…it’s where the proverbial rubber meets the road.
Unfortunately, many investors will hear a great stock “tip” and jump right to the investing stage. This may work from time-to-time, but over the long term it pays to plan, research, THEN invest. Successful investors invest with patience and discipline.