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7 Important Investing Tips You Need to Follow

7 Important Investing Tips You Need to Follow

The world of investment is a constantly changing entity, one that continues to evolve according to global economy shifts, political events, and social upheaval. This has been particularly true in recent times, as there have been a number of significant trend investment reversals within both developed and emerging markets.

Despite this changeable and unpredictable nature, however, there are a series of fundamental rules that all investors must abide by if they are to succeed. These are based on the philosophic principle of determinism, which dictates that investors must adhere to their philosophy at all times and understand the underlying laws that govern change.

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With this in mind, what are the key tips that investors should follow when looking to commit their capital in 2014? Consider the following:

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    1. Never invest more than you are prepared to lose

    As a starting point, you should never commit more than you are prepared to lose when investing capital. It is therefore important to fully appraise your financial circumstances before making a commitment, paying careful attention to: the chosen vehicle for investment, your disposable income levels, and any potential returns. Failing to adhere to this rule will create a debilitating cycle of debt and loss, and may eventually force you to take ill-advised risks in the quest to recoup your capital.

    2. Build a contingency fund

    On a similar note, the most experienced investors tend to operate within their financial means while also developing a viable contingency fund. This is a must for anyone with an appreciation of risk management, as this capital can be used to offset losses, balance your trading account, and provide security in the event of an economic downturn. A contingency fund can serve alternative purposes that suit your exact need, and generally afford you flexibility in the quest to maximize your profitability.

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    3. Develop your investment portfolio over time

    Another fundamental rule of successful investment revolves around timing, as you need to pace yourself and develop your portfolio over time. Whether you wish to deal predominantly in derivatives, such as currency, or if you want to invest in physical commodities, such as shares or property, you must start slowly and look to expand your portfolio in line with the return that it generates. Patience is the key to accessing long-term gains, especially in a volatile or unpredictable economic climate.

    4. Diversify your portfolio

    As your financial returns begin to grow, you should look to diversify your portfolio and invest in a wider range of market sectors. This not only helps to offset the potential risk posed by economic decline and sudden market shifts, but it also affords you the opportunity to maximize your earnings over a prolonged period of time. Diversification also brings great responsibility, however, as you must adopt a proactive approach towards managing your portfolio and changing it to suit prevailing economic trends.

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    5. Automate your investments and offset risk

    One of the ways through which you can streamline the diversification process is to automate your accounts, using online trading platforms and software to implement risk management measures. Online trading accounts feature a host of automated tools that have been designed to minimize your risk as an investor, including stop losses. You could even take this principle further by embracing the concept of automated trading, which uses predetermined algorithms to execute trades in real-time across a range of financial markets.

    6. Take advantage of tax-free growth and investment options

    From bank accounts to financial markets and derivatives, there are numerous investment options that remain free from capital gains tax. In terms of the former, you should consider investing your idle capital into cash ISAs. Any interest that you accumulate on these accounts is completely tax free in the current economy. With regards to the latter, there are also tax-free stocks and share ISAs, which are far higher risk but also capable of delivering inflated returns over time.

    7. Look to reinvest any interest that you generate from your income

    It is extremely difficult to maximize your financial returns without encountering risk, so it is important to strike a balance between being risk-averse and conscientious as an investor. One of the best ways of achieving this is by looking to reinvest any interest that you generate from the income that you have invested, whether it is withdrawn from a standard savings account or an online trading portfolio. This enables you to invest more into your portfolio without placing existing capital at risk, while it is also an excellent way of maximizing both your short and long-term returns.

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    Published on September 17, 2018

    How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

    How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

    Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time.

    With each step, you form a new smart money habit. And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.

    So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? Let’s take a look at smart money habits you can start today to get you closer to a financially independent future.

    1. Avoid being “penny wise but pound foolish”

    It’s tempting to try saving a couple cents here and there when buying small items. However, that’s not where the real money is saved. You’re putting in extra effort for something that doesn’t move the needle.

    You get the most bang when you’re able to cut down on your bigger bills. For example, finding a lower interest rate for your mortgage could save you $50+ per month. And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.

    So, look at your recurring expenses such as housing, transportation, and insurance, and see where there’s wiggle room. It’s a much better use of your time than trying to pinch pennies here and there on smaller purchases.

    2. When you want something big, wait

    Impulsivity can get you in trouble in most aspects of life. Finances are no different.

    It’s human nature to see something and want it right then and there. It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood.

    We get an idea in our head of something we want, and it’s hard not to go out and get it right then.

    A good example is wanting a new car. Perhaps you’ve had your car for several years. It’s crossed the 100k mile mark. Maybe maintenance is due, and you’re annoyed that you need to replace the timing belt or purchase new tires.

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    So, you get the itch.

    You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed.

    Here’s where you have to take a step back.

    Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.

    Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts.

    It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And often, you find that the new car wasn’t a need at all.

    The impulse faded. And you just saved yourself a ton of money.

    3. Live smaller than you can afford

    You finally get that big raise. And you want to celebrate – and why not?

    You’ve been looking forward to this forever. And after all, it was all due to your hard work.

    That’s fine, splurge a little. However, make it a one-time deal and be done.

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    Don’t get caught in the trap that just because you’re now making more money, you should spend more.

    Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill. Resist.

    The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.

    But if you constantly upgrade as you begin to make more, then you’ll never get ahead. You’ll just build up more debt along the way and have just as little wiggle room as before.

    4. Practice smart grocery shopping

    Food… it’s one of the biggest portions of any budget. And if you’re not careful, it can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet.

    But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries.

    Create a grocery budget

    Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it.

    Once you know what all you need, you can go shopping and keep a running tally as you shop to ensure you’re on track.

    I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people.

    Make a list… and never deviate

    Never go to the grocery store without a list. If you go to the store with a ballpark idea in mind, you don’t have a true ide of what you need.

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    You’re not well-researched. You don’t know what the sales are. As a result, you’re going to make decisions on the fly.

    These impulse decisions will lead to overspending, which will derail your grocery budget.

    Eat before going grocery shopping

    It’s also important to eat prior to going to the grocery store. Hunger is a powerful force.

    If you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything is going to look good. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.

    After all, you’re hungry now and that food is easily available. So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items.

    Unfortunately, not only are those items typically less healthy, but they’re likely more expensive. You pay for convenience.

    However, when you eat prior to shopping, then you’ll shop with a clear mind. Your hunger won’t cloud your judgement, influencing you to make poor decisions like a cartoon devil resting on your shoulder whispering in your ear.

    This makes it much easier to stick to your grocery plan.

    5. Cancel your gym membership

    Now that you’re all set on your food, it’s time to get smart about managing your budget in terms of physical fitness. And let’s begin by avoiding the gym. The gym bill, that is.

    The average gym membership costs around $60 per month. That’s $720 a year.

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    Yet, two out of three gym memberships go unused. That means two-thirds of people who have a gym membership are literally giving away almost a thousand bucks a year. It’s crazy!

    I recommend seeking an alternative. One good alternative is to look into fitness streaming services.

    Streaming services allow you to stream hundreds of workouts like Insanity and p90x, right in your own home for around $10-20 a month. That’s $40-50 less a month than the average gym membership.

    Of course, then there’s the free option. The internet is full of free workouts that you can do on your own with minimal or no equipment.

    For example, there’s the Couch to 5K program, that I personally used a decade ago to ease myself from couch potato to running my first 5K race. If I could do it, anyone could.

    Then there are free resources like reddit that have limitless information on workouts. The Fitness subreddit has done all the research for you, populating workout tips and detailed workout routines for anyone to use in their wiki.

    There are several routines that require no equipment. And you can join in on the subreddit to become part of the community, making it easier for those seeking comraderie and encouragement in their fitness goals. All for free.

    It’s baby steps… And baby steps can start now!

    I’ve never met anyone that can’t stand to be a bit smarter with their money. And on the flip side, anyone can get smarter with their money. But remember, it doesn’t happen all at once.

    Begin by fighting your impulses. Prepare for the week and be smart at the store. And cut monthly expenses like gym memberships that are overpriced and you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth out of anyway.

    The devil is in the details. And the details can change your lifestyle and prep you for a financially independent future.

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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