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9 Must-have Skills to Invest like a Pro

9 Must-have Skills to Invest like a Pro

When people think of investments, they usually associate the word with investment banking or the stock market. In this information age, there are boundless vehicles for building long-term wealth, like real-estate, information marketing, venture capitalism, business ownership, franchise, and network marketing, to name a few.

With pensions on the decline, and with governments less and less able to support their aging population, a comfortable retirement is increasingly becoming an individual’s personal responsibility. It’s now time, more important than ever, for us to sharpen our investment skills to secure our own financial future and security. While we’re at it, why not go for gold and secure our financial freedom too?

Here are 9 must-have skills to invest like a pro.

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1. Delay Your Gratification

A study gave children two marshmallows. The young participants were promised two more if they waited 15 minutes and didn’t eat the marshmallows. The ones who delayed their gratification were much more likely to succeed in life than the children who caved to instant gratification. Pro investors don’t eat the marshmallow. They practice patience and invest up front to reap long-term rewards.

2. Distinguish Myth from Truth

Pro investors don’t believe everything they hear in the News. They base their decisions on advice from mentors who they know have walked their talk. They base their real-estate decisions on economic fundamentals, their online business decisions on client feedback, and their stock investments on trends – not spikes. They don’t panic about looming bubbles, bursts, or crashes.

3. Become Financial Literate

Financial literacy is not a talent reserved exclusively for math geniuses. As Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, teaches: financial literacy is educating yourself on the relationship between income (what comes in), expenses (what goes out), assets (what you own), and liabilities (what you owe). Pro investors work on their business, not in their business. Pro investors also own assets that work for them, rather than them working for money.

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4. Leverage Your Time

Pro investors work smart, not hard. They leverage time by investing early and for the long-term. They leverage other people by hiring them for their time and expertise. They leverage money by using other people’s money to create more money (via mortgages, venture capital, etc.). Delegating tasks is essential to maximizing profits, a la Tim Ferriss – a pro investor who works The 4 Hour Work Week.

5. Discipline Yourself

In this age of social media, there are shiny distractions everywhere. To succeed in building long-term wealth, pro investors practice daily self-discipline. They “wax on” and “wax off” consistently and persistently on their daily, weekly, monthly and annual goals. They don’t get side-tracked by people who are not on track. They prepare their day the night before. They also conquer one big important task, first thing in the morning before they ever open their inbox.

6. Master Your Emotions

I.Q. (intelligence quotient) has taken a backstage to E.Q. (emotional quotient), says Daniel Goleman. E.Q. is a measure of emotional intelligence: the ability to stay calm under stress, think creatively under pressure, and recover quickly under failure. Pro investors don’t have knee-jerk reactions to external circumstances. They pause, quickly weigh their options, and respond in a way that creates the outcome they want.

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7. Just Decide

From the pages of Think and Grow Rich, the premier guide to wealth and business success, pro investors are decisive. They trust their intuition, decide promptly, and course-correct along the way. They don’t fall into the Black Hole of analysis paralysis. Most people follow the ready, aim, fire motto. Pro investors follow the ready, fire, re-aim motto.

8. Persist

Pro investors plan their work and work their plan – even when they don’t feel like it. Once they’ve chosen their investment vehicle, they go deep, not wide. They become experts in their business or investment vehicle. They maintain enthusiasm between highs and lows, wins and failures. They learn and feed those lessons back into their next action step.

9. Lead Yourself, Lead the Team

Pro investors know who they are, leverage their strengths, outsource their weaknesses, and know why they invest. They have a massive vision for their impact in the world, in their community, and in their families. They seek to create meaning through their investment vehicles. They serve others. True leaders don’t just create followers, they create other leaders.

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Are you operating like a professional investor?

How many of these skills do you currently have? How many of these skills do you want to master? Let’s face it, everyone is busy now-a-days. When you ask them what they’re busy with, they don’t always know. Don’t fall prey to busy-ness! Choose a skill that you’d like to sharpen. Every day, take one small step in that direction.

Remember, we all crawl before we walk.

Featured photo credit: pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on April 3, 2019

How to Nix Your Credit Card Debt in Less Than 3 Years

How to Nix Your Credit Card Debt in Less Than 3 Years

Debt is never a fun thing to be in. But, there are many actions that you can take that will help you rid yourself of the burden of debt once and for all.

By coming up with a set plan, eliminating your debt can feel much easier than constantly thinking about it.

This post will provide some tips on how you can do this to help you nix your credit card debt in less than 3 years.

Hint: there are ways that are easier than you think.

1. Consider Consolidating Multiple Credit Cards If Possible

This may not be applicable to you, but if you have multiple cards – it is something to consider. Keeping up with multiple bills is time consuming.

It will depend on the balance you have on each. Consolidate ones you can but do not do it to the point that you get too close to the maximum limit. Also, it is ideal to pick the card with the lower interest rate.

Consider if there are any fees or alternatively, rewards, with transferring a balance to another card. Watch out for fees. Note that some cards offer rewards for transferring a balance to them. This is extra cash that can help go towards paying off your debt.

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Having one or two cards can make nixing your debt much simpler than keeping up with the balance of a bunch of cards. Keeping track of paying the minimum towards a bunch of cards is time consuming. Spend the time to consolidate instead to make the overall process simpler going forward.

My tip: Have one main credit card. Have a second one that you use for necessities – such as groceries or gas – that offers rewards for those purchases (a lot of cards do) and set the second one on auto-pay. You should be able to pay off a smaller amount on auto-pay if it is a necessity. If you think you cannot, then you may need to cut down a lot on expenses.

Why do I suggest doing this? Having one thing set to auto-pay is one less thing to think about. One less thing to waste time on. Same idea with consolidating to one main card. Tracking down too many is a hassle.

2. Try to Pay the Full Balance You Spent Each Month at the Very Least

You need to pay off the amount you are spending each month when that bill comes in. This is the amount you spent THAT month.

Do not let the debt keep accruing while you work on paying any unpaid debt that has accrued. It will become a never-ending battle. Try as best as you can to be current on paying for each month’s expenses when that month’s bill comes out.

If this is a strain, consider why. You may need to cut expenses. Or you may need to consider other cards. Or look at where this money is going.

3. Pay Extra When You Can – Every Small Amount Counts

This cannot be emphasized enough. If you are looking at a lot of credit card debt, it can look daunting, but each extra amount that you can put towards the debt will really add up – no matter how small it is.

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It does not just reduce the principal amount that you have left to pay off, but it reduces the amount that is collecting interest. You will always save money with that reduced interest.

4. Create a Plan on How to Pay Extra

Back to the main point, having this plan is giving you one less thing to think about.

This plan should be a plan that works for you. If it does not work for you, your spending habits, and your views on debt, then it will not be an effective plan.

For instance, if a set plan of an extra $50 (or another amount that you know you can afford) works for you, then do that. Set that aside every month and pay that extra amount. Treat it like a bill. Choose an amount that works for you and pay it like clockwork as though it was a bill you had to pay each month.

Little amounts will not nix it entirely, but they will help tackle it and having a set plan can make it less of a chore. Creating a new plan of how much to put towards it each month is an unnecessary added stress.

5. Cut out Costs for Services You Do Not Use

If you are signed up for subscriptions that you do not use because of some free trial or for some other reason, cut it out. Your overall financial position will look better.

In turn, that will make cutting your credit card debt easier. Look at your statements to find these expenses. If you do not use them, you may forget you are paying some unnecessary amount each month. Cutting it out can really add up in savings that you can put towards other needed expenses.

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6. Get Aggressive About It

Consider these points:

Depending on the interest and the level of debt, you may need to give up a few indulgences. For example, instead of ordering delivery or going out to eat, cook at home. Everything adds up.

Other things may be more of a sacrifice. It may be a trip you wanted to go on, or a daily latte habit you’ve picked up. In these instances, consider how important it is to you and if it’s worth the sacrifice. And if it is a costly expense, think whether you can wait to indulge.

Cutting an extravagant expense can really help make a dent in your overall debt. Try not to add to debt when you are trying to pay it off. It will be a never-ending battle. Make it less of a battle with these tips and it will feel easier.

Bottom line: Do what you can to make this process easier for you. Implement steps that do this. It takes time now, but will help overall. Also, keep track of your spending and paying down of your debts. Which is the next point.

7. Reevaluate Your Progress at Set Intervals

Doing a regular check-in can help you see your efforts pay off or maybe indicate that you need to give this a bit more effort. If you check every 3-6 months, it will not feel so much like a chore or feel so daunting.

By doing this, you will be able to better understand your progress and perhaps readjust your plan. Bonus: if you see it pay off, it will feel great to do this check-in. You will get there.

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Finally (and most importantly)…

8. Keep Trying

Do not get discouraged. Pushing it off will make it worse. Just keep trying.

Once your debt becomes lower, each monthly payment will reduce the balance more. Why? You are paying less towards interest. It will be a snowball effect eventually and it will become much easier to manage. Just get to that point. And know once you do, it will feel easier and motivating.

Start Knocking out Your Debt Today

The best way to eliminate debt is to get started right away. Begin by implementing the above steps and watch your debt just melt away. Try out some of the above strategies and see what works best for you. Soon you’ll be on your way to a debt free life.

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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