Small Business

Tips for Better Investing

Posted on: April 2, 2010

Whichever way you plan to invest, this section will give you some tips and techniques to get you started

Understand why you are investing.

One of the keys to successful investing is identifying your investment goals, and the time frame over which you will invest. What do you want to do with your money?

Do you want to save for a goal? Do you want to invest a certain amount? How long do you want to put that money away for?

Your goals and time frame

When investing money, many people have a specific goal in mind. If this is the case for you, you need to decide what time frame is attached to that goal — short term, medium term or long term?

Short term (1–3 years) deposit on a home overseas holiday new car starting a family Medium term (3–7 years) boat house renovations Long term (7+ years) children’s education deposit on a holiday house retirement

Rather than having a particular investment goal, some people may just want to invest a sum of money, for example, an inheritance. If you are in this situation, you need to decide what you want from that money. Do you want to use the money in the next year or two? (in which case you are a short-term investor).

Or do you want a regular income? Or do you want it to achieve capital growth over the long term?

A short-term investor would be more likely to choose a more conservative investment like cash, to ensure that their capital is available in the next one to three years when they need to access it. A long-term investor would be more willing to invest in growth assets such as shares, as they do not need to access their capital for at least five years, so are usually less concerned about short-term ups and downs. They recognise that the potential returns are higher in growth investments, and if they are held over the long term the risk associated with short-term volatility is reduced.

Don’t forget that superannuation is one of the most tax-effective ways to invest for the long term. If you would like more information on superannuation, contact your financial adviser.

In considering which type of investment is most suitable for your goals, a professional financial adviser can help you with this decision after analysing your investment objectives, particular needs and financial situation.

2. Become an investor instead of a saver.

Many people invest but only some become wealthy. Why? The mistake many people make when investing is that they treat their investment as saving. So what is the difference between saving and investing? Saving is what you do to build up funds for something, like a holiday, and when you have the amount saved, you withdraw your capital from your investment and spend it.

Investing is different. People who want to build wealth invest their money for the long term in growth assets, such as shares and property. Their strategy is to spend the income that the investment produces, but leave the capital invested. They don’t withdraw the capital, so it stays there to grow, which in turn allows more income to be produced.

If you do this it will take you a while longer initially to get to your investment goal, but in the long run you will find that the extra wait has been worth it. As the years go by, you may have an increasing additional income stream from your investments and your standard of living can rise accordingly.

So what’s the secret to becoming wealthier? It’s easy! Start investing, and stay invested.

Other Tips to Remember…

Start early and take advantage of compound interest.

There is always a ‘good’ reason for not investing, but there is actually an even better reason to start investing right away. In fact, starting sooner rather than later is one of the best investment decisions you can make. The reason? So you can take advantage of compand interest. The problem is that compound interest works against those who hesitate. Most of us studied compound interest at school, so we know how it works. But it’s not until you start looking at practical examples that you realise how powerful it can be.

Use market movement to your advantage.

Dollar cost averaging – One way to ride out the market’s ups and downs is a technique called dollar cost averaging, typically used in managed funds. With dollar cost averaging, you don’t have to focus on where share prices or interest rates are headed. You simply invest a set amount of money on a regular basis. Dollar cost averaging is an investment technique that can help turn the odds in your favour. The idea is that you buy less units when the market is up, and more units when it is down — automatically.

Don’t try to time the market.

One of the excuses many use for not investing is that it is not the right time to invest. These people are likely to be under the misconception that they have the magical powers to be able to predict the future. They are under the illusion that the path to riches is a matter of getting on the right horse at the right time.

However, as investors begin to learn the vagaries of markets, they begin to realise the insurmountable difficulty in picking market movements. Trying to pick the magnitude and direction of market movements has cost even the most experienced investor dearly. Don’t chase returns.

Investing in the fund that had the best performance last year may be a big mistake! Most fund managers will offer you a choice of many different types of managed funds, from shares and property to fixed interest and cash, to mixtures of all of them. There are also usually a range of different share funds investing in different parts of the world. Given such a wide choice of investments, and the ability to switch your investments between them for little or no fees, some people make the mistake of chasing returns.

Chasing returns means that you are moving your investments across to the fund that had the best performance last year. Why can this be a mistake?


1 Response to "Tips for Better Investing"

A great place to invest in silver and gold is at Silver Saver. It is like a savings account that is held in PHYSICAL silver and gold and is TITLED and ALLOCATED in your name. They have a great rewards program, low premiums, auto-pay feature, and you can easily convert back to dollars or have the silver and gold delivered to you. Check it out at Take care.

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