Anyone can invest—but not everyone invests well. So what separates everyday retail investors from the seriously successful professional investors?
For one, the bigwigs have coveted access to the resources that the rest of us haven’t always had. But they also invest, pun intended, time and effort into keeping abreast of market trends and managing their portfolios to maximize their gains and minimize their losses.
Here are five steps you, too, can take to become a more legitimate investor.
1. Understand your investment goals.
It’s hard to define success if you don’t have defined goals. It’s important to outline where you want to be, from a financial standpoint, in five or 10 years down the line.
Holding out hope for the long term is arguably healthier than making unrealistic and unfeasible short-term goals that don’t give your investments a chance to perform, navigate market volatility or grow with increased capital and compounded interest over time. So many short-term goals to keep you motivated and help hold yourself accountable, but have an overarching endgame in mind—something on which to keep your eyes set, something to keep you forging forward in the pursuit of financial freedom.
2. Get started somewhere—and stick to it.
Successful investors don’t hold out until they have substantial funds to invest. They get started with what they have, where they are. And that’s precisely what you need to do, as well.
The sooner you get started investing, the more time your money has to navigate market swings and earn more due to increased capital and compounded interest over time. Making even small recurring deposits on a regular basis will pay off in the long run.
Don’t try to time the markets. Just keep your cadence. Don’t make emotional or impulsive trades triggered by marker extremes. Just keep at your strategy. Don’t call it quits too early. Just keep coming back to your long-term plan.
3. Diversify your investments.
Diversification is a critical key to successful investing. Portfolio diversification refers to an investment strategy that works to manage risk while capitalizing on gains. In short: It’s the practice of spreading your investments around in various types of assets and/or across a gamut of industries in an effort to cover all bases.
Doing so also limits your exposure to any one type of asset or industry, which can help to reduce the volatility of your portfolio over time by better balancing risk and reward. When some of your holdings inevitably lose money, others can help to offset that decline and keep your portfolio afloat.
Diversification is just investment jargon for not putting all your eggs in one basket. And several studies have shown that, on average, well-diversified portfolios generate more reliable returns than non-diversified portfolios over a period of 25 years or more.
4. Tap into the resources at your disposal.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s okay to ask for help. After all, there are a number of robo-advisors that exist to be your partner in your investment journey (check out some top-rated personal finance apps here!).
Take Q.ai, for example. Q.ai is triggering a personal wealth movement that empowers all-level investors with unleashed access to the world’s top-performing private investment strategies. The hands-free personal investing app allows you to leverage the power of AI to invest like the pros.
Q.ai democratizes investing by bringing top-performing, institutional-grade investment strategies to the public. These strategies are called Signature Investment Kits: Value Vault, Power Factor, Emerging Tech, Cash Reserve and Global Trends. Each Kit features industry-disruptive AI that works to reduce risk and maximize returns. They are stacked with various ETFs, stocks and cryptocurrencies—and then rebalanced weekly for maximum efficacy.
Q.ai also offers AI-managed downside protection that automatically goes to cash or hedges against the S&P 500 if our deep-learning algorithms predict market sell-offs.
Better yet, it’s totally commission-free.
5. Recognize your successes thus far.
Give yourself a pat on the back. At the end of the day, if you’re investing, you’re an investor.
Investing a long-term commitment—a journey that’s teeming with opportunities, but one that’s also riddled with lessons to learn along the way. That’s why even successful investors sometimes suffer from impostor syndrome, which the Harvard Business Review defines as “a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success.” According to the American Psychological Association, impostor syndrome makes us feel like frauds—and fear that we’ll be exposed as such.
You’re not alone if you feel this way—70 percent of the US population is with you on it. But it’s important to focus on the small wins you’ve made along your investment journey (and the opportunities ahead), instead of inevitable losses, to dismantle the systemic notion that you’re incapable. Your financial future is brighter simply by virtue of your trying.
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