Investing is so personal. Over the years I’ve meandered around with different philosophies and techniques. When all is said and done I’ve landed on a way of doing things that is simple and takes little time. The thing is, it may be hard to convince yourself that it’s that simple if you don’t have some background.
There are a lot of pitfalls with investing. The industry does a lot of things that sound good but often aren’t in your interest, but make them money. Even if it’s as simple as getting you to think you need to trade more often–they get commissions. Or buy special advice, newsletters, even have a broker or advisor manage things for you. Cable channels will convince you you need to watch the market daily, even hourly. They drive you to fear then euphoria and back. Buy! Sell! Maybe you even need a watch that tells you when quotes change when you’re at lunch? Maybe you need to be able to trade from your cell phone?
There can be casual advice from friends that isn’t necessarily helpful. It’s really easy to think there’s some special way of doing things, some secret that will work for you. Or question what you’re doing. It’s easy to create self doubt.
There’s so much noise. But ultimately it’s so personal. Ultimately, you are responsible for your financial life, and you are responsible to make good choices about it.
But it’s important that you invest, and that you do it right. Right isn’t about making the maximum amount of money possible. It’s about giving yourself good odds of getting a reasonable return without taking excess risk.
You owe it to yourself to do a good job of having your money work for you.