If you want to improve your financial situation, you’re not alone. Whether motivated by a drive to earn more, or worries over retiring comfortably, everyone wants to be smart with the money they have. And that means putting it where it will grow.
To determine the best course for your investment dollars, look no further than self-made investors. With all the conflicting advice out there, you’ll want to watch the people who have been there – both investing money wisely, and making a few mistakes along the way.
Here are the 4 best tips from the country’s most successful investors:
Start by looking at you.
Wait, didn’t we just decide to observe the best of the best? Yes, but they all agree: Before anything else, you must know your talents, interests and skills… and develop them. “For most people, the bulk of their income is going to come from earning power in their chosen profession,” says Warren Buffet, the world’s 4th most wealthy investor. At a recent seminar, he was asked by a student how best to study investing, and replied that income, not investments, will be the start of great wealth-building. “Therefore, from the standpoint of building wealth, free time is better spent sharpening one’s professional skills rather than studying investing,” he says.
Invest in yourself first by finding an online course or professional certification program at your local community college. Before acquiring wealth to invest, pour time and energy into you.
Employ a team of advisers.
What if you’re already well into an established career and earning as much as possible? First of all, congratulations. Secondly, watch out.
With elevated professional stature comes a “do-it-yourself” mindset that can impair your ability to make the best move, according to Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D., author of The Millionaire Mind. In his popular book, he emphasizes the need to consult an attorney and accountant before making any investment decisions. “Most high-income people with average to above average intellect realize they aren’t brilliant, but the majority have great common or practical intelligence,” he writes. “They know their strengths and weaknesses and act accordingly. They never make major investment decisions without first seeking advice from skilled professionals.”
Each investment you make will be a first-time decision for you, while your advisers have seen dozens of their own clients make the same move. Ask them how similar choices of others turned out. You may be surprised at what they report.
Little decisions are everything.
Believe it or not, the decisions you make today will influence your tomorrow. Small daily sacrifices like packing lunch instead of eating out and studying instead of watching TV add up… a lot. Subscribe to financial blogs like this one instead of celebrity gossip headlines. Wash your own car and press your own shirts. Moves like these are the best investments.
Investing money wisely isn’t usually a big decision, but a myriad of small daily (sometimes hourly!) choices that add up over time.
Whether you choose to invest in stocks, real estate or starting your own business, remember that the best investments won’t make you rich overnight. Resist the temptation to “flip” a purchase, buying cheaply and then selling within days or weeks for a hefty profit. Remember that noisy advertisements that promise to teach you how to play the market are just hopeful salespeople that consider you their “flip”.
What are your best investment strategies? Leave a comment below with your best advice.
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