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Friday Finance: 5 Ways to Invest Smart

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 Scared of investing in an unpredictable economy? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Here’s what you should know to meet your long-term investment goals.

 By Tamika Y. Richeson

Some of us refuse to put another dime into the market, while others refuse to be taken down without a fight! Regardless of where you stand, building your net worth does not stop because of unfavorable economic conditions. The market will always be unpredictable, but there are strategies that allow you to survive and win in a long-term journey to wealth-building.

Take note that I stated, "long-term" journey and not the "get rich quick journey" that most of us were looking for. Most of us don’t think to invest until we are in our thirties, while those who are in their twenties are learning that it is wise to get an early start. However, it is never too late to start and never too early to begin.

Come Rain or Come Shine: Invest regularly — whether the market is rising or failing — keep doing it and remind yourself that your investment strategy is focused on the long-te,rm. Avoid putting more money into hot markets and completely withdrawing out of markets that have plummeted. 

Be Brave…but Smart: Take risks while maintaining diversity in your investment plan. Remember, too much of one thing can’t be that good! Taking risks increases your chances of higher returns, while maintaining diversity by investing in several different classes of assets keeps you from sending your entire portfolio down the drain.

Re-adjust: If you’ve taken a hit from recent market plunges, consider rebalancing your portfolio by periodically taking from investments that have grown and add to those that didn’t perform well. Studies show that you should only do this once or twice a year in order to increase your chances of selling high and buying low.

Go Abroad: Foreign stocks are becoming more popular, and most financial advisors will tell you to contribute at least 20 percent of your funds in foreign investments. Do your research and be sure to take a glance at Artisian International and American Century International Bond.

Create an Investment Plan and Strategy: If you haven’t done so already, create a plan. Don’t just buy and sell aimlessly but establish goals, and be consistent by investing a fixed amount every month. Consider using an automatic payment option from your bank account to make sure a certain amount goes towards your investments monthly. You should treat investing like any other component in your monthly budget. If all of these tips sound like a foreign language to you and you don’t trust yourself to build your portfolio, then you might want to consider hooking up with a financial advisor. The best way to find a financial advisor you can trust is by word of mouth or asking around in your ciricle of friends and family. If your friends and family don’t invest (well, try to convince them to when you get your portfolio up and running) then talk to some of your co-workers or mentors for referrals and guidance.

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