Investing is often a quagmire of details, opinions, ups-and-downs, and indecisions!
Do-it-yourselfers can keep it simple with these tips:
1. Focus on saving first.
People put plenty of effort into fine-tuning their investments. However, the real power lies in how much and how consistently you put money away. Saving is like planting seeds, and investing is the fertilizer. You’ll reap a harvest without fertilizer but not without seeds.
2. Tilt market odds in your favor.
You can debate the ideal investing strategy—dividend stocks, gold and so on—but trying to beat the market is futile. The best odds for successful investing come from a simple portfolio of index funds. Make it easy with just three asset classes: U.S. stocks, international stocks and U.S. bonds. Real estate is an optional fourth. Percentages in each asset class should be based on your goals and risk tolerance.
3. Put investing on autopilot.
Use automatic bank transfers to invest monthly so you rarely even think about investing. Human nature tends to take the default option, so it’s to your advantage to automate.
4. Forget about it.
Avoid getting sucked into the fear, greed and emotional rollercoasters caused by market gyrations. After automating, only one thing’s left to do: Rebalance yearly to return to your target percentages.