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Mastering the art of investing

In an age where investing has evolved from an elite club to a widespread phenomenon, even the novice investor can thrive. But have you ever stopped to wonder what separates successful investors from the rest?

"Investing should be more like watching paint dry or watching grass grow. If you want excitement, take $800 and go to Las Vegas." - Paul Samuelson

The answer lies in mastering the art of investing, a skill accessible to anyone willing to learn but that requires patience, consistency and discipline… much like any artform.

Let's explore five essential steps that will get you on your way to mastering the art of investing -

Step 1: Understanding Risk and Return

The potential for great reward comes with inherent risks and, typically, the greater the risk; the greater the reward.

Balancing risk and return is a delicate art, where understanding your risk tolerance and aligning investments accordingly paves the way to success.

Whether you're drawn to the relatively stable bonds or the more volatile stocks, knowing your comfort zone is key.

Tip -

When investing, consider how you would feel experiencing a portfolio loss of 10%?... 20%?... 50%?

If the thought of losing 20-50% of your portfolio has your stomach in knots and you breaking out in a sweat, that’s a good sign that you need to have a more conservative/balanced approach to your investing.

Step 2: Building a Diverse Portfolio

Imagine putting all your eggs in one basket and then dropping it. The losses would be devastating!

Diversification is your safety net in investing. Spreading your funds across different asset classes ensures that a poor performance in one area doesn't wipe out your entire investment.

It's about creating harmony among various investments, each playing its part in the investment symphony.

Step 3: Research and Analysis

An investor without research is like a painter without a vision.

Do you really think Michelangelo just rolled on up to the Sistine Chapel on day one and started slapping the paint on? He had to create beautiful art, suspended 20 metres in the air, hanging upside down on a curved roof… all while maintaining visual perspective from the ground below. It required planning, strategy, understanding his materials and learning new techniques that met his needs.

If you want your investment portfolio to resemble a masterpiece, it requires delving into the nitty-gritty of potential investment opportunities, understanding market dynamics, and staying abreast of economic trends.

Step 4: Setting Realistic Goals and Time Horizons

As the old adage goes ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’... And neither will your investment portfolio.

Achieving investment success requires time and realistic expectations. You need to set clear and achievable goals that align your investment strategies with the time you have.

A high growth portfolio of shares may suit long-term goals such as retirement savings, but it’s probably not the best place to put your home deposit savings when you’re hoping to purchase in 12 months’ time.

Step 5: Monitoring and Adjusting

The road to investment success isn't straight.
Regularly reviewing your portfolio and adapting to changes in the market or your life circumstances is vital. Perhaps a new job changes your risk tolerance, or global events affect certain sectors.

Continual monitoring allows you to make timely adjustments, keeping your investment strategy aligned with your goals.

The art of investing isn't confined to Wall Street's elites; it's a craft that anyone can master with dedication, guidance, and a willingness to learn.

While these steps offer a solid foundation, personalised advice can make all the difference. Connect with a financial adviser who understands your unique needs and can guide you toward financial success.

Mastering the art of investing starts with a single step. Will you take it? Come speak with us today!

Source: “A Matter of Perspective: Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel” P Fiorenza (20/05/2013)