The fundamentals you need for investing success

1. Establish a financial plan based on your goals

  • Be realistic about your goals
  • Review your plan at least annually
  • Make changes as your life circumstances change

2. Start saving and investing today

  • Maximize what you can afford to invest
  • Time in the market is key
  • Don’t try to time the markets—it’s nearly impossible

3. Build a diversified portfolio based on your tolerance for risk

  • Know your comfort level with temporary losses
  • Understand that asset classes behave differently
  • Don’t chase past performance

4. Minimize fees and taxes

  • Markets are uncertain; fees are certain
  • Pay attention to net returns
  • Minimize taxes to maximize returns

5. Build in protection against significant losses

  • Modest temporary losses are okay, but recovery from significant losses can take years
  • Use cash investments and bonds for diversification
  • Consider options as a hedge against market declines—certain options strategies can be designed to help you offset losses

6. Rebalance your portfolio regularly

  • Be disciplined about your tolerance for risk
  • Stay engaged with your investments
  • Understand that asset classes behave differently

7. Ignore the noise

  • Press makes noise to sell advertising
  • Markets fluctuate
  • Stay focused on your plan

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