12 Principles to Successful Long-Term Investing

The principles of successful investing are simple to understand but not duplicated very often. See why, many investors don’t achieve the success they deserve.

Principle # 1 – The Goal of Long-Term Investing

The goal of long-term investing isn’t to provide you security today, but to earn you real, inflation adjusted, long-term returns for the future.

Principle # 2 – Compound Interest Is Your Best Friend or Worst Enemy

Ask anyone older what they wish they had done at your age, and the answer is usually, “I wish I began investing for retirement.” Why not let your investment portfolio experience the magic of compound interest itself, instead of imagining the possibilities.

Don’t forget that compound interest can also be your worst enemy. Investments are not the only thing that compounds, so does debt.

Principle # 3 – Investing Isn’t To Be Confused With Gambling

If you apply the principles of investing, risk tolerance, time horizon, and asset allocation, you can have a fairly close assumptions of your returns. There isn’t a lot of risk.

Strategies like trying to time the market, buying and selling individual stocks, selling options, are not investing, they are gambling.

Principle # 4 – Successful Investing is a Passive Activity

Investing is as fun as watching paint dry. The rewards tend to be a little better, although.

Making more trades or paying more attention to news, will not make you a better investor.

Principle # 5 – You Should Never Begin Investing Without Goals

If you don’t know why you’re investing, you should not be investing.

Principle # 6 – Risk Tolerance Matters

I have seen it over and over again, overstating your risk tolerance will cost you more in the long run.

It’s easy to say, you enjoy risk because it’s likely to give you a higher return. What’s hard is staying the course when the market drops 50%.

Principle # 7 – Control Only What You Can Control, Don’t Worry About The Rest

You can’t control what the market does from day-to-day. Don’t worry about what you can’t control. It will only cause you stress and money.

Take time understanding the things you can control such as expenses, taxes, risk tolerance, and asset allocation. This is what you need to take the time to understand.

Principle # 9 – Taxes Matter

When you’re saving for retirement, accounts such as a Roth IRA or 401Ks will always out gain the same investment in non-tax advantaged account. There is no reason, why you should be investing in anything besides these accounts for retirement.

Principle # 10 – Costs Matter

Invest $5,000 per year for from the time you’re 25 to the time you’re 65 into a Roth IRA, earn 10% a year, and you will have accumulated $2,434,259.

If you earn just 9%, the difference between paying a 1% fee, you will have earned $1,841,459.

Costs matter!

Principle # 11 – Most Investment Magazines, Newsletters, and Television Shows Are Meant to Sell Advertising, Not Provide Quality Investment Advice

Why else would BusinessWeek in April, 2008 advise you to buy Lehman Brothers stock? Yes, that’s the company that went bankrupt a few months later.

Principle # 12 – Listen to 3 of The Greatest Investor’s of All Time

  • Warren Buffet – “The best way to own common stocks is through index funds.”
  • Peter Lynch – “Most individual investors would be better of in an index mutual fund.”
  • David Swenson – “You belong at the other end, with a portfolio exclusively in index funds with low fees. If you’re not going to put together a team [of 20-25 investment professionals] that can make high-quality decisions, your best alternative is passive investing”

Gambling Addiction Basics

The coming age has brought with it numerous new pathological addictions, one of them being addiction to gambling. Pathological gambling was conferred with the status of a disease by the American Psychiatric Association back in 1980s. Robert L. Custer, M.D., is a pioneer in this field of problem gambling.

People who fall prey to this addiction are usually those who secure an income by means of blackjack, poker or other gambling activities. They are professional players who visit casinos not for fun sake, but to employ their skills and earn.

Based on their way of playing and the driving force behind it, gamblers can be categorized. For example, while professional gamblers are skillful and good in their game a casual gamblers plays merely for recreation.

The symptoms of gambling addiction are usually hard to identify. Since this disease is different from other substance related addictions like drug or alcohol abuse, the indications of this sickness are subtle. The nearest possible way in which the symptoms of this addiction can be stated is through the “Custer three Phase Model”. According tot his model, the gambling addiction can be characterized by three phases: the wining phase, the losing phase and the desperation phase.

In the wining stage, the compulsive gambler is ecstatic and overexcited with this earnings and is unwilling to quit gambling. Therefore, the addict usually increases his intensity of gambling . However, losing being the other half of gambling, his wining streak is short-lived. Nonetheless, recurrent losses do not deter him as he wants to win again and get his money back. Addicted gamblers suffer from financial stress, loss of sleep, and mental fatigue in this phase. They face problems at the family front. The patient also tends to borrow huge amounts or avail some money making schemes. As the gambler continues to face loss on every alternate day, he finds it difficult to stay away from gambling. Compulsive gamblers may resort to any means to raise funds for their obsession. They become desperate, with their debts becoming unmanageable. Loss of jobs, fight with friends and family, committing crimes or suicidal tendencies define this phase.

The question as to why does one gamble, can not be answered in definitive terms. One of the dominant reasons is the mental health of the gambler. For some people gambling serves as a n escape route from their lives. A compulsive gambler plays for kicks. He is just unable to stay away from it. Many researchers also blame the easy accessibility to casinos. The government and its lottery fund is also widely condemned.

Treatment programs and centers exist to treat this disease. Regular therapy and counseling is an effective and a widely used technique to cure this disease. Various support groups have also cropped up, where the addicts share their experiences and strengthen each others desire to quit gambling. Some groups that fund such programs include casinos and state lotteries. Some casinos lay stress on responsible gambling and have taken steps to make the people aware about his addiction.

However the first step, before undertaking nay treatment would be to acknowledge this disease. With very slight symptoms and effects this addiction is difficult to catch and acknowledge. Hence it helps to be aware to act wisely.

Three Investing Myths To Unlearn Before Investing

I am sure you have heard this axiom: If you don’t know where you are going, you will get there. Many folks investing today are on that path: they are investing without proper knowledge of the stock market, of investment basics, and lacking simple, concise, written goals. Later, these folks will experience great challenges.

Among other things, the Federal Reserve’s Quantitative Easing program, a euphemism for pumping money into the economy, is fueling rising stock markets. This could entice even more folks to invest in stocks because they might see opportunities to ‘make money.’ Beware; before investing, at least, ensure you dispel three popular investment myths, and understand the potential investment’s opportunity cost.

  1. Investing in the stock market is gambling
  2. Low priced stocks, especially those at 52-week lows are worth buying
  3. Investment analysts and advisors know how investments will perform

Investing In The Stock Market Is Gambling

Simplistically, investing is just another spending form. You buy a book, a car, a house, and you buy stocks, bonds, or other investment instruments. The key is to develop a solid process to follow instinctively before spending: a spending decision process.

Your attitude will decide how you behave, and so, you could choose to spend on stocks and bonds – invest – with a gambling motive. That’s why I advise folks never to invest unless they fulfill specific prerequisites, such as being debt free with an established process to replace major assets for cash, and having clear, concise, written investment goals.

Then again, even with clear goals, individuals need to know that consistent, solid earnings is the key sustainer of a business’ value, and ultimately, its stock market price.

Low Priced Stocks, Especially Those At 52-week Lows, Are Worth Buying

Here is a trap to avoid. A stock is trading at its 52-week low, falling over 50%, and you think it presents a buying opportunity. Maybe; on the other hand, maybe not! Likely, that business’ products and services no longer have the capability to produce previously perceived earnings. Alternatively, investment analysts and others may have promoted this business because of some fad or other irrelevant reason. Yahoo! and Nortel are examples of companies whose stock prices traded at unsustainable levels; after the expected collapse, their stock prices did not recover. Many other examples exist, particularly on the Japanese stock exchange.

As I mentioned above, as with all spending, we need to follow a spending decision process before investing. This will allow us to use a fall in stock price as a trigger to identify business’ fundamentals and potential investment opportunities.

Investment Analysts And Advisors Know How Investments Will Perform

When you listen to these folks, you might forget that they, like you and I, have no clue about the future. Some are in conflicts of interest, blinded, and pushing particular products. Others might be sincere but are relying on the past. And we know, the past might not be a good predictor of the future.

Can these folks help? Certainly, but each client must try to understand whom his or her advisor represents, and accept that advisors do not know the future. Accordingly, folks receiving investment advice must be fully aware that they, not their advisors, need to decide when and how to act from advice they get.

Before you start investing, dispel the above three myths, learn key investment basics, and learn and make sure you fulfill specific investing preconditions.

This final point is obvious but often folks overlook it. Investing in the stock market has an opportunity cost; it reduces, by amounts invested, funds available for other purposes. Ten thousand dollars invested in the market could buy a car, pay a portion of a college semester’s fees, or be donated to charity. Therefore, as part of your spending decision process, ask these three questions before deciding to invest:

  1. What other alternatives exists to use funds you are about to invest?
  2. Given your present and expected situation, is this the best use of funds today?
  3. Will you need to replenish these funds to carry out other specific goals in the next three to five years?

© Copyright 2013, Michel A. Bell

The Raging Popularity of Internet Sports Gambling

Do you enjoy gambling? A lot of people like to partake regularly. They are attracted to it because of the rush of winning and the hope of scoring big. Gambling is all about the surge of excitement. Fortunately, for gamblers a few nuances have been added to the betting game.

Recently, innovative additions like online poker and Internet sports gambling have entered the betting scene. Gambling just became much more convenient. Those who were not very fond of gambling before may just love its new cyber-experience dimension.

Are you interested in Internet sports gambling? This is a welcome addition for football and basketball nuts all over the country. You will love it if you enjoy placing a bet or two on a big game.

However, since this isn’t the 20th century anymore, it’s now all about computers and the World-Wide-Web. This is the only place where you can find such wonderful activities such as Internet sports gambling and online poker games.

My brother takes full advantage of this concept all the time since he is an ice hockey fanatic. He absolutely loves to place a bet on his favorite ice hockey teams. Nowadays, it has become so easy with Internet sports gambling websites. All you need a personal computer with Internet connection and a credit card, and you can place that bet in a jiffy.

You should hop on the World-Wide-Web right now if Internet sports gambling sounds right up your alley. You can now put that bet, big or small, down on your favorite team. However, you must not place bets that you can’t handle. T

his is always a bad decision on many levels. You can get into serious debt, and seriously disrupt your life and the lives of your family. You have to know when to quit.

If you’re not satisfied with Internet sports gambling, then you can always try a variety of cyberspace casinos. Nowadays, there are online casinos that can satisfy your gambling hunger. In our modern world, there is no need to go to Las Vegas in order to place your bet.