Top 10 Basic Rules of Investing For Beginners

April 12, 2022
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Investment is a critical component of well-planned financial prospects. In the current periods of escalating inflation, merely saving a portion of your salary will never be adequate.

Investments enable us to boost our financial resources by growing them faster than just an inactive bank or savings account.

Such growth assists us in achieving several of our short and long-term objectives. Investments enable us to combat inflation and maintain pace with the increased prices while also helping us gradually amass our earnings for a long time, ensuring our financial security.

You can invest your money in the stock market, mutual funds, bonds/fixed-income instruments, real estate, and many other assets, as these, are some of the best long-term investments.

Best-Long Term Investments – Image Source: FinancesOnline

However, with countless options for investors to pick from, it can be challenging to know where to begin as a beginner investor.

Although sitting tight to grasp everything before beginning to invest seems kind of a delay, understanding the essentials is critical, even more so when your income is on the line.

Many individuals enter the investment sector (primarily the stock market) with hardly any guidance. Unfortunately, the harsh realities of the stock market do not spare 90% of them.

Investing is much like every other game. Therefore if you really want to succeed, you should first understand the basics of investing and then follow them.

Experimenting, on the other hand, can result in massive financial losses. Thus, a carefully controlled strategy for the market can perform miracles for a beginner investor.

Here are the basic ten rules of investing that will help you have a successful investing experience.

1. Prior to Investing, Save

Among the most common errors that beginner investors make is choosing to put the spotlight on investing when they should be concentrating on saving first.

When dealing with little sums of money, one should prioritize saving more funds or increasing one’s income over short-term gains. This is due to the fact that their returns are unimportant in the short run.

Consider the early stages of your investment life cycle to put this into context. Savings are substantially greater than investment gains at this time since you have very few funds.

Savings and Investment Gains Chart – Image Source: Nick Maggiulli

But, as shown above, when you accumulate more assets/funds, the gains from either of these assets have a far greater impact on your financial situation.

Thus, if (Total Assets * Expected Annual Return > Expected Savings), it indicates that your investment is returning more than you are saving, and you should concentrate on your investment opportunities.

But on the other hand, if you really can save more than your investments can return annually, do so.

Keep in mind that saving is the first step in accumulating wealth, followed by investing. You can accumulate wealth without a significant salary, but you have little chance of accumulating wealth unless you save. 

With a high savings rate, you have a large amount of money to put into your investments.

Also read: 10 Useful Ideas to Propel You Towards Financial Independence

2. Have an Emergency Fund

When it comes to the basics of investing, the second most important rule is to have an emergency fund. This is critical not only to get you through difficult situations but also to allow you to invest for the long term.

But what exactly is an emergency fund? It is a sum of money sufficient to pay for your everyday expenses for a minimum of six months.

Nevertheless, if one only has a single stream of income and has few beneficiaries who rely on their salary, then the emergency fund should last up to a year.

These funds are helpful whenever dealing with financial hardships such as layoffs, unexpectedly large bills, and so on.

Emergency Fund Concept – Image Source: TIAA

Furthermore, an emergency fund is required so that you do not have to liquidate your assets in the event of a financial disaster. And if you have to liquidate a few of your investments during a downturn, it’s when they’re down.

3. Set Investment Goals

Everybody requires a compelling motive to invest. When you make an investment without a clear objective in mind, you’re just literally throwing money down the drain.

Furthermore, if all you are doing is setting money aside and selecting investments that appear to be somewhat suitable, you will almost surely not be obtaining the best bang for the buck.

To begin with, how can you judge if an investment is suitable or not if you don’t know what it needs to be suitable or ideal for?

Perhaps you might already be investing with certain ambitions in place, such as a vacation, your kids’ education, and so on. 

Basic rules of investing: Investment Goals – Image Source: Fidelity

However, if all you want is just a little more financial stability, that’s a clear ambition.

This is something that many beginner investors fail to realize: understanding your objectives or goals is critical if you want to select the best or appropriate investments. 

Understanding your financial goals and how long you want to invest can help you stay to your strategy.

4. Invest for the Long-Term

Investments should never be thought of as a get-rich-quick strategy.

Take, for example, the stock market investment. We’ve all heard the old adage about buying the market when it’s low and selling when it’s high. Numerous people use this method to make easy and quick money.

They acquire shares of a service provider when they’re low-priced, then when the investors believe the share value has appreciated sufficiently, they begin selling the shares for a greater price.

However, such a strategy is difficult to adopt given the fact that it is hard to anticipate when the share value will rise or perhaps its rise has reached its peak performance.

So, rather than viewing the investment market (stocks, bonds, and so on) as a tool for making quick (short-term) money, consider it as a long-term investment choice.

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Also read: How Can I Make Money Through NFT? – NFT Art

5. Don’t Invest in Anything You Don’t Understand

Most individuals are drawn to investment when they learn they have the potential to make profits rapidly and effectively without having to worry about the financial ramifications.

However, as a beginner investor, you should make an effort to investigate any company before investing your money into it entirely, so you know precisely what’s associated with it and what the pitfalls are.

The only approach to do so is to examine the relevant data pertaining to the company’s financial outlook.

Understanding asset values, statements of financial position, revenue growth, and other financial data can help you learn how an enterprise is doing.

Aside from that, it is critical to comprehend the global implications that are influencing the investing sector. With this strategy, you have confidence in your investments.

6. Don’t Take on Risks You Can’t Handle

An asset allocation is critical to achieving your goals; it is commonly stated that asset allocation accounts for 90% of a portfolio’s overall return.

And of this, investing most often necessitates a trade-off between higher expected profits and increased risk.

However, as a beginner, a higher-risk investment option that goes wrong swiftly can empty your checking account and leave you with no record of any earnings or investments.

It’s rare to spend heavily without questioning your spending patterns. You will quickly recognize that you are making poor financial moves and will begin to despair and panic.

Thus, don’t put money at risk that you simply cannot afford to lose it. Diversifying your investments spreads your risk, as we’ll discuss next.

The very last thing that can happen is to squander all of your income on a single investment.

7. Manage Risk With Diversification

Diversification is one of the most basic ten rules of investing that enable you to choose a medium path through market extremes, ensuring your investments develop steadily with minimal swings along the way.

The goal of diversification is to reduce risk by trading off possible returns.

Risk Reduction by Diversification – Image Source: BasuNivesh

When you are first trying to generate riches as a beginner investor, you should create a focused portfolio of your top investments.

These would be the investments in which you have a strong belief in potential returns. As your money grows, raise your standards and broaden your horizons.

Losses in any one investment will have less of an impact on you and might well be balanced by profits in other assets or investments.

8. Engage Experts

Discuss ideas and seek expert advice and projections to help you accomplish your financial objectives. This is also important when it comes to creating an investment portfolio that is tailored to your specific objectives.

However, many consumers are unaware of the various services that a financial expert may give.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, financial adviser employment is expected to grow 5% from 2020 to 2030, less than the average for all occupations.

This is attributed to the fact that around 99% of Americans do not consult a financial expert.

One of the reasons behind this stance is that many individuals believe that hiring a financial expert is expensive and reserved for the wealthy.

Competent investment management expertise is not inexpensive; however, having poor investment choices in life is far more costly. Financial experts are professionals in the field, and as such, their guidance is definitely worth following.

9. Maintain Your Investment Discipline

It is critical that investors strive to save throughout time, in highs and lows, regardless of whether they can only save a small amount.

While also continuing investment on a regular basis, you’ll develop the behavior of spending below your means while amassing a savings account of assets in your entire portfolio.

Whether you believe the market is about to increase or collapse, buy your chosen stock at a gradual and steady pace.

A consistent investment approach not only removes the emotional side of investing but also encourages discipline.

Also read: 6 Ways Technology is Disrupting the ECommerce Industry

10. Control Your Fear and Greed

Human emotion is likely the most formidable foe of successful continuous investments.

However, regardless of whether you are a long-term or short-term investor, being disciplined and consistent in your investment approach is critical to profitability. 

An investing strategy should accompany each investment. However, it is significantly harder to ascertain when to exit a market than it is to know when to enter one.

Understanding whether to make a profit or reduce a loss is simple in theory, but when you’re buying a risky asset, fear and greed take immediate action to distance you from the truth and your hard-earned money.

The Bottom Line

Being a successful investor entails doing business responsibly as well as preventing poor choices.

It is easier to get carried away in the fluctuating market, regardless of whether you’re a beginner investor or one that’s been monitoring the stocks for a long period.

However, if you make some savings, set investment goals, manage risks, maintain your discipline, or rather follow all of the basics of investing detailed in the piece, you might find more success in the end.

Hopefully, adopting these basic ten rules of investing will help you make wise decisions and perhaps even transform you into the best investment manager.

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Victoria Munyi
Victoria Munyi
Victoria is a seasoned SEO content writer and copywriter with proven experience in creating unique, insightful, and engaging content for a wide range of audiences that ranks high on search engines.

She is also a personal finance coach who will help you manage your money better by reducing wastage and identifying opportunities to grow your income. Follow her on her social media pages where she talks about personal finance and business growth strategies.
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