Investing is not just about what you know but also who you are. The key to successful investing isn’t predicting the future – it’s learning from the past and understanding the present. Investing offers potential to grow our money, reach our goals and live the life we want. Regardless of the market conditions at the moment, the keys to successful investing are always the same.
Cash savings vulnerable to erosion by inflation
Investors often think of cash as a safe haven in volatile times, or even as a source of income. But even though we have seen a recent small rise in interest rates, we’re still experiencing a period of ultra-low interest rates which have depressed the return available on cash to near zero, leaving cash savings vulnerable to erosion by inflation over time. With interest rates expected to remain low, investors should be sure an allocation to cash does not undermine their long-term investment objectives. Cash left on the sidelines earns very little over the long run. Investors who have deposited
their cash in the bank may have missed out on the impressive performance that would have come with staying invested over the long term. Please note that these investments do not include the same security of capital which is afforded with a deposit account, and you may get back less than the amount invested.
Making an enormous difference to your eventual returns
Compound interest has been called the eighth wonder of the world. Its power is so great that even missing out on a few years of saving and growth can make an enormous difference to your eventual returns. You can make even better use of the effects of compounding if you reinvest the income from your investments to enhance your portfolio value further. The difference between reinvesting – and not reinvesting – the income from your investments over the long term can be significant.
Be prepared upfront for the ups and downs of investing
Every year has its potential roller coaster ups and downs. Volatility in financial markets is normal, and investors should be prepared upfront for the ups and downs of investing rather than having a knee-jerk reaction when the going gets tough. The lesson is, don’t panic: more often than not, a stock market pullback is an opportunity, not a reason to sell.
Investors should look to keep a long-term perspective
Market timing can be a dangerous habit. Pullbacks are hard to predict, and strong returns often follow the worst returns. But often, investors think they can outsmart the market, which they may later regret. As the saying goes, ‘Good things come to those who wait.’ While markets can always have a bad day, week, month or even a bad year, history suggests investors are much less likely to suffer losses over longer periods. Investors should look to keep a long-term perspective.
Reducing risks while potentially improving returns
The last decade has been a volatile and tumultuous ride for investors, with natural disasters, geopolitical conflicts and a major financial crisis. Among the most important tools available to investors is diversification. Diversification allows an investor to reduce investment risks while potentially
improving investment returns. A diversified portfolio is typically split across a range of different asset classes, with exposure to different companies, industries and types of market from different regions around the world. In a diversified portfolio, the assets don’t correlate with each other. When one rises, the other falls. It lowers overall risk because, no matter what the economy does, some asset classes will benefit.