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Ask Questions
 
Never underestimate the importance of asking questions, especially when it comes to  investing.  To often people do not take time to be curious about the ins and outs of their financial decisions.  Countless people throw money into investments and accounts without knowing if those actions are in their best interest.  Even if the questions being asked are posed to yourself, answers must be achieved.  Some things to consider when setting funds aside to invest include: what is the purpose for these funds, what is the timeframe for investing, how would you feel if you lost the majority of these funds, what is your expected outcome, and is this decision in your best interests.

Develop A Plan
 
The stock market and world of investing can be unforgiving for the unprepared.  It is never a good idea to just simply invest money without having a plan for the funds to be maximized.  When it comes to the world of investing if done wrong you could lose your life savings in a matter of moments.  The idea is not to focus on potential losses, but on having a plan in place to mitigate losses.  Prudent investors are actually able to benefit when investments in the market begin to plunge, its a concept known as buy low sell high.  However people who have not put a plan in place tend to panic when certain declines or market events ensue.  The beautiful part about having a plan is that what you are doing will generally be correct unless your goals have changed.
 
Follow-Through
 
You can have the best, and I do mean best laid plan for your situation but without follow-through it means nothing.  The reason people go to Financial Advisors and Investment Planners is to get help putting a plan in place.  That professional will ask probing questions into your situation, gain an understanding of your goals and obstacles, and craft a plan suited to your needs.  What is shocking is the number of people who will let a well laid
plan sit idle.  You may achieve some semblance of success with your investing, but if it is not tied to a well executed plan you simply have the appearance of success.
 
Ask For Help
 
One of the best things you can do as an investor is to seek help.  Even the best investors rely on some form of help, so be open to receiving help in whatever medium suits your needs.  Many investors stumble with making appropriate investment decisions because they do not realize how much of a resource their broker can be.  Your broker can be either the firm or the individual you invest with, and by checking with them it helps you to make more informed choices.  Resources that are typically available through brokers include: articles, videos, seminars, and one on one guidance.

 


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