How To Invest Your Money To Make It Last
When all economic indicators are in the tank, unemployment is at an all time high and interest rates on bank CD’s are close to zero percent, how to invest your money can seem like a complicated undertaking. However, it is not complicated. Investing your money during hard times should be no different than during good times. How to invest your money starts with good financial habits; it’s not just about your ability or inability to pick winning investments. Let’s brush up on a few investment basics.
#1 – Do It On Autopilot
If you allow yourself to make an investing decision every time you get paid you may not be able to avoid the temptation to spend vs invest. There are many ways to put your investing on autopilot. You can have a percentage or your paycheck directly deposited to your savings; the only decision you have to make then is your investment allocation. The next time you get a raise or bonus have it deposited into your retirement plan.
#2 – Stay Focused On Investing Not The Market
Markets go up, markets go down. If you continue to invest regardless of market swings you will not lose “buying-power”. Consistency can be valuable when investing. If you invest the same amount of money in mutual funds or stocks each month regardless of the market volatility you will buy some shares at low prices and some at high prices; but when averaged out you gain “buying-power”. Sometimes it is better to ignore the day-to-day market activity because it can cloud your investing judgment.
#3 – Avoid Falling In Love
You make your money last by not falling in love with any investment. Investors get in trouble when they stick with their investments through thick and thin even when it may be time to dump them and move on. The best way to monitor your investments is to review them at least once a year. How to invest your money means having an investment exit strategy. Find a price point; if the investment price drops below that point, you sell it, period!
#4 – Understand And Sleep At Night
Only invest in markets or businesses that you understand. If you don’t understand bonds, derivatives or emerging markets that’s okay, just do not put your money into those types of investments. Just because your neighbor, co-worker or mother-n-law have money in those investment options does not mean you have to. You will sleep better if you invest in what you know.