How to Take the Long View With Your Investments

On any given day, the stock market could earn you a fortune or cost you your retirement. And then the next day, it could do the opposite. Short-term investing doesn't make sense in today's economy. That's why it's important to know how you can take a long view without making serious investment mistakes.

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Stop Worrying About It

Find a good investment advisor and let him handle the work. Someone like Ken Fisher of Fisher Investments will create diverse portfolios that balance risk with near-certainties. When you have someone trustworthy and smart working for you, you don't have to look at your stocks every day.

In fact, you shouldn't look at them every day. It will just create anxiety or joy that means nothing within hours. That rollercoaster of emotions won't lead to an early retirement. It will lead to an early grave.

Don't Drop a Company Just Because Its Value Falls

Investors used to find companies they believed in and then they'd get involved in making decisions with the company. Investors, after all, are owners. They have a lot to say about how a company functions.

Today, a lot of people think that they can get rich quick by buying and selling stocks within days or hours. Some of those people have made millions, but they've also hurt the way that the economy functions.

If you really want your investments to pay off, work towards making the whole economy better by choosing investment opportunities smartly, paying attention to what the company does, and making sure the board of directors knows your opinion.

Forget About Chasing Hot Tips

"Did you hear that Initech is about to release software that will automate the IRS? Its stock value is about to go through the roof!"

Stock tips like this are all over the place, but they hardly ever give you accurate information. If an industry really had a secret that could make a handful of people obscenely rich, do you really think your cousin Chuck knows about it?

Sure, Apple initially sold its stock for $22 a share. Today, the stock is worth over $400. Anyone who taken advantage of this hot tip back in 1980 would have nearly 20 times their original investment. Again, though, it's impossible to know which company will take off like that. Also, making a huge return on that investment means taking a long view and keeping the stock for over 30 years.

Don't Bother Investing in Penny Stocks

Some people buy penny stocks because they see big money-making potential. This is a logical fallacy that can cost you thousands of dollars. Spending $1,000 on penny stocks that quickly tank doesn't earn you more or less money than spending $1,000 on high-priced stocks that quickly tank.

Unless you can predict the future, it makes more sense to avoid penny stocks that aren't well-regulated or managed. Instead, buy key performers that will be around decades from now.

Have you benefitted from taking a long view with your investments? Or do you have good reason to think that short-term investments somehow make more sense?