6 mistakes beginner investors make and how to avoid them

It is only human to make mistakes, and that goes for every area of your life. But be it in relationships, family, work or investments, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn from your mistakes or prevent them altogether by learning from other people’s mistakes.

We listed 6 investment mistakes that beginners make so you don’t have to make them:

1. All in one

When a beginner wants to start investing, it’s normal that he or she accepts recommendations from a friend or a content creator. Being a novice who doesn’t know much about the various asset classes and different platforms, a new investor might feel the urge to apply all their money wherever recommended, putting all their eggs into one basket. And that can be a mistake. Diversification is vital for any investor to help mitigate their risks.

On average, it’s expected that well-diversified portfolios will generate higher long-term returns with lower risks to the investor. And who doesn’t want that?

That's not a clever strategy
Thats not a clever strategy.

2. Investing everything

Common advice among investing experts is to only invest money that you can afford to lose.

However, beginner investors who are eager to make money may get too excited when they see how they gain returns. That’s understandable, especially if their money was previously sitting in a bank account with little to no yields.

We know that feelings heavily affect our decisions, so if these now-I’m-making-money vibes take the best of someone who is just starting, it’s possible that they’ll put all their available money in that investment.

Instead, new investors could benefit from being cautious, studying all the investment options they’re interested in, weighing the risks and then planning and making progressive moves. Don’t rush, go slowly at your own pace, and make sure you make informed decisions.

3. No plan

Some apprentice investors add their money somewhere and never check it, never study more about the subject, and never reallocate their money when necessary. They just let their funds drift off without a real sense of what’s going on or where that strategy will lead to.

Instead, have a financial plan. How much do you want to diversify your portfolio and in what time frame? How much do you want to invest or gain? What will be your monthly investments? How often will you check your investments and rebalance your portfolio? Are you aiming for long-term or short gains?

There are many ways to create an investment and financial plan, but even just putting some rough numbers on a piece of paper is better than not planning at all. A plan is like a map that will help you reach the destination of your dreams.

Planning is like building a path to what you want to achieve
Planning is like building a path to what you want to achieve.

4. No due diligence

Everyone can fall victim to “opportunities” that are too good to be true, but that’s especially the case with investing newcomers.

It’s important to remember that all investment options come with a form of risk. Understanding these risks is important so you know what you are getting yourself into. If someone is offering you “no risk” or “zero risk” investments, run away. If they offer gigantic return rates, be suspicious.

Instead, research the platform or asset you want to invest in, understand how it works, check online reviews and never ever believe in offers that are simply too good to be true. Also, use recommendations from bloggers/influencers/friends as good starting points, but never follow blindly—take the time to do your own due diligence.

5. Silly expectations

When you discover the world of investing and see your money grow and learn about the power of compound interest, it’s hard not to get excited. And that’s OK. But investments are—for the most people—not a way to get rich quick.

If getting rick quick is what you’re after, it will likely lead to pitfalls. Instead, be realistic with your expectations, write down the numbers, make a long-term investment plan and stick to it, adapting only when necessary.

Craving quick returns might lead to 2 possible scenarios:

  • Falling victim to shady schemes
  • Risking too much, too quickly

In both scenarios you could end up losing all your money, so be careful and don’t think that investing will be like winning the lottery.

Set realistic expectations
Set realistic expectations.

6. Rushed decisions

Being under stress, experiencing anxiety or even excitement, changes the way we feel, think and make decisions. It can impact how you deal with your money and cause you to make irrational, unplanned decisions.

Instead, try to make decisions with a clear mind, based on information—not emotions—and consulting with a financial advisor if necessary.

Now you know the 6 most common mistakes beginner investors make and how to avoid them. Inform yourself, plan ahead and don’t make hasty decisions. If you think with a clear head, you’re more likely to achieve success!

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