12 Best Investing Tips For Beginner Investors

Getting started on your investing journey as a beginner can be both daunting and exciting at the same time. There is a lot of information that can quickly overwhelm investors who are just starting out. The goal is to determine which investments and strategies serve them best.

Starting with these basic investing tips offers actionable guidance on how to navigate the complex world of the financial markets. Taking these principles into account provides a stable foundation. The next steps are developing a solid financial future that fosters growth while taking calculated risks. Here are 12 fundamental tips that provide a roadmap for beginners to confidently make financial decisions for future success.

1. Focus on Diversity

Diversification is a fundamental investing principle for all investors. It allows you to spread your risk across different asset classes. This strategy reduces the impact of losses that your portfolio may suffer from in one particular asset. The way to diversify your investments is to allocate your money across various assets like stocks, bonds, precious metals, and/or commodities.

In addition, invest in different market sectors like consumer staples, information technology, energy, and utilities. Diversification across sectors ensures that if one sector underperforms, gains in other sectors can offset losses. This provides more stable performance and a more resilient portfolio. The same is true by diversifying through different asset classes.

vector image of financial charts and data

Portfolio diversification is one of the fundamental principles of investing.

2. Do Research on Investments

Knowledge is powerful in investing. Doing your due diligence can help you understand the potential risks and rewards associated with an investment. This will in turn help you make the most informed decisions. There are many resources investors can use today to find the latest information on whatever you’re looking for.

Every quarter or four times per year, publicly-traded companies release earnings reports that show how it financially performed for that specific time period. These reports are helpful in understanding the health of the business and if the company is growing its profits. You can also go to a company’s website. There you will find free material on what it is doing to grow its business.

You can also utilize public financial filings that companies are required to report to regulatory authorities like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These filings lay out everything you need to know about a company from what the company’s risks are to how much money the company’s executive team makes. These details can be critical when you’re making investment decisions.

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Doing research and proper due diligence is crucial for every investor.

3. Be Informed About Markets

The stock market and economy are changing every day, and the world is currently under a lot of geopolitical stress. All of these changing dynamics can impact the economy, industries and eventually your investments. That’s why it's important to stay up to date so you know how to approach your investment strategy.

The best ways to stay informed is by keeping up with the latest financial news and happenings around the world. You can also read financial analysis from various investment firms. There are many investment experts who you can follow on social media that publish their thoughts on the market.

4. Set Investing Goals

This is arguably one of the most important tips on the list. Having clearly defined financial goals will help guide your investing strategy. Whether you aim to save for a home or retirement, having a specific objective will help you navigate which investments are right for you and how much to allocate to each.

The way to do this is by determining what your short-term and long-term financial goals are. Some of the factors to consider here are time horizon, risk tolerance, and how much cash you may need on hand. Aligning your investment choices with your goals will help you stay focused and disciplined.

5. Start Investing Early

Time in the market is critical for investment success. The earlier you start, the more time your money has to grow through compounding. This is a significant advantage to exponentially growing your wealth over time.

You can do this by being invested as soon as you are ready. You can even start out by investing in small amounts. If you make consistent contributions over time, especially if you start in your early years, this can lead to considerable wealth accumulation by the time you reach retirement age.

a picture of a plant growing out of a stack of coins

Growing wealth takes time and patience!

6. Don’t Try to Time the Market

While investors may think they can get in an investment at a low value, doing that at the right time is very difficult. You may even end up paying more than what you intended if you don’t enter at the right time. That’s why trying to predict short-term market movements tends to be a poor investing strategy. It can lead to missed opportunities and even losses.

Even experienced investors struggle to predict market fluctuations. Instead, try to adopt a systematic investment approach like dollar cost averaging. This is done by consistently investing a fixed amount at regular intervals. This way you can mitigate the risk of market volatility and benefit from lower average costs.

7. Have an Emergency Fund

Before you even start investing make sure you have an emergency fund in place. This fund acts as a financial safety net, providing liquidity for unexpected expenses and preventing the need to sell investments at unexpected times.

Save three to six months' worth of living expenses in a liquid, easily accessible account before allocating significant funds to investments. This safeguards your investments from the impact of immediate financial emergencies.

photo of $100 bill and silver coins and rounds

Your "rainy day" fund for emergencies should be in cash or cash equivalents.

8. Understand Fees

Be on top of the fees associated with maintaining your investments. Things like management and transaction fees as well as expense ratio are all costs that impact investment returns. High fees can reduce your gains overtime and limit portfolio growth. This is why investors should review the fee structure of their investment accounts. Also, consider lower-cost investment options that help maximize returns.

You can review fee disclosure documents that are provided by investment platforms. These help you understand the different types of fees, how they’re calculated, and the impact they have on your returns.

9. Reinvest Dividends

Reinvesting dividends allows you to have the power of compounding. Compounding is when earnings on your investments generate additional returns over time. Through your brokerage, you can choose the option to opt for dividend reinvestment plans. This automatically reinvests dividends back into the same or other investments of preference. This strategy can significantly boost long-term returns.

10. Have a Long-Term Investing Horizon

While markets can be volatile in the short-term, historically, they have shown long-term resilience and growth. That’s why having a long-term perspective allows you to ride out market fluctuations and benefit from an upward trajectory.

The best way to have a long-term investing horizon is to resist the urge to try to time the market in hopes of getting in at a good price lower. Rather, it's better to focus on the long-term performance of your investments. This approach is especially beneficial for retirement planning, where the compounding effect works most effectively over an extended period.

11. Review Your Portfolio Periodically

It’s important to review your investment portfolio periodically. Financial markets are subject to constant changes. We are currently experiencing challenging economic conditions like rising interest rates and global conflict which can impact the performance of investments. These events could impact your financial goals and risk tolerance.

Regularly reviewing your investments by assessing any life change—like income, or your family situation—is critical to ensure your investment strategy is serving those goals. This can also be a time to review the performance of your assets. If your return on investment is lagging, you may need to make adjustments such as rebalancing by selling assets and reallocating those funds to other assets.

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Tracking the performance of your portfolio is an ongoing process.

12. Maintain Patience

This tip may seem trivial but it’s a virtue for many reasons. As mentioned earlier, it will take many years for your investments to compound in growth that will have a life-changing impact on returns. But investors need to have patience for that wealth to accumulate. If you’re committed to having a long-term investing perspective, you’re on the right track.

It’s also critical to have patience during market downturns. Markets will go through up and down cycles and you will see that reflected in your portfolio as gains or losses. In a downturn, successful investors who don’t panic and sell but are patient and can ride out those losses more times than not catch the potential recovery. That’s because they know market downturns are temporary and can actually be used as opportunities to buy assets at a discount.

Written by Paulina Likos

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