Archive for: January, 2012


How to be a Successful Investor

January 26th, 2012 by John Anderson – Be the first to comment
Posted in How to be a Successful Investor, Investing, Successful

How to be a Successful Investor - 3 Things Smart Investors do DifferentlySuccess can be an arbitrary term meaning different things to different people. However, all of us want to be considered successful.  Especially as an investor. For me, being successful is simply meeting your goals.  The take away form that is: you have to have goals!  More on that in a minute.

When it comes to our wealth and investing, we all invest for different reasons.  Those reasons might be saving for retirement, sending kids to college, or supporting our favorite charity. However most find that successful investing is elusive at best.  The research firm Dalbar performs an annual survey of investor returns over the preceding 20 year period and the results paint a dismal picture.

The survey shows that most investors fail to even come close to the returns generated by the market indexes themselves. For example, the most recent survey, covering 1990 to 2010, shows that the average investor earned an annualized return of just 3.83% while the S&P 500 returned 9.14% annualized for the same 20 year period.  That’s a lot of change left on the table.

Let me put this into perspective.  Say you invested $10,000 in 1990 and you are the average investor earning an annualized return of 3.83%.  By 2010, your account would be worth a whopping $21,205.  Now, lets say you are a smart investor and managed to get market like returns.  That same $10,000 investment has turned into $57,501.  That’s an incredible $36,296 of missed opportunity all because you didn’t follow successful investing rules!  That’s a lot of money and its worth taking a closer look at the rules that can generate it!

Through this series on How to be a Successful Investor I’ll be exploring the reasons most investors fail and the simple things you can do to succeed.  While there are many reasons most investors fail there are some easy things that you can do today that will make all the difference tomorrow. In investing, as with most things in life, there are a few simple things that the most successful do differently.

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