If you’ve ever worked in sales, then you know it’s almost impossible to increase your income without first becoming a better salesman. The same is true when it comes to investing your money. In order to get better investment results, you first have to become a better investor. That means at least some of your investment needs to be in yourself.
There are certain steps you can take, and activities you can participate in, that will make you a better investor.
Attend Investment Seminars
You should plan to attend at least a couple of recommended investment seminars per year.
Though they’re not inexpensive, ranging from couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars, the knowledge you can gain at seminars can earn you several thousand dollars in additional investment income per year.
Not only do seminars have the potential to increase your knowledge, but they’re also an opportunity to connect with other investors. That is an outcome you should welcome, since investing is one of the activities that should never be done in a vacuum.
Improve Your Business or Career Skills
Sometimes you can take courses that are offered at local colleges, or community colleges, that can help give you a broader view of investing. If you’re a beginning investor, getting more educated should be an absolute necessity.
Though, they may not help much in the way of identifying winning stocks, classes and courses can expose you to investment theory and portfolio strategies to help you build a solid foundation.
In the same way, you should also take courses that will improve your business and career skills. The more money you can earn, the more money you will have available to invest.
You have to think of earning money from your job or business as being a vital part of your overall investment strategy.
Regularly Read and Follow Investment Related Blogs
Still another advantage of investor related blogs is that they provide ongoing fresh topics related to investing. This will give you a chance to quickly become familiar with topics you never even thought to ask.
Network in Investment Communities
Just as we all need to network with others who are in similar jobs, careers and businesses, we also need to connect with other serious investors.
If nothing else, this will provide you with an opportunity to bounce investor questions and philosophies with other knowledgeable people without having to pay a fee to an investment advisor.
Investing is not a journey you should make alone. By networking with others, you not only avoid common investment mistakes, but also develop the confidence you need to become a better and more successful investor.
Sometimes, just having company along the way provides the confidence boost you need.
Read Books Written by Successful Investors
Plan on reading at least three or four books, every year that have been written by successful investors. Warren Buffett is one of the best examples here, but there are many more and you should read as many as you can.
In particular, you may want to intentionally seek out books written by investors whose opinions and philosophies run counter to the main stream. Investors such as Jim Rogers often provide an entirely different slant on investment strategies.
You may find yourself getting comfortable with unconventional investment philosophies, that in one way or another, will improve your investment performance.
Choose a Successful Investment Mentor to Follow
A mentor relationship is something like an apprenticeship in that, it’s just about the fastest and most efficient way to learn any skill, including investing.
The ideal situation will be to develop an investment mentor relationship with someone you know is successful as an investor on a long-term basis. In that way, you can have a one-on-one relationship that enables you to learn, grow and ask questions wherever necessary.
If there is no one in your circle of contacts who can fill the mentor role, you might be able to find such a person through a network. Even though a person you meet in a network may live thousands of miles away, you can still develop a relationship outside the network that will enable you to get the personal training you need.
After that, choose a successful investor/author, and read every book or article he or she writes and watch any interview given on TV, or on the web.
Sometimes such prominent investors will also conduct seminars. Attend one if you can — a face-to-face meeting may open up a personal relationship that can be worth a fortune to you.
Always be Open to Changing Circumstances
This is more of a philosophy than anything else. In business and investing, you should always keep your mind open to changing circumstances. Whatever trends seem to be dominating at the moment, never assume that they will continue indefinitely.
Many investors get burned because they continue yesterday’s successful investment strategy for too long.
For example, they may fall in love with the emerging markets stocks, because they have had such outstanding performance in the past. But if that situation should change, emerging markets stocks could end up becoming money losers. Or worse, because of your near-religious attachment to the sector, you could be losing out on better returns elsewhere.
Change is a given in the world, and that includes investments. While you’re enjoying the investments and strategies that are working today, always keep your eyes and ears open to new developments.
Your purpose should always be to ride the waves — not to be blindsided and knocked over by them. Stay alert, stay open and don’t forget to invest in yourself!