November 6, 2009
The #1 item on my list of the top 10 mistakes investors make is taking a casual go-it-alone approach to investing. Wall Street is dominated by PhDs, MBAs, CFAs, CPAs, attorneys, and other highly trained professionals who spend the vast majority of their waking hours looking for an edge. You have to recognize that the person on the other side of every trade you place may be more informed or knowledgeable than you. My staff and I spend our entire days reading about and analyzing companies, economies, and the financial markets. Individual investors allocating capital on a part-time, do-it-yourself basis have absolutely no chance of success. These investors are likely to do more damage than good. Savvy, smart, successful investors recognize the need for professional help. I’ve long advised investors to seek out the help of a registered investment advisor who charges less than 1% and has a basic investment philosophy that is similar to yours. At my family-run investment company and in my monthly strategy reports, we take a conservative approach, with a focus on diversification, dividends, and compound interest. If you share our philosophy, and you are not already with us, please join us.
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