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What are the habits of a successful investor?

Posted by: Brian Dennehy
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Membership level: Free
 
This is an extract from the May Gold Members’ teleconference and is part of the “investing decision journal” that we are building out. If you're a Gold Member, do go back and have a listen if you haven’t done already – there’s loads more detail in the recording. For now, we’re just passing this over the fence with no marking or judgement, to help you make an honest appraisal of your own investing habits. Do feedback by email or in the Facebook group.
 
To improve our investing, we have to develop an awareness of our investment habits, particularly those which are holding us back. 
 
Think of habits (helpful or not so helpful) that you know you tend to repeat. Run down the list below as an aide memoire and tick “Yes, this applies to me” or “No, this doesn’t apply to me”
 
Here is an example from the teleconference, which you can also download as a PDF here.
 
Habit
Yes, this applies to me
No, this doesn’t apply to me
I’m consistent and reliable in my investing
 
 
 
I’m trying to become “an investor” not just invest
 
 
 
My process for investing is clear and easily understandable
 
 
 
I get swayed by market gyrations
 
 
 
I pay attention to newspaper and online fund tips
 
 
 
I pop glossy marketing literature around new fund launches in the recycling bin
 
 
I like good stories when buying a fund
 
 
 
I consider fund manager tenure in my investment decision
 
 
 
Top 10 holdings are important to me when choosing a fund
 
 
 
I’ll check markets and fund prices daily
 
 
 
I can separate the facts that matter from those that don’t
 
 
 
I seek out many different opinions before acting
 
 
 
When I know I should sell I often don’t act straightaway because it’s uncomfortable
 
 
I can find it difficult to sell an investment I’ve held for a while
 
 
 
I tend to be a bit twitchy and will buy and sell funds quickly
 
 
 
I write down clearly what I bought and why
 
 
 
I always choose the time of the day that’s best for me to look at my investments
 
 
I avoid stressful places when I work on my investments
 
 
 
My workplace is well setup to focus on my investments
 
 
 
My review dates when I’ll look at my portfolio are all set up
 
 
 
I have a realistic understanding of the ups and downs of the markets
 
 
 
 
These are examples but there may be others that you can add in. 
 
The objective is simply to notice what’s actually going on with your investment decision-making, your investment reviews, and your thought processes from day to day.
 
If you’re still having trouble thinking about whether a particular habit is helpful, ask yourself the question:
 
“does this behaviour help me become the successful investor I wish to be?”
 
We’ll be building this out in much more detail in coming weeks. For starters, download a copy of the table above here. 
 
In the meantime, do feed back with your thoughts, comments and habits that you think hold you back most.
 
Topic: Portfolio building


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