Better investing: How to make better investment choices

M1 Team
M1 Team March 10, 2019

Getting better at investing is essential for those who want to thrive in the modern world. The way forward is not always clear, however. Learning how to make better investing decisions is a matter of exploring financial objectives, investment strategies and money management options to find a personalized fit for you.

Tools for building smarter investment plans

There are many ways to invest in pursuit of profitable gains. For instance, you might buy a stock at a low price and then sell it when it is worth more. Or you could put assets away in a retirement fund to enjoy subsequent tax breaks.

Which investment techniques and platforms are right for you? Refining your decision-making process is a must if you want to understand how to get better at investing. Fortunately, you can start by being more selective about the tools you use.

From Hollywood finance movies to lifestyle blogs, investment advice is everywhere. It is important to distinguish the experts from the novices. Use reputable investing websites, and when researching feedback from real users, stick to the web’s better investing reviews. Focus on those that clearly explain what kinds of options and what features different platforms offer without a lot of marketing or bias.

Although there are lots of great free tips online, paying for investment books has its advantages. These resources tend to cover critical topics with more depth and thoroughness. Investment clubs can be another handy source of information. Many let you pursue portfolio opportunities as a group with other members. This practice can make investment clubs good places to experiment and learn the ropes.

Current events and news sites often give people new perspectives to inform their financial plans. For instance, you might use them to track market volatility and find safe places to invest. Some platforms offer news notifications that are sent directly to your mobile to keep you abreast of the latest financial headlines.

Advice online does need to be taken as a collective approach, and even investment strategy specialists admit that getting better at investing demands a personalized style. Ideas that suit other investors’ strategies might be ill-advised for yours. Finding a better investing platform could be the thing that turns your investment performance around.

How do I do better investing now?

8 Steps to becoming better at investing

Coming up with a sound investment plan demands more than just research. The fate of your financial objectives rests on your ability to put theories into practice effectively. Here are some actionable ideas you can try for yourself.

1. Invest as early and as much as you can.

Many people start investing with the goal of achieving target returns by mastering specific investment tricks or markets. No matter how your financial plan takes shape, or which means you rely upon to generate profits, success rarely happens overnight. Investing earlier and more often lets you build equity.  This gives your portfolio enhanced momentum to achieve your target returns.

2. Establish a goal-oriented investment strategy.

Everyone has financial objectives, but better investors stand out by defining goals in less-uncertain terms. In addition to considering what your long-term financial objectives are, it is critical to think about your investment risk tolerance so that you know how much you are willing to sacrifice in pursuit of your dreams.

Never blindly accept someone else’s idea of the perfect strategy. If you want to make better investing decisions, you need to be hands-on, and customizing your tactics in the planning stages is an excellent place to begin. There are some popular methodologies to draw from that can help form your financial plan.

In a fundamental analysis strategy, you will analyze financial statements to pick stocks. For instance, you would look at a specific company’s return on equity, dividend payout ratio, earnings per share or dividend yield. You would also analyze ratios like price to earnings or price/earnings to growth to decide whether the firm is historically overvalued or undervalued.

The technical analysis technique stands in contrast to fundamental analysis. As a technical trader, you would focus on wider models using charts and graphs. The goal is to predict what might come next, so many people who want to become better investors depend on conceptual tools and past trends. For instance, you would peruse asset price graphs hunting for the cup and handle, head and shoulders, triangle or other well-known patterns that help you anticipate the next likely market shift.

Growth investing strategy is all about capital appreciation, or value gain. You seek out stocks, funds and other opportunities that you expect to outpace their industries or markets. By investing money into them, you try to profit on their success.

Buy and hold strategies are as straightforward as they sound. After purchasing investment securities, you keep them for protracted periods. This approach lets you work around market volatility, or instability, by holding out in the hopes that long-term gains will surmount any short-term losses or other investment risks.

3. Research your investments.

You probably know that research is important, but you might not appreciate how critical it is. As with reading reviews and other sources, you want to do your due diligence to ensure you are basing your investment objectives on sound data.

Making comparisons is a good way to become familiarized with the market. Gauge your investment performance against risk-free rates, blogger reports, and idealized tables and theories from investment books.

Some corners of the web aggregate lots of useful information in one place. One popular option, Better Investing, focuses on providing high-end investment education at a low cost to promote financial literacy. This volunteer-staffed organization hosts open houses, helps people start investment clubs and maintains numerous chapters across the U.S.

On top of its free information, BetterInvesting offers membership plans with extra perks. For instance, members get access to monthly webinars, stock studies and 24/7 stock data.

better investing: dollar cost averaging

4. Try dollar cost averaging.

Dollar cost averaging involves investing on a regular, predetermined schedule. For instance, you might set up automatic transfers from your bank account to a portfolio management app. This kind of strategy may help you absorb market-related investment risks. It can also make you better at investing by ensuring that you stick to your financial plan.

5. Find tax-efficient investments and diversify.

Some investment strategies carry heftier tax burdens and costs. For instance, you will owe the IRS more for certain types of unapproved early retirement fund withdrawals. If you invest in stocks through a broker, you pay fees that you would not with a free investment app.

Choose better investing practices that maximize your convenience and minimize your costs. For instance, with modern technology, you can learn how to get better at investing using any mobile device. Or, when you file your taxes, you can look for deductions that might make investing sweeter.

6. Manage your portfolio efficiently.

Not all investment plans are equally sound. Make your strategy more efficient by rethinking how you oversee your assets.

Better investors take advantage of many tools to keep their holdings profitable, such as automated deposit schedulers and portfolio rebalancing software. Try to avoid common mistakes, such as impulse buying and excessive risk-taking.

7. Invest for the long haul 

Investing for short-term gain can be problematic. Yes, some short-term investments are safer than others, but that is not the whole story. Even if you go for immediate gains, you still need to balance your portfolio by ensuring it also includes moderate-gain long-term opportunities.

8. Review and measure your performance.

Do not assume that investment advice will work the way it should. Confirm the effectiveness of the strategies you pick up from investment websites, financial advisers and market index trackers by regularly reviewing and measuring the results.

In addition to comparing your portfolio’s performance to your stated investment objectives, you should use analytical tools to examine new data points and performance indicators that you might not have considered. Doing research and experimentation is the soundest way to learn how to get better at investing, and apps that keep you updated on your holdings make it easier to test concepts and theories with minimal risk.

Better investor now

Become a better investor now

The M1 Finance app is your comprehensive solution for better investing advice, market index data and the power to put it all into practice.

With M1, you can invest in your choice of assets without paying any commissions in order to follow your customized financial plan. By using better investing tools and insights accessible to regular Android and iOS users, this platform enables anyone to become a better investor anytime, anywhere. Trusted investing websites recognize M1’s distinctive benefits like the FDIC-insured M1 Spend checking account and the M1 Borrow portfolio credit line. Whether you want to master personal finance or fund more substantial investments without paying as much, M1 lets you boost your skills faster. Save time, spend less and become a better investor by signing up today.