There’s no magic formula for investing

Some people might think that there is a formula out there on how to invest successfully. And, clearly, there is no shortage of people who claim to have one. On the other hand, there is also a list of people who have used their own investment formulas successfully.

However, the fact of the matter is that there is no one way to invest successfully. If there was, someone would sell it, wouldn’t they. The reality is that successful investing involves many different factors, including knowledge, experience, judgement, information, networking and many other variables. So, it’s not necessarily a matter of figuring out one way of how to assess all these variables, but to learn as you go along, including learning from others.

A broader view of the markets

For example, if there is perhaps one most salient point to remember when it comes to investing, it’s to focus on the long-term. As any decent investor should know by now, markets go up and down, but the value of objective-reaching portfolios usually goes up. And when we talk about long-term, sometimes we’re talking about decades. So, reading market websites on a daily basis is not the sole road to investing success. A much broader view of the markets is needed.

Another piece of wisdom to keep in mind is to stay disciplined — on a number of fronts. Sometimes investors sell or buy simply for the sake of doing something when doing nothing would have been better. Sometimes investors make decisions on whether they like a company or its owner, or not, and that’s not necessarily the best way to invest, either. This probably isn’t the first time you’ve heard this, but investing shouldn’t be an overly-emotional endeavour. It should be done with reason, calculation and patience — always.

Learning instead of reacting

These are just a few insights into how to invest successfully, but the point is that they’re just that: insights. Some investors are more aggressive, some are more patient. But they all tend to exhibit some of the traits listed above because they learn about the nature of the markets instead of reacting to them.

ASCEND GRP is an asset-management firm, with offices in Toronto, Richmond Hill, and New York, that services clients seeking investment opportunities worldwide.


Do-it-yourself investing?

The world of investing has certainly changed over the years, especially when it comes to access and culture. There used to be a time when people of a certain wealth with a certain background would have stockbrokers to help them manage their investment assets. The idea of, say, a factory worker or a plumber having an investment portfolio would have seemed strange back then.

But times have changed, haven’t they? Or have they? There certainly has developed over the years a greater amount of access to investing with the public at large. From discount brokerages to do-it-yourself online investing, the opportunities for everyone to invest on their own have never been greater.

Doubts about investing

However, according to a recent survey conducted by TD, Canadians in general are still very anxious about doing investing on their own, and are lacking in the confidence and knowledge needed to do so.

Specifically, one in three surveyed say they don’t know the basics of investing,  almost 40 percent of people not confident in investing never seek out resources to learn about investing, but 65 percent said they’d like to be able to invest for retirement, 36 percent want to purchase a new home, and 23 percent want to save for an education.

So, what does this information tell us? Well, it tells us that people want to use investing for a lot of good purposes, but they’re just not sure of how to go about doing it. So, how does this gap get addressed?

Going beyond yourself

The first solution is that people should always try educate themselves about finance and investments. There is no shortage of resources on that front. It’s just a matter of having some confidence to take that first step.

However, as much as personal knowledge and investment is important, let’s face it, not everyone can be an investment expert, although they should still be able to benefit from investing. As a result, potential investors shouldn’t be afraid to seek professional investment help, whether it’s in the form of an advisor, planner, counselor — you name it. Combining your own learning with that of a trained professional can often be a formula for long-term investing success.

ASCEND GRP is an asset-management firm, with offices in Toronto, Richmond Hill, and New York, that services clients seeking investment opportunities worldwide.

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