1. Get a Financial Plan. Your investments should be just part of your big picture. I've always managed my own portfolio, but when it came to my finances, I consulted a Certified Financial Planner I found at LearnVest. Knowing I have a plan helps me sleep better at night.
2. A Little Goes a Long Way: Make regular investments -- monthly works for most people. And stay the course: You're investing for the long-term, so do not panic when the markets fluctuate. I built my portfolio $10 or $15 at a time.
4. Do What Works for You: For most people, individual stocks may not be the way to go. They take patience and lots of research. I read all available company info, and I research the products and/or services before buying. I also watch the stock for about one year before I buy.
5. Buy What You Believe In: If I believe in the company and I use their products or services, then I decide whether to purchase the stock. This isn't just about making money for me, I am a conscientious investor. I have no ExxonMobil in my portfolio, because of the Exxon Valdez spill. I won't buy Walmart because they don't pay their workers enough to live. I won't buy stock in any company where I don't spend my money.
Gallery: 10 Stocks for the Next 50 Years
6. Invest for the Long Haul: I was really broke after 9/11 because my portfolio plummeted, and my first big investment after that was like a leap of faith. But I just let the money sit and shrink, and it grew back up on its own. The first time it went back up to over $15,000, I thought it was a mistake!
More from LearnVest:
- What's your investing IQ? Take this quiz to find out.
- Another success story: How I Paid Off $25,000 in Debt in Two Years
- Here are eight things you think are good for your money ... but aren't.
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