The gleam and bright lights of Wall Street lure in many new investors each year, only to send them home crying to their friends and family. Why do so many people fail when it comes to the stock market? The reason is very simple: Hard work! Most people are looking for a quick buck or a fast path to riches. This is not the case when it comes to investing in individual stocks. If you wish to invest in stocks, treat it like a business, NOT A HOBBY. For example: A retail outfit can’t make money if it doesn’t have goods to sell, the same goes for investors, without cash, you can’t invest. What do I mean? All investors need rules and you need to follow these rules or money WILL be LOST. If you lose your initial investment, you are out of business (just like the retail store). I don’t necessarily care what your rules are but they need to be proven and then followed to a “T”.
Think about this for a moment: How much time do you spend researching and following up on your investments? Most people will spend more time researching their next car to buy, their next pair of sneakers, the best suit, the best dress, the best pasta sauce, etc. but these same people rarely spend more than 15 minutes a month researching their own stocks. I know of a person that spends hours clipping coupons (saving cents to a few dollars) but just minutes investing thousands in stocks.
This is why the majority of people FAIL at investing, because they don’t know what they are doing, they don’t care to know where their money is and they don’t know who to hire to invest their money. If you are not interested in learning how to invest properly using your OWN system of trial and error over many years, I suggest that you invest in mutual funds or similar diversified vehicles. Over the long run (minimum 20 years), mutual funds and dollar cost averaging will give you favorable results with minimal worries. I will elaborate into methods that can be used to invest successfully in individuals stocks in following articles.