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Seven investment ideas I wish I learned earlier in life

by , 12 June 2019
Seven investment ideas I wish I learned earlier in life
Don't you wish you started investing earlier in life? I certainly do. Even though my first investments were made during my university years, there was so much money I wasted on expensive clothes, computer games and gadgets.

While I'm happy with where I am now, there are so many things I wish the younger me knew.

From the nitty-gritty details of how and why to invest, to the bigger-picture mindsets of investing. So here are 7 things about investing that you should learn as early as possible in life (or teach your kids today).
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What you need to know about investing
Investment Idea #1 – There’s no-one in control of the stock market
The stock market fluctuates because of thousands of factors working together all at once.
No one knows whether it will go up or down. No one has a crystal ball that can predict the future.
It’s important to pay attention to the news around the stock market, and it’s important to pay attention to your portfolio. But don’t think that you can control or time the market. Trying to predict what will happen with the stock market has been proven over and over again to be a fool’s errand. So, do yourself a favour and don’t.
Investment Idea #2 – Investing means you have to take a leap
It’s not easy jumping into the unknown. None of us like losing, or risking the possibility of a loss. But the fact is, every investment we make means the need to take that risk.
But the fact remains, investing is as much an act of faith as starting a business.
You may have done your market research, know about the best products and looked at historical returns. But past performance doesn’t determine future performance. As I said above, no one can predict the market. You invest and trust that your returns will grow to what you need them to be.
Of course, there are ways to mitigate the risks with investing. Diversify your accounts, adjust your holdings as you age and avoid high fees. These are all ways to hedge your bets in the market.
But at the end of the day, you still have to take that leap. Without risking something, it’s impossible to make anything. So, don’t let your fear of losing get in the way of winning.
Investment Idea #3 – Start early
We’ve all heard about compounding and how it is an all-powerful financial tool. But I didn’t truly appreciate it while I was young. If I did – I’d have made other choices.
Here’s a way to bring the message home to your kid today:
Invest R1,000 in a 10% yielding investment yearly from 16 years old till you are 30. Thereafter just leave the investment to grow on its own. Your R15,000 invested will turn into R235,124 by the time you reach fifty…
However, if you start when you are 25 years old, and save yearly up to 50 you’ll only grow your investment to R120,099. Basically, half the growth, for nearly double the investment.
Now imagine the possibility if you’d invested R10,000 a year or more from 16. That’s not impossible for a kid that age – waitering at a restaurant only once a week could easily net you that amount of cash.
Investment Idea #4 – Only use debt to grow your income
We grow up in a world of credit cards, short term loans and all kinds of easy debt.
Don’t buy an expensive car at 22. Don’t use your credit card to buy furniture. And don’t continually live off debt.
Rather – use debt and loans to start and grow businesses, buy investment properties and other things that improve your cashflow.
Investment Idea #5 - Know your investing “Why”
Since investing is a lifelong endeavour, it’s essential to hold on to a long-term “why.” Why am I putting money here instead of spending it? Why am I saving for the future instead of splurging now?
To connect with your investing “why,” take some time to think about the course of your life. What do you want life to look like when you’re 40? When you’re 50 or 70? I bet you want comfort and security. That’s why you’re saving and investing today — for the comfort and security of your future self.
It helps to map out big-picture life goals and to know roughly when you’ll want to achieve them. This map will keep you motivated with your investing and remind you what you’re working toward.
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Investment Idea #6 - Don't change your investment goals just because markets are volatile
When markets are trending downwards or are moving around substantially, it's tempting to change your investment strategy or reconsider your objectives. A better approach is to be consistent in your strategy. Of course, it's important to regularly review your strategy, ideally with an adviser, but try to avoid kneejerk reaction investing.
I started out investing in the Great Recession during 2008/2009. At the time it seemed scary, investing in a crashing market. But the fact is, there’s no better time to invest than when strong companies are at multi-year lows.
Investment Idea #7 – Don't have a herd mentality
This is one of the most important qualities billionaire investor Warren Buffett says great investors should have. Following the crowd into the latest "hot stocks" or other assets like bitcoin just because everyone else is buying them is a poor way to invest. In other words, popular opinion should play no role in your investment process.
You should follow a process or a system. Invest accordingly – if it happens to be in a popular investment, then there’s no issue. But it shouldn’t be simply because of a popular choice. 
It’s never too late to start investing, or to learn more. The secret simply remains to do it as soon as possible.
Here’s to unleashing real value,
Francois Joubert,
Editor, Red Hot Penny Shares 

Seven investment ideas I wish I learned earlier in life
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