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By Steven Morrison II
You saw the movie Wall Street back in the day and knew immediately that you wanted to be Gordon Gekko. Not the illegal activities, going to jail Gekko, but the pre-crime powerhouse that lived large and invested even larger. The call of the “Street” and all-mighty dollar beckoned.
But there are certain things that school (or Michael Douglas) didn’t teach you, that there are certain traits that ALL successful investors have. There is a thread running through the success sweater, and here, we are going to unravel it. Didn’t like the sweater thing? Good, that’s the first trait of a successful investor – they hate sweaters, every last one of them.
You’re in good company – there’s hope for you yet, Charlie Sheen.
1 – Always Be Willing To Learn
Instead of taking off early to play golf, racquetball or video games, spend that time doing deep research and learning what the latest trends, projections and expert opinions are in the markets you frequently invest in. Sometimes, just reading that one extra blog or report can make a million-dollar difference (or, in your case, a thousand-dollar difference). Guys like Gekko had a staff to do that research for him, but you aren’t so lucky. So, get some Chinese take out and expand your knowledge base.
2 – Patience My Son
Not only is patience a virtue, it also serves the investor quite well. Hasty decisions can lead to bigger(er) losses and, consequently, less money for expensive suits. You do want expensive suits, don’t you? Decisions should be based on sound analysis, not because you have to hurry and catch the 5:30 showing of The Hunger Games. Gordon would be so proud.
3 – Take Emotion Out Of The Equation
Don’t confuse emotion for passion – passion is great. But when it comes to emotions and investing, the colder the heart, the better. Math and data analysis is an emotionless exercise, so your investing strategy should follow suit. Who cares if you really like that company – does it perform? Robots would make great investors if only they had 1% of the passion you have. Robots are cool.
4 – Trends Are Where Money Is Made
This also goes back to the learning thing – get tapped into the flow of information that tips you on the latest trends so that you can stay ahead of the pack. That’s where the real money is made. Once some talking head has blabbed about it on CNBC, it’s probably too late. You need to get your trending data from the same place that trained monkey got his or hers – before it is broadcast across the globe via satellite.
5 – Risky Business
Taking risks is how the big dogs kill it on the investment scene. I’m not talking throw-all-of-your-chips-on-the-table-and-bet-on-black riskiness, I’m talking about being less conservative in the amounts you do invest. You’ve done the research, you made your decision on which way the financial wind will blow, now back that decision up with a bigger-than-normal bet. You will not only feel vindicated and get a huge rush from the bigger score, but you will have more cha-ching for future investments.