Like you, I was young and fresh to the world of investing. I was 18 and finally eligible to invest! I remember thinking to myself; I can finally put everything that I have learnt into practice! Along the way, I have learnt so much more, directly and indirectly, about investing.
The first obvious thing about investing is that you can’t even start it when you have nothing to start with. My growing interest in investment was a very strong motivation for me to save. I knew I had to have enough to get into the playground of the rich. Diligently, I put aside half my allowance every week and continued that way for months. Eventually, I had enough to make my first investment. From there on, I never stopped the habit of saving at least half my allowance to put into investments. You’ll be surprised how little you actually need once you begin on this journey of budgeting your week. Also, I advocate cash payments instead of credit cards because it is easier to track how much you have left and be less likely to overspend or spend unnecessarily.
2) No more reckless purchases
Having begun investing and seeing the kind of return it can give, I learnt to forsake a lot of luxury purchases just because my friends around me have it. A $1000 investment can make me $100 or it could buy me some stuff that I don’t really need and impede on my investing journey of creating a sizable portfolio. I chose to focus on growing my investment portfolio instead of indulging in luxury purchases. Of course, that’s not to say that it’s wrong to indulge. Indulge when necessary, not all the time!
Eg. If I wanted to buy something $100, I would want to make that $100 off the market before buying it instead of using my capital of $1000, depleting it to just $900. If you choose not to spend, you’ll still be rewarded with the compounded growth! This method of spending teaches you to delay gratification and to give you time to think twice before making a purchase. Also, you will cherish and enjoy your purchase even more, knowing that it comes from the fruit of your investment. You not only get what you want, you learn valuable lessons about investing as well!
3) Investing shows your true self
Investing will show you your true self and what kind of a person you truly are when money is involved. Are you the same person when you make a lot of money or lose a lot of money? When I first started investing, I definitely did not expect that I would be in for an emotional roller coaster ride. One moment I was feeling good about myself for making the right decision to buy a particular stock. The next moment I was feeling angry at myself for being greedy to want more instead of taking my profits. From profits, they turned into losses. Over the years, I have grown to stabilise my emotions and accept that market swings are normal. I was then able to embrace them and learn to see the bigger picture instead of allowing my emotions to get in the way over short-term market noises.
4) How well can you tolerate risk?
When it comes to risk tolerance, it is all about discipline. When the share price hits your target, are you willing to stick to your target and take your profits? Or, will you continue to let it run hoping that it continues to go further up and disregard your primary research on the existing resistance level? Too often, traders in the market lose money due to the lack of discipline to take profit or to cut their losses. We all know that it is best to ‘Buy low and Sell high’. However, when real money is involved, greed and fear often overcome logic. Discipline is what will keep your rationality and nurture emotional stability. This would eventually translate into profits that you put into your pocket!