Investment Mistakes Made by My Younger Self…and What I Learned

When I was in my twenties and newly married, I went to have a financial plan done with one of the popular investment firms in this vast marketplace. I ended up investing in a number of products I did not fully understand, including a variable life insurance policy and a long-term partnership fund. My hard-earned savings (which I thought was a lot at the time), quickly disappeared into the insurance policy–along with the monthly payments now due for the policy. The partnership and a number of small mutual funds never grew much. When making mistakes, the best part is learning from them, right? These are mine: 

  • Investing in partnerships and insurance I didn’t understand.
  • Thinking fee-only was a bad thing. I realize now that its the best way to get truly independent, unbiased financial advice. I chose the advisor I did because he was ‘free’. I did not realize there were substantial commissions and charges I did not see. 
  • Buying a stock because I heard it was a great stock and about to come out with some great new products…without doing the necessary research. Nowadays, I encourage clients to do research on investments so we can share the knowledge.
  • Making investment moves based on emotions, i.e. taking money out of the market when it went down and staying out of the market due to fear.
  • Luckily in my later years, I realized that a fee-only registered investment advisory firm is one of the best ways to get truly independent, unbiased, advice. You also need a well-thought out financial plan with clear objectives and long-term goals. 

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