Tips & Picks

Top Ten Most Common Investment Mistakes - Investment Advisor Shares Worst

Top Ten Most Common Investment Mistakes - Investment Advisor Shares Worst He's Seen

Investment professionals see all kinds of clients. Sometimes they find clients who are doing lots of things right. But we've always been curious about the cases they see where the client has made some decisions that were, well - doozies! To get our list we consulted a highly regarded investment advisor and asked him (or her?) to provide us with a list, with the promise of confidentiality. Here is the list – so you can avoid these mistakes.

The Financial Disaster Hall of Fame

1. Buying individual stocks. Even a stock like GE can lose 10% in 2 days.

2. Buying before you look. Look over a 3 year price chart. Will you ride out the ups and downs? Are you buying just after a big run up? Check gaps between price and moving averages.

3. Paying an investment advisor with commissions. That’s an incentive to buy and sell. Where’s the incentive to make a profit?

4. Hiring an inexperienced advisor. Experience is the best teacher. Make sure your advisor has already learned his lessons. Get referred - ask those you respect who they use and why.

5. Pushing on a string. Don't try to make things happen, let things happen. Buying low and selling high takes planning and patience.

6. Over-investing in one area. A classic high risk situation: most of your money invested in the stock of your employer.

7. Missing Legal Documents. Most need a will, a trust, a durable power of attorney, and a living will - properly drawn by an experienced estate planning attorney – not the guy that closed on your home!

8. No commodities. They provide ballast in a stormy sea. Google search: Commodity ETFs or Commodity Mutual Funds.

9. No international investments. They hedge a weak US dollar and can take advantage of faster growing economies.

10. Poor saving habits. Pay yourself first. Take early and full advantage of your 401(k) plan.

Ten Worst General Mistakes Retirees Make

1. Selling equities and moving into bonds.
2. Moving away from family.
3. No hobbies or outside activities.
4. Giving away assets to qualify for Medicaid.
5. Giving away assets.
6. Ignoring estate planning documents.
7. Multiple doctors, too many drugs.
8. Letting a grown child move back home.
9. Incompetent Investment Advisor.
10. Following cocktail party advice.
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