What Makes A Good Stock Investor?

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2009-04-036

Sometimes, I wonder why some people always seem to make the best investment choices at just the right time, and are able to grow their portfolio regardless of the market environment. What makes some investors better than others?

Well, just like it is with any other activity, it’s all about honing your skills. For instance, becoming a great golfer is no easy feat. I have listened closely to great players like Tiger Woods to find out their “secrets” for being so successful. It turns out (they’ll admit) that this success can be attributed to a small amount of natural talent and a huge amount of hard work.

Skilled investors start somewhere, and one important step they’ve taken is to study and learn as much as they can about the investment markets. These days, you can find a lot of free educational materials from many online brokers.

Also, beyond the education and hard work, I believe that successful people all share the same kind of attributes, and it’s no different with great investors. I thought to put together a short list of what makes someone able to handle their investments so well.

good stock investor, stock investmentsImage by DayLife

How To Be A Good Stock Investor

Here are a few attributes to have in order to be on top of your money:

Patience: Someone who wants to get rich quick doesn’t usually do too well with the stock market (or any market for that matter). Have you noticed that most of the wealthy investors are up in their years and have a lot of experience?

Diligence: Granted, you can make very good money as a passive investor by simply following an asset allocation program and indexing strategy. But you still need to be on top of your portfolio on a regular basis to make sure it remains on track. If you’ve decided to be a stock picker or someone who invests in other markets, you may have to invest additional time and energy in your investments. How much time are you willing to put into studying the markets? How many charts will you evaluate; how many wire reports will you read?

Discipline: Success in investing is often the result of functioning within a set of rules. If you’ve visited your discount broker, done your research and bought a stock or mutual fund for a long term investment, don’t turn it into a short term trade. If you’re a market timing trader, then be very familiar with the strategies or tricks of your trade (pun intended) when executing your transactions. We are often warned not to invest with emotion. Discipline entails that we follow the rules even when it’s against our emotions to do so.

Forward Thinking: The old cliche, “think outside the box” is where innovation starts. The best stock pickers have the ability to think ahead and possibly see the future: they can evaluate and foresee the next gadget that people can’t live without or the next emerging market only a few years away from becoming a world leading economy. By getting on the bandwagon and following the crowd, I’ve only made a modest amount of money, but those who can get on the right side of an investment pretty early are bound to do so much better.

Enjoys Learning: Personal finance and investing aren’t exactly rocket science, but it’s always a good thing to keep tabs on your investments and to continue learning about them on an ongoing basis. In fact, learning about new investments may not only expand your ideas but also open your mind to new lucrative investment opportunities that may be worth exploring.

Tiger Woods has achieved just about everything that can be achieved in the world of golf. Still, though, he is regarded as one of the hardest working players in the game. He understands his game in a way that so many other golfers don’t. If we’re to keep up with our own financial game, we need to stay alert and aware of what’s going on with our money, especially when our funds are put at risk in the markets.

Copyright © 2009 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Manshu April 4, 2009 at 6:22 am

Learning about new ideas is a must and also the fact that you need to unlearn some of the trash you might have picked up during the years.

jim April 5, 2009 at 7:13 pm

You need to be a sociopath… someone who has no emotion. 🙂 Emotion is difficult to overcome, so if you can keep the emotion separated from the decision, you will be a much better investor.

MoneyEnergy April 5, 2009 at 9:56 pm

Yes, and enjoyment of some degree of research and keeping up on news is required, too – and you should enjoy this, it shouldn’t feel like something you have to do… it’s good to know at least the basics, like mergers/acquisitions, dividend increases/cuts, how much debt they have, etc., new financial products on offer, etc.

Sherin April 6, 2009 at 10:27 am

Nice post. I would like to appreciate you with giving a simple point to your consideration. I totally agree with all the qualities you have written with this article but specially give weight to Patience, discipline both teched us by legend investor Buffett.

I also liked the learning section but it would be more nice if you mention the learning process also involved ‘learning from mistakes’. It is because there is no investor in this world who enjoyed financial gains from investing activity without making any mistake or without learned lessons from any mistakes. Learning from mistakes will be the best lesson to become a great investor.

Thanks, Sherin

Expense Management April 7, 2009 at 1:06 pm

I think a lot of failing investors usually made some drastic moves because of merely lack of patience, thinking that everything can be done in just one hit. I agree with your point that to try to take things one step at a time. Not too slowly but try to assess things well before making any move.

Monevator April 11, 2009 at 1:20 am

I kind of agree with Jim… if anything enables an investor to beat the market, it’s going to be some pretty extreme emotional traits. Also your analogy with Tiger Woods doesn’t really hold up. I can beat most active investors by buying an index fund, but Tiger would whip me and my “which end of the club do I hold?” ass!

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