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10 Important Investment Lessons from Tony Robbins

10 Important Investment Lessons from Tony Robbins

In this article, I share 10 important investment lessons I learned from Tony Robbins.

In brief, the top investment lessons are:

  • Bear markets are your best friends;

  • Watch fees, charges and tax like a hawk;

  • Think about potential loss before you think about potential gain;

  • Master the ‘asymmetry of risk/reward’ rule and use it all the time; and

  • Stay for the long run even when it is bumpy.

Investing is easy, you may think. Why do I need investment lessons?

Not so fast, friend. Investing is easy; masterful investing so that you win never mind what (except major catastrophes, of course, like war and the end of the world) not so. For masterful investing, you need investment lessons.

In this blog post, I’ll share with you ten important lessons for masterful investing I learned from a Master: Tony Robbins.

Tony Robbins is not everyone’s cup of tea; he happens to be my very special tequila shot. I enjoy his dedication to mastery and his unbounded enthusiasm; this guy lives his life with greedy joy that I find contagious. Must say that I’m not that convinced by his more general self-help books but like the ones about money.

I’m talking about Money Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Independence and Unshakeable: Your Guide to Financial Freedom. My take away after reading Money Master the Game, was mainly about the different degrees of financial independence.

My take away from Unshakable is more about investment lessons. Frankly, I’m not sure whether this is about the nature of the books or my sensitivities now. I do worry about the level of volatility in the economy, financial markets and our lives and have been researching ways to make our finances if not ‘unshakeable’ than able to withstand high magnitude of shake up.

I believe that the investing lessons from Tony Robins I share here, can be helpful to two groups of people:

  • People who can see the need to invest but are worried about the risks this entails; and
  • People who already invest and are puzzling over the changes in their portfolios that will give the peace of mind.

Here are the ten investing lessons from Tony Robins (in no particular order of importance).

#1. Market corrections come regularly and often

The other day I was talking to my niece and nephew-in-law who have quite a bit of money in a savings account; telling them about the different investing options open to them.

“But the market can go down and you can lose this money.” – my nephew-in-law said.

They keep their money in a savings account and lose between 2-4% annually guaranteed (exactly how much they lose depends on the level of inflation.)

Are you worried about losing your money if you invest in the market?

It is a natural worry – I was worried until I learned that:

Market corrections of up to 15% occur at least once per year; and always have done so. Bear market (this is a correction of 40% and over) comes around every three to four years (we are long overdue one).

(And for the record, ‘correction’ is an acceptable way to refer to loss.)

Good news is that the market always recovers. Don’t believe me?

Have a look at this:

investment lessonsInvestment lesson:

Market corrections should be expected. Don’t sell; sit them out. Your investment will recover and make gains. (Most likely.)

#2. Buy during drop in market value

Our natural inclination is to see drops in the market as a threat to our long term financial security and to fear the loss of our hard-earned cash.

Please get this out of your mind and let’s think rationally.

We know that market corrections should be expected.

We know that the market has always recovered and gained (historically speaking).

What follows?

Market corrections are like the bargains you hunt at the Christmas sales!

Investment lesson:

Buy more stock during market corrections because this is your best chance to end up with some great bargains (you still must be clever about selecting).

#3. Bear markets are the greatest investment opportunity ever

See the previous lesson. It is just that buying bargains during a bear market is like picking a priceless diamond at a car-boot sale for a tenner.

Really can’t beat this one.

Investment lesson:

Don’t dread bear markets. See them for the incredible investment opportunity they are.

#4. Keep money for opportunities

This lesson follows immediately and directly from the previous one. Things are simple:

You are not going to be able to take advantage of the stocks and shares deals that come up during market corrections and bear markets if you are fully invested in stocks and shares.

Make sure that you always keep:

  • Easy access cash in a standard savings account;
  • Money invested in very conservative investment instruments like bonds;
  • Any other easy access cash you can think off (gold coins, easy to sell objects etc.)

(Note: Having a cash reserve is not a bad idea more generally. After our adventures with paying off debt, I never go below a certain amount of cash.)

Investment lesson:

Always keep easily accessible cash for opportunities. What form you keep your cash in is not important if you could cash it within 24 hours.

#5. Watch these fees

Investing comes with fees. Sometimes these fees are hefty and sometimes they look light but there are a lot of hidden charges.

Fees and charges erode your investment to a degree that may the difference between a healthy return and prosperous future, and virtually no return (or even loss) and misery in all senses.

Watch the fees and charges you incur when putting your money in managed investment funds, pension funds and investment platforms. Make sure you read the small script and that you do your arithmetic.

Investment lesson:

Make it part of your ‘due diligence’ routine to check all fees and charges and to make your calculations.

#6. Optimise your tax

I’m the first to say that my dream is to pay a lot of tax. Sounds silly, I know; but only at first. Think about it: paying a lot of tax means that you make a lot of money and that you are contributing your fair share to the services in your country/region/city.

This investment lesson in not about avoiding tax; it is about optimising your tax. Translated, this means that you shouldn’t pay more tax than necessary.

Tax rules on investment gains are different in different countries. One constant is that there are investment instruments that are exempt from tax. In the UK, ISAs are such an instrument (here is how to select the best ISA for your needs).

Investment lesson:

Check the tax regulation regarding investment in your country and make sure that you optimise the tax you pay. If you need help to do that, ask a professional financial planner.

#7. Be aware of the potential loss

Most people in personal finance will tell you to look for high potential gain.

What I learned from Tony Robbins is that highly successful investors, without exception, look at the potential loss before they look at the gain.

It makes sense in a weird kind of way: you make money by minimising your losses.

For instance, when I do some of my more wild investments – like buying a rally car – I always consider the worst outcome (the potential for loss). If it looks like the worst outcome is recovered capital or a small profit, it is a no brainer. If it is a large loss, I won’t go for it – large potential loss and large potential gain is what you get in gambling, not investing.

Investment lesson:

Before you commit to an investment, look at the potential loss first.

#8. Know the potential gain

This is rather obvious.

Indeed, I doubt that anyone would argue with the need to know (and assess) the potential gain.

What I learned from Tony Robbins is the notion of ‘asymmetric risk/reward’. This is a fancy way to say that the estimated rewards of an investment should vastly outweigh the estimated risks (losses).

Some investors use a ‘five-to-one’ ration: they risk one dollar in the expectation they’ll make five dollars. This also means that you can be wrong in your estimates 80% of the time and will still turn profit.

Clever, uh?

Investment lesson:

Make a realistic estimate of your potential gain because this will help you decide whether to invest. Perfect the ‘asymmetric risk/reward’ rule and apply it every time.

#9. Keep diversified

Did your mother ever mention the saying ‘never put all your eggs in the same basket’?

Keeping ‘your eggs’ in different baskets is particularly important in investing.

You should be diversified across:

Investment vehicles (e.g. stocks and shares, bonds, property, precious metals, ETFs, businesses etc.)

Locations (developed markets, emerging markets etc.);

Industries;

Okay, you get it I suppose. Don’t over complicate it but keep diversified.

Investment lesson:

Diversification is what ultimately makes your investments more stable.

#10. Stay in the market

What is the first thought that enters your head when you check your investments and their value has gone down?

Yes, I also think that I should sell out and keep my money under the mattress. Or, sell out and go on a trip around the world flying first class and sleeping in five star hotels (if my investments stretch that far).

Don’t. I know it is hard but history tells us that the market has recovered and prospered every time.

You’ll only lose if you get out of the market on a low; so, stay in the market.

Investment lesson:

Don’t mistake fear for intuition. Use your rationality and when corrections occur stay in the market.

Finally…

Do you know why I decided to tell you what are the 10 important investment lessons I learned from Tony Robbins?

Because if someone told me these investment lessons when I was thinking about starting to invest (or even after I finally took the plunge) I would have felt more confident and avoided some rookie mistakes.

Do you know which ones of these investment lessons surprised me?

These should be the counter-intuitive ones about buying when markets go down and thinking much more carefully about potential loss.

Which of these investment lessons do you find surprising?

photo credit: bass_nroll upHill via photopin (license)

Investing for Mavericks: This is a Ford Escort MK1 Rally Car and it is Mine

Investing for Mavericks: This is a Ford Escort MK1 Rally Car and it is Mine

Investing for mavericks is less traditional than other forms of investing. It is fun and it doesn’t have to be risky. To invest like a maverick you must remember its three rules:

  • You make money when you buy.

  • You have to be an expert in the niche or work with an expert.

  • You must be connected in the niche.

Preamble

Investing for mavericks is not everybody’s cup of tea but it is certainly my brandy shot.

You see, I like my investing just as I like my life: unique, interesting, full of adventure and discovery, and somewhat off the beaten track. Yes, I could put my money in index funds, digital wealth managers and select stocks and shares. To a degree I have done.

Still, where is the fun in that? Where is the adventure and the profound satisfaction of success?

Couple of years ago, I got interested in what I call investing for mavericks. I told you about fun ways to spice up your portfolio and that this can be very profitable: some classic cars can return up to 500% over a decade.

Then, slightly over a year ago, I bought a 50% stake in a business: a MOT and car service garage. I also shared with you the three rules for buying a business that make it less risky than other investments.

Do you know what? A month ago, we were offered for the MOT and car service garage eight times what we paid for it. No bad (but we are not selling because the garage is not a gig, it is an opportunity).

Since I live what I preach, I also bought a half share of a rally car.

Investing for Mavericks: Meet Fordy

 

Are you wondering what I’m doing sitting in this very snazzy rally car?

Well, meet Fordy. Fordy, as I affectionately call it, is in fact a Ford Escort MK 1 classic rally car with Pinto 2 litre engine.

It is not that I know very well what this means, right. And so that you don’t get overly excited no I have not taken to rallying cars.

This my friends, is my latest investment. You see, I told you about spicing up your portfolios with non-traditional investments. As non-traditional investments go rally cars now are a very good one.

“But Maria, we get this ‘investing for mavericks’ stuff.  But isn’t this very risky?”- you may wish to ask.

Yes, it can be risky. Still you can minimise the risk if you remember the one rule for success in this kind of investment, namely, that you make money when you buy not when you sell. Also, when you buy you either need to know the trade you are buying into well; or you should be in partnership with somebody whom you can trust with your life who know the trade inside out.

We could buy Fordy because we are already in the motor car business and are in the productive partnership with somebody who knows about cars and more importantly knows a good rally car when he sees one. What we do is that our partner spots great deals and we buy a share into it.

Fordy is half ours. We are hoping to double our investment in the car. Even if we don’t achieve this kind of return we know that we will always recover our investment and make a modest profit.

Three rules of investing for mavericks:

#1. You make money when you buy not when you sell: This kind of investing is (potentially) very profitable under two conditions: you either find a great deal or you find a classic car and keep it for a long time.

#2. You must know what you invest in: it won’t even occur to me to buy a rally car without consulting with, getting into partnership with, somebody who knows a lot about rally cars.

#3. Make sure you are well connected in the niche: we bought this car at a very good price. Still if we don’t have solid connections in the rally car communities we don’t stand a very good chance of saying it. I very much doubt that this car will sell on eBay.

This is it and we’ll see how this one goes; I’ll keep you posted.

For now, I’ll sit here in Fordy and who knows, I may even take it for a spin.

Postscript

I didn’t take Fordy for a spin because being a rally car it has no hand brake (it is illegal on the road).

It was such a pain getting out of it, though. I regret I asked John to stop the camera – the ‘getting out of a rally car’ part of the video would have become an instant comic success of innuendo and antics.

Why I Fell in Love with Dividend Growth Investing and You Should Too

Why I Fell in Love with Dividend Growth Investing and You Should Too

Editor’s note: Tonight I give you an article on dividend growth investing. Dividend growth investing is the kind of investing I’m yet to learn more about and experiment with. This is why, this post is written by Lewys Thomas who by day is studying for his university degree and by night blogs about dividend investing on his blog FrugalStudent.co.uk. Hope you find this blog post helpful.

Interest rates are rock bottom – The Bank of England cut them another 0.25% because of the uncertainty around Brexit. Banks are slashing the interest rates they are paying customers with the popular Club Lloyds account and Santander 123 account reducing the interest they pay.

Today you have a few choices:

  • Leave your money in your account and watch it get eroded by inflation; or
  • Give peer-to-peer lending a try.

With peer to peer lending you could get anything between 2.8 – 7% a year in interest on your money. My problem with peer-to-peer lending was that I was investing in smaller, very risky companies. Sure, RateSetter and Zopa offer fixed rates backed up by solid ‘safeguard funds’ that protect you from bad debts but locking up for 4.2% for 5 years or earning just 2.8%-3.9% for 1years didn’t really appeal to me.

I’m not knocking Peer to Peer lending – it is a good way for people to make a modest return on their money. If you’re interested you can explore the main options below. Just remember that peer-to-peer lending isn’t covered by the FSCS and there’s no ISA option at the time of writing.

dividend growth investing

Right, since peer-to-peer lending didn’t appeal to me, so what did I do with my cash?

There’s another option that is less well known and needs a higher level of knowledge and understanding; it can also bring decent return.

I present to you

Dividend growth investing

Now, many people share a certain perception of the stock market. They imagine a floor full of screaming traders and the possibility of huge gains and even larger losses. This is the world of complex charts and big earners, right?

Guess what? This is not how it works, really. There are no longer over-excited traders, not that we can see anyway. In fact, today investing in the stock market is relatively silent and solitary activity: it is between you and the internet platform you use to buy and sell shares.

Buying shares, and making profit from it, is always about buying a small part of a very high quality company. There are two main ways to make profit known as value investing and dividend growth investing. In the former case you make money only from the increase in the value of the company, in the latter you make money also through the share of the profit that this company awards its shareholders, or dividend.

These payments, or dividends, are the seeds of dividend growth investing.

Now some of you may be asking ‘What’s a dividend?’

Simply put a dividend is a company’s way of rewarding you for owning their shares.

For example, I own shares in McDonald’s. For every share, I own they pay me close to £4 (depending on currency exchange) dividend. So owning 10 shares would pay a yearly dividend of around £40.

How do you know what to expect? You can check the percent of ‘interest’ a company pays by taking a look at its Dividend Yield. For example, investing £100 (less fees) into a stock that has a 3% dividend yield, means you’ll receive £3 a year in dividends.

The formula for dividend yield is:

Dividend per share/Price per share

Let’s take a look at a real life example!

By going over to Hargreaves Lansdown’s website and searching for ‘Lloyds Banking Group’ in the top right search bar we get the information below:

dividend growth investingHighlighted in red here is Lloyds Banking Group’s dividend yield. A 3.45% yield means that £100 invested in Lloyds would pay you £3.45 yearly.

Not that complicated right?

Ok, so now that we understand what dividends are we need to go a step further to understand what dividend growth investing is.

Quite simply, dividend growth investing is investing in dividend paying stocks for a return. I’m a Dividend Growth Investor which means that I buy dividend paying stock in companies that have very long history of increasing their dividend payments. This tells me that pay-out is relatively reliable. Not only that, but as these companies consistently raise their dividend I can expect that my pay-out will rise too!

Look, for example, at Johnson and Johnson’s dividend history.

dividend growth investing

We can see clearly that Johnson and Johnson has increased its dividend payment, for the last 22 years; were we to take this further back in history, we’ll see that Johnson and Johnson has in fact grown its dividend for the past 54 years! Imagine the power of those increases and what will happen if you reinvest the dividend over just 30 years.

Now, I know that Maria has written an excellent article on ‘the myth’ of compound interest but I do want to show the other side of the coin on this issue. Maria is right – compound interest is somewhat overrated. People usually get the maths wrong and overestimate their future returns.

Nevertheless, compound interest remains a powerful tool if time is on your side and you combine compound interest with yearly increases in this ‘interest’ through dividend increases. Here’s how compound interest works with dividend growth stocks.

dividend growth investing

It is also worth remembering that you can get up to £5,000 worth of dividends TAX FREE and that you can invest in dividend stocks through an ISA which means you are not going to pay tax on your dividends and on capital gains.

My investing style goes beyond dividend growth investing but I’m trying to keep things simple here. The important point is that my net-worth has gone from zero to over £13,000 invested in the market. I also have a steady, although still small, stream of dividend income.

Dividend growth investing isn’t going to make you rich overnight. It takes patience and perseverance. But a 3% return from dividend payments sounds a lot better than most bank accounts offer right now – and 3.3% the next year sounds even better. Re-invest your dividend payments for long enough and compound interest will start working its magic.

Have you fallen in love with dividend growth investing yet?

Investing for Beginners: Five Ways to Make Your Money Work for You

Investing for Beginners: Five Ways to Make Your Money Work for You

By popular demand, I’ve decided to publish a number of blog posts on investing for beginners. Yes, from anyone else this may be a tad patronising. Not me.

I think I could get this one right and offer some helpful investment lessons. Do you know why?

Because until about four years ago I was an investing virgin, so to speak. Yes, I had been paying into a pension but this didn’t really require even basic knowledge: It was a no brainer. My employer used to have one of the best and best run pension schemes in the country so joining was a sign of sanity rather than financial savvy. Yes, we do have a house that has increased in price nearly fivefold in 20 years but this wasn’t down to me either. John had already put an offer on the house when we got serious and the British government didn’t build enough housing.

You see, investment virgin, I tell you. Just like a very sizable proportion of the British population; particularly women. We women, you see, are good at paying off debt, frugality and saving but when it comes to investing we tend to chicken out; or leave it to our men folk who…Okay. I’m not even going to get there.

Four years ago investing wasn’t even in my vocabulary. This is what happens when you grow up in a country where you saved for specific reason and the only source of income was labour. Oh, and connection but this is a different matter.

Then four years ago I decided that investing is something I should learn and start doing. I started dabbling and opened an account with Nutmeg. I started reading and researching.

This is how I know about investing for beginners: I had to learn a lot to become a beginner. Last year, my overall return on investment was 22.6%. It may be beginners luck. I prefer to think that I have learned something; and Fortune smiled on me.

I learned quite a bit about investing and would like to help you start learning as well. Today, I’ll tell you about the five ways to make your money work for you. Knowing about these is, I believe, the corner stone of all investing for beginners.

These are:

  • Investing in financial instruments
  • Investing in luxury goods
  • Investing directly in business
  • Investing in starting a business
  • Investing in developing your competencies.

(I’m not including investing in property today. This is a specialised kind of investing that is very capital intensive and probably a stage after investing for beginners. If you still would like to check out property investing have a look at the House Crowd and what they do.)

#1. Investing for beginners: investing in financial instruments

Since this is for real beginners, I’m not going to make it more complicated than it has to be. You’ll have to remember, however, that investing in financial instruments is very diverse and complex affair; some would say that this is a minefield for the beginner.

For now, you need to be aware that these instruments include investing in: bonds (bonds are the way of governments (and others) to borrow money from us; options, futures etc. (sorry, not even going to go there – these are fairly speculative, you really need to know what you are doing and even then…); mutual funds (these are investment strategies that allow you to pull your funds together with other investors and purchase a basket of stocks, shares, bonds and other investment instruments); and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) (this are basket investment instruments).

One investment instrument possibility that is exceedingly popular (and underpins many of the more complex investment vehicles mentioned above) is investing in stocks and shares.

Trading stocks and shares in on any investing for beginners list while many people are not entirely clear about what this means. When you buy stocks and shares, in effect you buy a (small) part of a company. There are three main ways in which you make money from stocks and shares:

  • Speculation. This is when the price of a particular share is going up because many people are buying it. Conversely, the price goes down when many people are selling their shares. Buying and selling in this case is subject to rumour, misinterpretation of information, emotion etc. Speculative volatility doesn’t have much to do with the value of the company. A tweet by a celebrity can have a large albeit temporary effect.
  • Company value. This is when the price of the shares is directly linked to the increase or decrease of the value of the company.
  • Dividends. This is a sum of money paid by companies (usually once a year) to their shareholder from the company’s profits.

Why am I telling you this?

Because you can do very little about speculative fluctuation except not fall prey to them. Don’t agonise over how your shares are doing and don’t check them every fifteen minutes – this will be a monumental waste of time and opportunity.

The other two, have given rise to two very different types of investing: ‘value investing’ and ‘dividend investing’.

When doing the former you look for companies that are undervalued for some reason with the expectation that their value will increase. My Rule Breakers portfolio is an example of that: I’ve bought companies that are either fairly new or they have had a mishap that is being remedied. And yes, my portfolio is doing well.

Dividend investing is about buying stocks and shares in companies that pay generous dividends. I have a guest post for you on dividend investing that you could read tomorrow: I’m still learning about this one myself and have not experimented with it.

Last but not least, robo-investors ought to be mentioned here. I’ll be writing more about these as well. You know that I have been investing with Nutmeg rather seriously (and persistently) and now I’m starting an experiment with Scalable Capital.

#2. Investing for beginners: investing in luxury goods

This is about investing in things like art, wine, jewellery and vintage cars. In principle, investing in the ‘finer things in life’, particularly investing in wine, is fun. In practice, it needs a lot of specialised knowledge because every time you buy a piece of art you are betting that its value will increase. Only people who understand art have the eye.

You want my advice on this one? Stay out if you don’t have the eye for, and encyclopaedic knowledge about, a particular class of objects; thought this investing can surely spice up your portfolio.

#3. Investing for beginners: investing directly in businesses

This is the investing I’m really keen on and with, what I believe are, rather good reasons.

You see, risk is the bane of any investing and the biggest reason why people don’t do it. What is not very well understood by most every-day investors is that our perception of risk is correlated with our level of control. Simply put, this means that the less control we have over something, the higher risk we perceive it to be.

Don’t believe me? Let me ask you: would you be worried about nuclear war if you controlled the switch? No you wouldn’t.

It is the same with investing. We worry about losing our money on stock market because we have very little control over what is happening. Frankly, it many cases we have imperfect information as well never mind how hard we try to keep abreast.

When you invest in local businesses directly the risk-control seesaw swings.

You have more control and hence the risk is lower. This is why we bought 50% stake in a local MOT and car service garage.

Can you fail? Of course you can. At the same time, if you follow some fairly simple rules for selecting the businesses you invest in you have to be a real klutz to fail big time.

#4. Investing for beginners: start a business

This is usually the big, scary one that hides in the cupboard and every time it tries to come out you kick the door shut.

Yes, I get it. It is scary to start a business and branch out on your own. You’ll have complete control over how the business develops but the flip side to that is there is no one to blame for anything.

At the same time, investing in starting a business is one of the most satisfying and profitable investments you’ll ever make. Take my case, for instance. When I started dabbling in online publishing I forced myself to see it as a hobby; this way it was less pressure. Now my websites are a very neat side hustle; I have no doubt that were I to take the plunge and focus on these full time they will become a nice, proper online business. What started as a pleasurable way to spend 10-15 hours a week (writing and talking to you) may turn out to be my ticket to fulfilment and location independence.

To start a business you need ideas and the grit to realise them. Of these, coming up with ideas is the easy part. Here are, for example, 150 ideas on how to make money.

Acting on ideas is much harder. But it can be learned.

Starting a business, including an online business, is not all flowers. It is still so much worth it!

#5. Investing for beginners: invest in yourself

Finally, a way to make your money work for you is through you. What I mean is that it is always worth investing in yourself, in gaining new and varied competencies.

These can range from cooking and baking to coding and public speaking. Investing in yourself can be spending money to develop a healthy habit; or get rid of a very unhealthy one.

Do you know that the £250 I spent in 2006 on a stop smoking workshop is one of the better investments I’ve made? To start with, I have not smoked for over ten year. Let’s, for simplicity sake, say 10. Are you surprised that by investing £250 for the workshop I’ve saved over £20,000? I am. And my lungs have recovered so my health has benefited. You see now why this is a cracking investment.

Remember also that education always pays off. And I’m talking about education, not degrees.

Finally…

These are the five ways to make your money work for you that every manual about investing for beginners should include.

I know this is too much to take if you are just starting out. If you think this will help bookmark this post and see it as the skeleton on which we’ll be putting more muscle. Eventually we’ll get to the skin and even make up; have some faith.

Have you started to invest? What have you invested in? (Please don’t be shy and share; we can all learn from each other.)

Before They Break Out of the Gate: Keys to Identifying the Best Stocks to Buy

Before They Break Out of the Gate: Keys to Identifying the Best Stocks to Buy

best stocks to buy

Most investors will be able to pinpoint a stock where they wished they had got involved earlier in before the price went skyward, but the key to making money out financial markets is often about foresight rather than hindsight.

When you visit Money Morning on a regular basis, you will be able to keep track on the progress of all of your stocks and check the progress of your portfolio. What would definitely help push the numbers firmly into the black is when you manage to identify some stocks to buy, before they break out of the gate.

Tapping into the momentum

Potential breakout stocks are understandably always going to be on the radar for many traders and the key to making money out of these plays, is to try and acquire the stock at a price where the real momentum is just starting to kick in.

The problem for everyone wanting to find these opportunities, is how to identify them.

Momentum stocks have the potential to earn you some decent profits, provided you are able to demonstrate good timing with your stock purchases, and one way of identifying and then tapping into this momentum, is to use filters to see which stocks are showing the classic signs of promise.

One example of how you might do this, would be to use some trading software to filter out stocks which are approaching their thirty or sixty day high or low. What you potentially get when you use filters in this way and using other similar criteria, is a list of stocks that may be gathering momentum in their price, but have yet to hit a point where the price has peaked.

You will almost certainly need to play around with these filters in order to identify the sort of search criteria that is most successful, but once you have found a way of short-listing potential stocks to trade that are gathering momentum, you can then save this criteria as a custom filter, allowing you to pull up a list of potential trades whenever you want to.

Finding a pattern

You could argue that successfully identifying breakout stocks is a strategy that requires an equal application of skill and technical analysis, as it is a potential way of making money that is both an art and a science.

One of the favored ways of approaching this task for some traders, is to try and see a distinct pattern that will give you a big clue as to what the stock is about to do next.

One aspect of the stock price history to look at is to see if you can spot a strong inside day pattern. This is a relatively simple pattern where the stock has three consecutive days where there is a progression and the price is inside of the previous day.

This sort of mini-triangle pattern when you see it on a chart, tends to occur more frequently at the end of a stronger trend phase for the stock. This could be the point where the price is taking a bit of a pause before pushing on again, and therefore offers an excellent entry point if you spot this pattern and get your timing right.

Combination patterns

There is always the potential for a single pattern to throw the odd curve-ball and fool you into thinking that there is something positive there, when perhaps this isn’t the case.

It is for this reason that some of the best setups can often turn out to be combination patterns.

What this simply means, is a scenario where two particular patterns occur at the same time, potentially giving you an extra little safeguard that what you are looking at is right. When two patterns align it should increase the level of probability of trades working out right for you.

Some traders like to try and find a 52-week high and ascending triangle pattern, which will give you a good level of data to make it more possible to spot a strong up trend and to also see where the potential buy breakout threshold might be.

Improving your odds

There is obviously no guaranteed system or strategy that will only find you winners every time, or we would all be doing the same thing, but if you can find ways of increasing the probability odds, you are also improving your odds of making a profit on your chosen stock.

There is often a strong correlation between how the stock market is performing in general and individual stocks, giving you an indication of potential momentum.

If you can find a way of identifying stocks on an upward curve and get in while they are still heading upwards, that would certainly be a solid trading strategy.

Editor’s note: This post was contributed by Louis Rowley who takes an interest in investments, trading stocks and shares as well as investing in real estate to secure his future. He writes for finance / investment blogs when an idea for an article pops into his head.

photo credit: Patrick Hoesly 607 – Money Whirlpool – Texture via photopin (license)

How Technology Has Made Investing Easier for Beginners

How Technology Has Made Investing Easier for Beginners

technology investing

Editor’s note: I don’t need to convince you that our world is rapidly transforming. These changes include personal finance in general and investing in particular. Today, I offer you a post on the ways in which technology has democratized investing and made it easier for beginners written by Kayla. She is a colleague personal blogger with passion for all things money.

It’s no secret that technology is ever changing, offering us more goods and services to make our lives easier every day. The same can be said for update to financial technology. Technology has made it easier than ever for us to manage our finances through the use of online banking, budgeting apps, and more.

Technology changes impact the investing world as well. Here are some ways technology has made investing easier than ever, especially for beginners.

Electronic Devices

The changes that technology has brought to the computer industry in the last twenty years or so have been phenomenal. We have gone from large, bulky monitors and towers to thin flat screens and laptops that can hold massive amounts of information and can be accessed faster than ever before. Laser thin tablets, smartphones and other devices are affordable to almost everyone these days, allowing anyone who has one to seek out investment opportunities from almost any location. For the beginner investor, this can be a very valuable research tool, allowing them to find information and advice on everything from real estate, to stocks, to precious metals, and more.

Internet

The rise of the internet has brought with it the ability to track your investment portfolio without having to contact a financial advisor for every little thing or leaf through massive reports as in years past. The ease of having your portfolio literally at your fingertips at any given time is an enticement to beginning investors because it helps to uncomplicate the process of investing and provides more accurate and up to date data.

Furthermore, as a beginning investor, you can find social investing sites where other people will provide advice and information on what has and hasn’t worked for them, and explanations of some of the more complicated aspects of different types of investments. Just be careful because not all friendly advice is actually helpful.

Investment Opportunities

Beginning investors can now research the internet for the types of investment opportunities that appeal the most to them. In addition, as a new investor, you might not have a lot of money to get started investing. You can find sites, such as Acorns, that can help you get started investing with minimal amounts of money and risk.

Less Need for a Financial Advisor

I’m not saying the beginner investor, or even a seasoned investor for that matter, should completely do away with their financial advisor. However, with the tools technology has provided, the beginner investor has information available they would previously have needed to go to a financial advisor to get.

That said, as a new investor, a financial advisor can offer professional advice based on a wealth of knowledge and experience as well as financial planning advice tailored to your specific needs.

With technology’s constant changes and upgrades, it should continue to get easier to manage your investments in the years to come.

Did you think of other ways technology has made investing easier for beginners?

photo credit: Kirsche auf Tastatur via photopin (license)