STICK TO THE BASICS, YOU WILL BE A SUCCESSFUL DIY INVESTOR
DIY investing is both easy to do and hard to do. It’s easy because it doesn’t take a lot of time, it’s not complicated, and you don’t have to know much about the stock market, investing or anything else financial.
However, it’s hard to do because we’re humans and we get tempted by our emotions to want more, and want it right away. How many times have I been unable to resist the bag of chips in my cupboard? If only you knew.
Your best chance of being successful at DIY investing is not to look at it as a hobby and not to spend too much time listening to the “experts”, or your brother-in-law or the taxi driver who all seem to know what’s going to happen with this and that. You have to find a way to turn to all off when it comes to investing.
I realize I’m asking you to ignore all the other advice you’re bombarded with except for the strategy on this blog, but I can explain that. I’m not trying to sell you anything and this is not my strategy. The idea of saving 6-10% of your income and investing in low cost index funds is recommended by the experts who study investing and are also not interested in selling you anything. They are the good guys in the investing world and who else are you going to trust?
I tend to read quite a few articles on investing because I find the topic interesting, the same way a hockey fan reads articles on who is getting traded to his favourite team or something like that. It’s a distraction and I do occasionally pick up some good tidbits of information. But the truth is about 99% of the thousands upon thousands of articles you’ll find on investing only complicate things and make it easier for you to make a mistake. So, forget about it. Just know that you are making an incredibly wise decision to invest this way and you will be rewarded when the time comes to retire. Saving for retirement is not a sprint, it’s a long, slow marathon.
If you feel this urgent need to boost your investment results, something else is probably going on in your life that’s causing you grief. Maybe the boss is driving you crazy and you’re looking for a way out, or you’re going through that mid life crisis and are bored with playing it safe. Whatever it is, find another way to deal with it. Leave your investing strategy alone and you will be grateful when the time comes to retire.
I’m a department head for a high school in Toronto. I graduated from the Ivey School of Business at Western University and have been a DIY investor for over 20 years.