Maintain perspective and long-term discipline. Investing can provoke strong emotions. In the face of economic and market uncertainty, some investors may find themselves making impulsive decisions or conversely becoming paralyzed, unable to implement an investment strategy or rebalance a portfolio as needed. Discipline and perspective can help them remain committed to long-term investment plan through periods of uncertainty.
Create clear, appropriate investment goals. An investment goal should be measurable and attainable. Defining goals clearly and being realistic about ways to achieve them can help protect investors from common mistakes that derail progress.
Develop a suitable asset allocation that meets your portfolio’s objectives. The allocation should be built upon reasonable expectations for risk and returns and use diversified investments to avoid exposure to unnecessary risks. Both asset allocation and diversification are rooted in the idea of balance. All investments involve risk, investors must manage the balance between risks and return through the choice of individual portfolio investments.
Minimize cost. Markets are unpredictable. Market cycles can be volatile. Costs are forever. The lower your costs, the greater your share of an investment’s return. Lower cost investments tend to outperform higher cost alternatives. To increase your return further, manage for tax efficiency. You cannot control the markets, but you can control the impact of costs and taxes
“Every once in a while, the market does something so stupid it takes your breath away.” – Jim Cramer