1. Know yourself.
When it comes to your money, it's easy to get emotional. Are you the type of person who will remain calm during constant swings in the stock market? Will you carefully consider the long-term effects of a negative news story rather than selling your investment at the first sign of a downturn? Successful DIY investing takes work, discipline and confidence when it comes to financial decision-making.
2. Focus on the end game.
Investing is a marathon where slow and steady wins the race. If you choose to go it alone, be prepared to spend the time and do your research on the companies, industries and funds you invest in. Match the pros by making a savings plan, honestly assessing how much financial risk you are comfortable with, and setting aside time each week to do your homework. Market downturns and upswings happen, but a sound plan and a portfolio that covers a range of industries and geographic locations will usually stand the test of time.
3. Consider alternative ways to purchase funds.
You can buy investment funds in person at your local bank branch, from an investment advisor or through a growing range of online options. If you don't want to go entirely DIY, ease into it. Working with an advisor can be an effective way to receive guidance while staying in the driver's seat as you grow your knowledge and confidence. Many long-term DIY investors balance their own skills with advised investing.
Learn more about your investing personality type with the smarter investing quiz at www.investright.org.