Whenever you are making any sort of the investment, the first and most important thing that you need to do is to have a clear strategy in place. There are a number of different factors that you have to consider including the level of income or capital growth that you are trying to achieve in the first place. As well as this, you will also need to consider your own capacity for taking risks, as no investment is ever a sure thing, no matter how strong it appears to be.
With so much information available online, you should take in as much as you possibly can. As well as reading all the free articles out there, you may also want to consider getting professional advice from an expert or two. After all, speaking to people who are experienced in their field will give you a perspective that you will not be able to get elsewhere. To get you started, here are a few points in the art of developing a successful investment strategy.
Lay Out Your Timeframe
First and foremost, you should outline what your investment time frame is. If you are looking to make short-term gains, you will need to take a very different approach to if you are planning a long-term strategy. When you have more time to play with, you have more flexibility and capacity to deal with the market downturns that will inevitably arise. However, if you only have a limited amount of time, taking a more cautious approach may be the best course of action.
Decide on Your Asset Allocation
One of the first lessons you learn about investing is to diversify your assets as this protects you against any that are underperforming and reduces the level of risk that you are facing in general. When you are creating your portfolio, you need to think about how much you are going to be channelling into all the different areas including cash, bonds, property and shares. Throughout the life of your portfolio, you should think about rebalancing your assets depending on how the marketplace is looking in each of these individual areas.
Determine the Type of Investments You Are Willing to Make
Deciding what type of investments you are willing to make is important. Again, this all goes back to the amount of risk that you are comfortable dealing with. For example, if you are a risk-taker, you may be looking at more speculative stocks with the chances of gaining a bigger return on your investment. However, if you want to take a more conservative approach, it is probably better to go for bigger, well-established companies. After all, you can always reassess your objectives over time based on the experience that you have built up.
Create a Risk Management Strategy (And Stick to It)
As previously mentioned, the world of investing is fraught with potential pitfalls, so you need to have a clear risk management strategy that helps you to mitigate against these risks. And when you create this strategy, you need to actually stick to it. There is no point having it in place if you are not going to listen to it. Make sure that it is as detailed as possible to deal with as many eventualities as you can think of.
Access Information and Assistance Where Available
In the digital age, it is easier than ever for an average person to become an investment expert. With so much information, research and tools available, it makes sense to take in as much as you can. So, take a look at the technological options available to you such as algorithmic trading software. Some of the other tools which are available include company research and stock recommendations, as well as charting and technical analysis. When you are involved in investing, it is essential that you keep up to date with all the latest thinking including economic research, news services, watchlists, and alerts.
Measure the Effectiveness of Your Strategy
If you are not taking the time to measure the effectiveness of your investment strategy, you won’t have any idea about how successful you are. The two most common types of investment benchmarks out there are relative and absolute. A relative benchmark would be something like a passive market index. On the other hand, an example of an absolute benchmark would be a target return such as 5% annually. Of course, there are most sophisticated measures out there, but you can learn about these over time.
Re-Evaluate Your Strategy Over Time
Obviously, you want to stick to your strategy as closely as you can, but over time, you will need to re-evaluate the blueprint that you have put in place. The best kind of money managers understand why particular investments are over and undervalued. If you find that you are struggling with your strategy, it is always worth getting another perspective on it. Another person who is experienced in the field may be able to tell you how you can get out of your slump.
Hopefully, this guide has given you a general overview of what it takes to develop a successful investment strategy. Start by laying out the timeframe that you have in front of you, setting particular targets as and when you need to. Next up, decide on the specific assets that you are going to acquire, going for a diverse approach. And if things happen to go wrong at some point down the line, you should have a risk management strategy that helps you to deal with it.
Investing is always an area in which you can learn more as different strategies and techniques become available over time. Measure the effectiveness of your approach over time as otherwise, you won’t be able to tell how successful you are. Over time, you should re-evaluate your strategy in case it needs to be updated or refined.