5 Steps to Transform Your Investing Experience
The American Dream is being able to live life on your own terms. Knowing you can follow your personal calling and realize your goals offers a feeling of incredible freedom. Do you know what you’re capable of achieving? For far too many investors, the answer is no. And that translates to an investing experience riddled with confusion, stress, fear, turbulence and exhaustion. But investing peace of mind is possible, and you have the power to transform your own experience.
Want to start your own business? Travel the world? Earn an advanced degree? Buy a house where your kids and their families can gather? None of this is possible unless you’re in control of your money, your beliefs surrounding money and your plans to achieve these goals both financially and mentally. Let’s dive into the five steps you can take to transform your investing experience and make your dreams a reality.
Investor Awareness Guide
Break free of the Investor's Dilemma and the lies that many professionals sell.
1. Discovering Your Own American Dream
If you were to stop and reflect on the most significant events in your life, a few major milestones would probably come to mind: perhaps your wedding day, the births of your children, a graduation or educational accomplishment. People rarely site money or financial events in the top five. Why? Because while money is important, it’s not everything. Beyond the desire to accumulate wealth in a strictly financial sense, there are more personal concerns, desires and dreams at play.
So, what’s at play for you? What does your concept of the American Dream look like? Does it mean having a sense of safety and security? Or maybe living a life of comfort? Is it about acquiring the financial independence to support aspirations regarding travel, family life or other personal interests? Discovering and acknowledging these truths is an essential step in positively transforming your investing experience. Doing so uncovers your true purpose for money, which is a critical element in defining your investment strategy.
2. Reclaiming Your American Dream
We all have dreams. In fact, it is the human condition to have aspirations. Some of these are created through our unique culture and environment, while others are shaped in our own hearts and minds. Regardless of where they originate, many of them rely on financial success in order to become a reality. That’s why it’s important to learn how to live powerfully around money, invest wisely and create YOUR personal version of the American Dream.
Think about what it would mean to live a life where achieving your dreams is a possibility supported by smart investing behaviors? By spotlighting your true purpose for money and making choices that inspire new possibilities, you’re empowered to build a future around what’s most important to you.
3. Knowing How the American Dream Can Break Down
There are inherent pitfalls along the journey toward your American Dream. You must learn to suss out the traps that erode this dream, find your blind spots and pinpoint the behaviors that sabotage results. By developing a clear understanding of these roadblocks, you have the chance to forge a new path for success.
Explore the opportunities available to all investors, and identify the common mistakes that have the potential to destroy your American Dream. These include behaviors like:
Investing without a plan: Investors who create a written plan significantly outperform those who don’t. A strategic plan that aligns with what matters most to you is absolutely necessary to investing success. Disciplined investing that follows your strategic plan maximizes the likelihood of achieving your goals.
Adopting an inappropriate level of risk: Investment risk is not just the risk of losing your money; it also helps define your return expectations. When investors take too little risk, it often translates to lower expected returns. Of course, taking too much risk (especially as you near retirement) could also have an adverse effect.
Having flawed expectations: The foundation for investing with realistic expectations is based on smart portfolio planning and design that aligns with your goals and risk tolerance. Investors often envision much greater returns than they should reasonably expect, and many fall into the trap of following “hot” tips and trends in search of short-term results.
Reacting to the media: The news cycle is a constant churn of attention-seeking stories.
These stories break AFTER most industry experts already know the information (and have likely closed the window of opportunity). A “hot” tip should never be the driving force behind portfolio design or rebalancing.
Investing without the guidance of a competent financial advisor: A seasoned financial coach’s education, knowledge and experience give them the context to analyze information based on how relevant it is to your goals. Amateur investors often succumb to their emotions, and make decisions that risk their long-term objectives. A professional removes emotion from the process and operates with the know-how to manage a plan for optimal results.
Failing to measure investment performance: Measuring the success of your portfolio is key to understanding whether you’re on track to achieve your long-term goals. Speculating on performance in the short term can cause people to second-guess their strategy, even though the short term is not the relevant concern. The only measures worth tracking are those that indicate long-term performance.
Successful investing is about more than creating efficient portfolios. It’s about empowering you to overcome the instinctive behaviors that routinely destroy long-term investing results and erode confidence in reaching your goals. With proper focus on how to navigate these challenges, you can awaken your dreams and do what’s most important to you. Imagine a life in which your dreams are a real possibility supported by prudent investing behavior.
4. Realizing Your Own American Dream
As you focus on your dreams, view them in relation to your investing decisions and behavior. Doing so reveals significant insight into how you got where you are today. You can see how past investing experiences have thwarted your efforts to realize your goals, and you’ll have a clearer perspective from which to create new behaviors and agreements that support the kind of life you want to live.
The ability to achieve your own version of the American Dream is an outcome of your actions and behaviors for years to come. It’s essential to take a critical look at your existing portfolio and ask questions that are relevant to your long-term success so you can support a commitment to your American Dream.
5. Sharing Your American Dream
The American Dream can’t survive in a vacuum. The essence of the American Dream is to share it with those who are most important to you. Recognize your accomplishments in getting on track with your dreams, and celebrate them with the people in your life.
Chasing your dreams demands you to step out and step up to a new level. Money can be power, independence, freedom and the kind of life that your parents and grandparents never even imagined. Be hungry to live the life of your dreams, and get clear on the what the future holds for you so you can begin transforming your investing experience into one that breeds peace of mind and personal fulfillment.
To learn more about smart investing strategies that can bring about true peace of mind, download your free copy of the Investor Awareness Guide.
Overcome Your Investing Concerns
Stop the vicious effects of the Investors' Dilemma and the lies that many professionals sell in order to see commissions slide from your pocket to theirs.
About Greg Hammond, CFP®, CPA
Greg Hammond is the chief executive officer of Hammond Iles Wealth Advisors, and co-founder of Planned Giving Strategies®. Greg leads a team of professional financial advisors providing customized wealth management and investment solutions for high-net-worth individuals, families, companies, and charitable organizations across the U.S.