9 Essential Tips Every Investor Should Know

Financial professionals offer advice for market-watchers young and old

Remember, it’s not how much you can make, it’s how much you get to keep.
Take on a risky investment and you may gain a huge windfall one year, and then promptly lose the same amount the following year. Your friends may have been impressed with that doubling of your money, but in the end your portfolio comes out even. “You wind up gaining nothing,” says Ty J. Young, president and CEO at Atlanta financial services firm Ty J. Young Inc. “In the current environment, we’re recommending that investors cover their downsides by making sure their initial capital outlays are protected against losses. That’s the best way to ensure that you keep as much of your money as you possibly can.”

Worry about what you can control.

Let’s face it. The war in Libya, tsunamis and earthquakes in Japan, and Greek debt riots are beyond your control. Sure they affect the markets, but are they really cause to jump around from one investment opportunity to the next? Young doesn’t think so. “These global issues can profoundly affect your retirement planning and money, but you can’t control them, so don’t even attempt it,” says Young. “Instead, make sure that at least 50% of your assets are protected against losses [if you are 50 years old, or 30% if you are 30, etc.], using vehicles such as FDIC insurance, Treasury bonds, and guaranteed insurance contracts.” 

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