Investment Lessons Learned The Hard Way

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If you have money in a 401(k) or other retirement plan, 2008 was probably a down year. But there are ways to make 2009 better. One way? Become more knowledgeable when it comes to investing.

Feeling shellshocked from last year’s stock market beating? You’ve got plenty of company.

“You sort of get paralyzed at certain times when things drop precipitously. And this market did not treat one well.”
-Federico Alanis, Small Investor

“It’s been devastated. Like everybody else. You don’t know what direction, what’s going to happen. News comes… comes and goes.”
-Donald Ephraim, Small Investor

For many investors, the lesson from last year was to stay out of stocks. But for others it’s a call to action. And single most effective action investors can take?

“Educate themselves. Whether it be through finance pages such as Google and Yahoo, whether it’s brokerage websites like E*Trade, where they can look at all the necessary research on stocks, mutual funds. How to allocate their money, how to manage the risk in their portfolio…”
-Anthony Altobelli, E*Trade

In other words, when it comes to stocks, the more you learn, the more likely you’ll earn. So if you get a chance to attend a meeting like this, maybe you should.

Or take a few minutes a day to see what other people are saying. Check out a book or two from the library. Not all this stuff is boring or complicated. And one day it could prove to be time well spent.

“Once people graduate from college at 22 and they live till 80,90, whatever. There are a lot of years to start putting money away and investing and I think it’s important to do that. It’s really a critical part of life.”
-Federico Alanis, Small Investor

Bottom line? There’s a reason that stocks pay more than your traditional savings accounts. Because there’s more risk. Does that mean you shouldn’t invest in stocks? No. It means you should educate yourself.

Stacy Johnson

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