Ten Common Investment Errors, Part Three

Ten Common Investment Errors: Stocks, Bonds, & Management – Avoid these ten common errors to improve your performance:

7. Investors just don’t understand the nature of Interest Rate Sensitive Securities and can’t deal appropriately with changes in Market Value… in either direction. Operationally, the income portion of a portfolio must be looked at separately from the growth portion.

A simple assessment of bottom line Market Value for structural and/or directional decision-making is one of the most far-reaching errors that investors make. Fixed Income must not connote Fixed Value and most investors rarely experience the full benefit of this portion of their portfolio.

8. Many investors either ignore or discount the cyclical nature of the investment markets and wind up buying the most popular securities/sectors/funds at their highest ever prices. Illogically, they interpret a current trend in such areas as a new dynamic and tend to overdo their involvement.

At the same time, they quickly abandon whatever their previous hot spot happened to be, not realizing that they are creating a Buy High, Sell Low cycle all their own.

9. Many investment errors will involve some form of unrealistic time horizon, or Apples to Oranges form of performance comparison.

Somehow, somewhere, the get rich slowly path to investment success has become overgrown and abandoned.

Successful portfolio development is rarely a straight up arrow and comparisons with dissimilar products, commodities, or strategies simply produce detours that speed progress away from original portfolio goals.

10. The “cheaper is better” mentality weakens decision making capabilities and leads investors to dangerous assumptions and short cuts that only appear to be effective. Do discount brokers seek “best execution”? Can new issue preferred stocks be purchased without cost?

Is a no load fund a freebie? Is a WRAP Account individually managed? When cheap is an investor’s primary concern, what he gets will generally be worth the price.

Compounding the problems that investors have managing their investment portfolios is the sideshowesque sensationalism that the media brings to the process.

Investing has become a competitive event for service providers and investors alike. This development alone will lead many of you to the self-destructive decision making errors that are described above.

Investing is a personal project where individual/family goals and objectives must dictate portfolio structure, management strategy, and performance evaluation techniques.

Is it difficult to manage a portfolio in an environment that encourages instant gratification, supports all forms of “un-caveatted” speculation, and that rewards short term and shortsighted reports, reactions, and achievements?

Yup, it sure is.

Steve Selengut http://www.sancoservices.com http://www.valuestockbuylistprogram.com Professional Portfolio Management since 1979 Author of: “The Brainwashing of the American Investor: The Book that Wall Street Does Not Want YOU to Read”, and “A Millionaire’s Secret Investment Strategy”