How can I get serious about successful investing?

There are four basic types of people, each with differing mindsets when they approach investing; the Sideliner, the Gambler, the Hobbyist, and the True Investor. If you want to be a serious and successful investor, you must mindfully recognise the erroneous attitudes of the Sideliner, the Gambler, and the Hobbyist.

four investment styles list

The Sideliner Sideliners are fearless in taking action as long as they are in the audience and won’t ever get bruised. They shout, stand, and clap, loving the action of a bystander. Sideliners love the excitement of stock market news and the investor’s game. They often look at how the indices, a stock, or a fund performed. Observation alone never gets you in the game of investing. Sideliners may feel it is dangerous in the arena of the investor.

The downside Sideliners are analytical and love running numbers hoping to reduce most risk by comparing return percentages. Yet, out of the paralysis of information, fear sets in, and they make minimal purchases to play it safe. The sideliner is a silent observer possessing discernment for weighing facts, yet witnesses other people’s investment success without taking action to enjoy investing personally.

The Gambler These people are confident thrill seekers who enjoy the casino, horse race, or scratch-and-win tickets, unlike the Sideliner. They confuse play gambling with risk tolerance, spend recklessly, consider that investment principles are for misers, and don’t seek the guidance of an advisor and consequently have a retirement portfolio that looks broke.

The downside The Gambler is comfortably numb and usually gets punished with frequent losses for taking above-average risks. They might buy an investment based on listening to the talking heads in the trading media, buy penny stocks, or low-priced failing company stocks — all based on uncredentialed hearsay. Because they think they might make some fast money, they believe they are investing but are not. Rarely does a Gambler stay invested for the long term.

family relaxing together

The Hobbyists They buy things and investments based on their emotional value more than on investment value. As collectors, they buy for popularity status, notions of status, aesthetic gratification, and pleasure.

The downside Hobbyists, when excited, may jump to buy anything referred to them by word of mouth or a talk show host. They may own all the British Royal plaques on a wall or the top “500 must-see movies before you die”. Financial perspective gets lost because several investment funds may be bought by virtue of historic popularity instead of the potential for future gains. Because collections have been known to go up in value, they think they are investing. They do not understand the old Latin proverb “Non Quantum Sed Quale”, meaning it is not the quantity but the quality that counts.

investor style risk chart

The True Investor Utilizing an advisor’s wisdom, they buy suitable investments. Unlike Sideliners, they act. Unlike Gamblers, they minimise risk. Unlike Hobbyists, they buy based on investment value.

Investors are defined by their knowledgeable expectation for financial gain employing a principled process to minimise financial risk. Many also make it their practice to utilise professional managers and advisors when investing.

Actual investors act with a vision to achieve excellent returns on their investments while exposing themselves to mitigate the risk that suits their investor profile while enjoying the actions that lead to real financial success. It all comes down to how you think and whether you’re considering investment action.


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