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Common traits for investment success

Photo: Shutterstock

Photo: Shutterstock

Who doesn’t spend most of their life dreaming of financial success? A few are lucky enough to be successful primarily because they were born into wealth and abundance. But the vast majority of us have to rely on hard work and thought about what they can get from their investments. That makes perfect sense. But there's more than that to investment success.

If you can put your finger on that elusive factor that leads to success, you can change your life for the better. So what is it? Aristotle said it this way: "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence comes not from our actions but from our habits."

Key habits seem to be ingrained in the most successful people; successful investors' most effective "secrets of success" were neither secret nor mysterious. The "perfect investor," if such a person really exists, is somebody who plans for the future and is patient and deliberate in carrying out those plans. This is easier said than done, especially when you are young. However, there are five common traits common to most successful investors.

1: Setting goals

Successful investors know where they are going and set goals for getting there. Investors who lack clearly articulated and measurable goals tend to dabble in various investment options, hoping they'll find something that works.

But once you set some fixed goals, your investment choices and actions acquire an entirely new meaning. Like a casual traveller who has been handed a road map and a destination, you can suddenly know what you should do. 

2: Create a plan — and stick to it

Successful investors make concrete plans to achieve their goals, and then follow the plans. They periodically re-examine those goals, too. In real life, our needs change, circumstances change, knowledge evolves. Rethinking your goals and working to achieve them can become a regular part of your life.

3: Save regularly

Successful investors save regularly and routinely. This is an absolutely essential ingredient for successful investing. After all, you can't invest money unless you have it; and unless you save it,you probably won't have it. 

The best investors find ways to add to their savings automatically. These days, that is pretty easy through payroll deductions and regularly scheduled online transfers. If you want to be among the best, set this habit on automatic.

4: Live on less

Successful investors habitually delay gratification and live below their means. This, of course, is essential to save money. If you know from experience that you can live on less when you need to, then you've laid an important piece of groundwork for a successful retirement. 

Some very successful investors take pleasure in demonstrating that they can live on less and still be happy. They're among the people who are most likely to enjoy retirement, since they have deliberately cut the emotional cord between how much money they spend and how happy they are.

5: Stay in the game

Successful investors expect setbacks and stay in the game anyway. Don't expect perfection, either from yourself or from the world. We are only humans living in an imperfect world. What you know, what you expect and what you do will sometimes let you down. 

But if you do your best and keep putting yourself back in the game, you'll be the best investor that you can be. That's a good habit to nurture.

Disclaimer: This article was issued by Antoine Briffa, Investment Manager at Calamatta Cuschieri. For more information visit, www.cc.com.mt. The information, view and opinions provided in this article is being provided solely for educational and informational purposes and should not be construed as investment advice, advice concerning particular investments or investment decisions, or tax or legal advice. Calamatta Cuschieri Investment Services Ltd has not verified and consequently neither warrants the accuracy nor the veracity of any information, views or opinions appearing on this website.

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