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Saturday Star - - P E R S O N A L - 4. MORE BANK FOR YOUR BUCK 6. BACK TO BASICS

avoid. It’s in this kind of mar­ket where un­scrupu­lous in­di­vid­u­als find vul­ner­a­ble tar­gets, be­cause who wouldn’t love a 15% guar­an­teed re­turn right now? It’s more im­por­tant than ever to do your due dili­gence be­fore chang­ing tack or mak­ing any new in­vest­ments.

One of the most com­mon com­plaints these days is, “I could have done bet­ter in the bank”. Yes, this might be true from time to time. But re­mem­ber that you’d need to be in­cred­i­bly sharp with your tim­ing when it comes to rein­vest­ing in the mar­ket (and mak­ing up for what you lost in cap­i­tal gains tax when you sold out of the mar­ket). Re­search shows the av­er­age in­vestor’s ex­pe­ri­ence tends to be a lot worse than the mar­ket

The best way to wealth is to con­trol the “con­trol­lables”. Un­for­tu­nately, mar­ket per­for­mance is not one of them. But your be­hav­iour is. Stick­ing to a few fun­da­men­tal rules of in­vest­ing is the best way to safe­guard your sav­ings and max­imise your wealth cre­ation ef­forts over the long term. These in­clude:

◆ Start with a plan and put it down in writ­ing.

◆ Take a long-term view.

◆ Di­ver­sify: this way there should al­ways be some­thing in your plan that is work­ing out.

◆ Stick to your plan, but re­mem­ber that plan­ning is a process. It in­volves a lot of think­ing up­front, but also reg­u­lar re­views and tweaks along the way.

◆ En­list the ser­vices of a fi­nan­cial ad­viser. Like a good coach, this per­son will help you set re­al­is­tic goals and cre­ate a plan to get you there. Over time, they’ll eval­u­ate your progress and adapt the plan if needed. And per­haps most im­por­tantly, they will help you over­come the emo­tional ob­sta­cles that threaten to de­rail your ef­forts.

Anet Ah­ern is chief ex­ec­u­tive of PSG As­set Man­age­ment.

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