First, here's what you don't need for successful investing: more money, a higher IQ or superb market timing. Nope, the secrets are simply timeline and temperament.
Investing in stocks requires a minimum five-year time horizon. Think of it like sending some of your money away to work overseas for a while. You can give it a call to check in on it, but you really just need to let it do its own thing.
Investing success is not measured in minutes, months, or even a year. If you look back at history and study how investing fortunes were made, you'll find it wasn't by jumping in and out of stocks based on fear and greed, but by buying great businesses and investing in them over the long haul.
Then, you can expect to be rewarded over time through share price appreciation, dividends and share repurchases.
Successful investors have the ability to remain calm and levelheaded when everyone around them is freaking out. That mindset makes the difference between investors who consistently outperform the market and investors who get lucky once in awhile.
If you can keep your emotions in check and ignore the occasional (and inevitable) market panic, you'll be able to hang on rather than selling out at the worst times.
Make all investment decisions with a cool head after letting new information or temporary market swings sink in. Sometimes the best action to take is no action at all.
Warren Buffet famously said, "Success in investing doesn't correlate with IQ ... what you need is the temperament to control the urges that get other people into trouble."
To sum up, time and temperament is important when investing for the following reasons.
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