Sometimes the hardest part of any undertaking is getting started. So how do you get yourself ready to take advantage of investing opportunities? While you can’t predict the path of your direct investment journey, there are certainly ways to set yourself up for success and set out on the right foot.
In this article, you can learn directly from our featured investor and friend Jeff Heely. Currently a Partner of Thruline Networks, an investor since the age of 12, Jeff has decades of both individual and institutional experience under his belt including: founding The J Square with Jeff Fisher, serving as Senior Managing Director at Advanced Equities, Inc., being CEO of Baystar Investment Management, and acting as Head of Alternative Investments and Sales at Robertson Stephens, among others. We spoke with Jeff and he shared with us his top 10 tips to get ready for investing.
#10 — Keep an emergency fund. A good rule of thumb is to have a minimum of three months’ worth of living expenses for any future turbulence you might experience. Set it aside, and never touch it or use it to invest. This way, you won’t get caught with your pants down during personal or family emergencies. Additionally, you won’t be forced to pull out any ongoing investments in order to salvage a failing one.
#9 — Prioritize bills, living expenses, and high-interest debt before investing. Don’t embark on your journey while running away from your unresolved problems, especially high-interest ones. Not only does clearing debt give you peace of mind, it enables your capital to actually build wealth and not just cover financial potholes.
#8 — Write down your reasons for making the investment. “Post the rationale on the wall next to the screen where you track your investments. Constantly ask yourself if the rationale still applies,” says Heely. “It’s all too easy to find new reasons to replace your initial ones when the investment isn’t performing.”
#7 — Determine clear-cut financial goals. Knowing your destination enables you to plan the road map for it. Decide your parameters for success within a definite period of time, so that you can establish your priorities accordingly.
#6 — Find your demonstrable edge. “Trillions of dollars are managed by institutions with brilliant analysts, traders, and much, much more information and capital than you have,” reminds Heely. “Oftentimes, their positions are tactical, while yours might be strategic (or vice-versa). Know why they are long or short the investment.” (Long: Buying an asset with the expectation that its value will increase over time.
Short: Selling an asset that is borrowed with the anticipation that its value will decline, aiming to buy it back at a lower price.)
#5 — Avoid the shiny penny syndrome. Heely shares, “I apply the ‘Rule of 34’: I must have viewed and reviewed at least 34 somewhat similar opportunities before I make an investment. The new one I am considering must be better than any of the previous 34.”
#4 — Don’t be afraid to start small. You don’t need a trust fund to be eligible for investment. Everyone can do it — yes, even you with only $100 to spare (that’s just your monthly Starbucks fund!). When you build on even small amounts of capital and your efforts lead to growth, you multiply and end up with more. It beats leaving it to gather dust in your bank.
#3 — Ask experts for their opinions. Heely seeks a minimum of five different perspectives on an investment idea. “Finding opinions which agree with yours can make you feel comfortable, but it can make you smug. Try to find experts who would say ‘No’ to your thesis. You needn’t agree with them, but their perspective is likely not as unique as you might think. Remember that what you are buying, someone else is selling (and they might be smarter or [better informed] than you!).”
#2 — Separe aude. “Always question, never be satisfied that you know enough” says Heely. He adds, “That doesn’t mean that you should fail to act. Act with conviction and constantly test your hypothesis.”
#1 — Be bold, be brave, but be thorough. Investing is not easy, especially when you are just getting started. If you aren’t willing or able to be thorough in your investing journey, find an investment advisor who can assist you. “Finding an investment advisor is a topic that Pyrium is well-equipped to help you out on,” says Heely.
You don’t have to go through it alone. Join Pyrium’s Investor Club and enjoy your investment journey with like-minded friends