1. I WILL stick to the investment plan I set when things were calm, especially when I’m feeling anything but calm. When my emotions are running high is the wrong time to make rational decisions, including rethinking my investment objectives.
2. I WILL NOT try to predict the future or listen to those who claim they can. Whatever happens next is anyone’s guess. I can take comfort in knowing the value of the businesses I own.
3. I WILL listen to my financial advisor when I’m panicked. Once I’ve done my homework and have partnered with a skilled and principled advisor whom I trust, I may need them to be both my money planner and psychologist.
4. I WILL NOT crave certainty. Although it’s in my nature to seek assurances, I accept that the stock market is driven by events that can’t be consistently forecasted.
5. I WILL avoid “noise.”
Reading negative headlines leads to negative thoughts, which can lead to negative actions that negatively affect my long-term outcome as an investor.
6. I WILL NOT make investing harder than it needs to be. Just because making money in the market isn’t easy, doesn’t mean some complex investment strategy that I don’t fully grasp is the answer.
7. I WILL treat the latest investment fad as exactly that – a fad. The tried and true, as boring as it may seem, has the greatest potential to help me compared to an unproven investment approach, no matter how trendy.
8. I WILL NOT expect the stock market to only rise in value. While losses aren’t enjoyable, they’re inevitable and I should keep my long-term investment goals in mind.
9. I WILL resist the urge to act when no action is required. Time in the market is key, not timing the market.
10. I WILL NOT look at my investment account statements more than absolutely necessary. The more often I “check in”, the more short-term focused I become to the detriment of my long-term investment performance.