By Lori Schock, Director of the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy
As we all get ready for the New Year and think about making some resolutions, consider including some investing resolutions as part of your plan. Many of us resolve to live a more healthy life. Your investment strategy should take into account the life you want to lead for the long run. Informed investors make better investing decisions. With that in mind, consider this list of my top 10 investing resolutions:
#1 Check out Investor.gov
Go to Investor.gov to check out the free financial planning tools and calculators, investing basics, and much more to help you create an investment plan that best meets your financial goals. Resolve to go to Investor.gov before you invest.
#2 Conduct a Background Check on an Investment Professional
If you’re using an investment professional to help with your financial plan, check out their background, registration status and more on Investor.gov. Make it a priority to take that great first step toward protecting your hard-earned money.
#3 Take Our Monthly Investing Quizzes
Make a promise to yourself to take our monthly investing quizzes. Each month you’ll find new questions and information to test your investing knowledge. Everyone is a winner because not only will you learn some things you might not have known before, you can take each quiz as often as you like.
#4 Research Every Investment Opportunity Thoroughly
Resolve to conduct your own independent research on every investment opportunity. Make sure you understand the investment and the risks involved. Never invest in something you don’t understand, and don’t rely on celebrity endorsements or flashy online investment pitches when making investment decisions. Always make sure the investment meets your financial goals.
#5 Say “NO” to FOMO
Tell yourself that you won’t be drawn into the latest investment craze simply because you have a fear of missing out. Not every investment opportunity is right for everyone. Stick with your plan and don’t invest to try to keep up with trends and influencers.
#6 Sign Up For Our Investor Alerts and Bulletins
Educating and protecting investors is at the core of the SEC’s mission. Make it a point to stay on top of current investor-related issues by subscribing to receive Investor Alerts and Bulletins. Alerts and Bulletins can provide you with information on how to avoid the latest investment scam and can help educate you on current investment topics and trends, such as digital assets and ESG investing (environmental, social, governance).
#7 Visit Our Director’s Take Articles Page
Director’s Take articles are written in a short, non-legalese format intended to provide you with tips and information on timely investment topics that are important to you, such as day trading, teen trading and market volatility. Resolve to subscribe to receive Director’s Take articles or to visit the Director’s Take spotlight page on Investor.gov often.
#8 Watch Our Public Service Campaign Videos
Through our ongoing public service campaigns, we have created brief video clips with information and definitions of timely investor topics. Make it a habit to take advantage of these online resources and spread the word to your family and friends.
#9 Create a Long-Term Investment Plan
The most successful way to invest for a strong financial future is to create a saving and investing plan for the long term. Create a plan that takes into account your long-term financial goals and risk tolerance, and includes a portfolio of diverse assets. That kind of plan will better prepare you for inevitable market changes. Remind yourself that it’s time in the market that counts, not timing the market.
#10 Resolve to Steer Clear of Investment Scams
Fraudsters don’t take a holiday. And, you shouldn’t take a holiday from protecting yourself against investment fraud. Remain steadfast in recognizing the red flags of fraud by not falling for “too good to be true” opportunities, promises of “guaranteed returns,” and “everyone is buying it” investment pitches.
Auld Lang Syne
Say farewell to auld lang syne and welcome in the New Year by resolving to be a better informed investor. These 10 investing resolutions can help you this year and in the many years to come. Let’s toast to a Happy New Year and a successful financial future!