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The Wine Lovers' Guide to Investing

Written by Tim Decker.

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Savoring a vintage wine is one of life's great pleasures. But often overlooked in the joy of consumption is the carefully calibrated journey from grape to glass. Similar levels of care are critical to good investment outcomes.
A host of variables can determine whether a wine is great, good, mediocre, or undrinkable. These include the quality of the grapes, soil, position of the vineyard, weather, irrigation, and timing of the harvest.

And picking the grapes isn't the end of it. The harvest must be sorted, the grapes crushed and pressed, then fermented, clarified, aged, and bottled. At any stage of the process, a lack of attention to detail can spoil the final outcome.

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To Sleep at Night, Know Thyself

Written by Tim Decker.

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Do you know your risk tolerance as an investor? Some people think that because they know their attitude toward risk in general, they know about how much risk they're emotionally capable of taking with their investment portfolios.

But when financial markets decline, many of these people have a rude awakening. That's when they learn that they misjudged their tolerance for risk. Some people would never drive 90 miles an hour. But knowing that you're afraid of a car crashes is a lot different than accurately anticipating your emotional reaction to a market decline.

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Is Bad Investment Advice Making You Sick?

Written by Tim Decker.

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For many people, it isn't not having enough money that has been the initial cause of financial related stress, it is the fact that they entrusted that money to the wrong person or company and they lost, in some cases, big time.

According to a 2015 "Stress in America" Survey, money and finances have remained America's top stressor since the survey began in 2007. Seventy-two percent of Americans reported feeling stress about money at some point within the last month, which suggests that financial worry isn't just for those at the lowest levels of income and net worth. The survey also explores the effect that financial stress can have on a person's health and well-being.

People often place their trust in financial professionals, because well, they are often told by an adviser or financial salesperson that:

"This high-yielding bond, or bond fund, is a great opportunity."

"You have to get into this new investment opportunity before it's too late."

"This annuity is definitely the safest way for you to invest because you can't lose, while getting the upside of the stock market."

And they are the so-called experts, right?

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Avoid Common Investing Mistakes

Written by Tim Decker.

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Q: Are there any rules of thumb you can give to help investors avoid mistakes?

A: Well, there's no end to the mistakes people can make, but there are a few rules of the road that can help you avoid many of them.

One of the worst mistakes that investors make is selling stocks in a panic when the market drops, thus choosing to realize losses. Then, during the ensuing recovery, when stocks are rising, these investors often sit on the sidelines like a deer in headlights, missing out on gains. By the time they finally get hack into the market, prices are often much higher. After buying back in, these investors are now all set to repeat this all-too-predictable vicious cycle when the market declines again.

You can avoid these and other investing mistakes if you keep in mind some key lessons, including:

• At its core, investing isn't terribly complicated.

As Warren Buffett famously said successful investing is like dieting— simple, but not easy, because it requires discipline.

Yet investors often overlook the importance of discipline and fail to follow through. They set up an investing plan and then abandon it by chasing hot investments that often become tomorrow's dogs. And they make things worse by focusing on useless market forecasts, which are nothing more than dangerous speculation. All the noise about what markets might do over the next couple quarters is useless, as shown by financial science. Disciplined investors who develop a wise plan and stick with it—while ignoring the noise—are the ones who ultimately enjoy financial freedom.

 

On the Air

newsradio-WHP-webTim Decker hosts the weekly radio show “Financial Freedom” on WHP 580 AM Harrisburg every Saturday at 10:00 am Eastern.

He brings his extensive knowledge and over 28 years of experience to the discussion of current financial and wealth management topics. Each show also includes a Q&A session when Tim provides straightforward, unbiased answers to questions from callers. This is the program that represents your best interests, not Wall Street's.

Get the PodcastListen Here

The Sleep-Well-at-Night Investor

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ISI Financial Group helps clients take all necessary steps to properly develop and implement a comprehensive financial plan using evidence-based, , time-tested strategies centered around  financial science. In his book, “The Sleep-Well-At-Night Investor,” Tim Decker shows readers how misinformation from the mutual fund industry has created widespread harm amongst  investors. The book also discusses the temptation to think of investing like gambling, and the tragedy of gambling away savings and security under the guise of investing.

Buy the Book!