If You Are Trying Not To Lose, You Won’t Win!

I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of young women scholars at Princeton University last week. The one thing I have learned about speaking to young people is to make the presentation interactive. To that end, we had them form teams to compete in a portfolio challenge. Each team had to invest $10,000 in the stocks of ten companies based on their growth in the previous ten years. Nothing like a little competition to get the energy flowing in the room. They were in it to win it!

So the question I have for you is, “Are you playing to win or are you trying not to lose?

Far too many people have been standing on the sidelines of one of the most historic increases in the stock market because they were looking back at the 2008 financial crisis. One of the insights that I have gained through wealth coaching is that people fear the unknown and hate uncertainty. The real truth is that your ability to build wealth is directly related to your ability to take calculated risks.

If you are trying not to lose, you cannot win!

Here’s what you can do to start playing offense instead of defense with your finances:

  1. Set up a model investment portfolio at a website like yahoo.finance.com and or nasdaq.com and learn how to research and analyze stocks.
  2. Start small. Use financial apps like http://robinhood.com or acorns.com that allow you to invest for as little as $10.00. You will be an investor and experience the actual ups and downs of the market.
  3. Invest in S & P 500 index fund. Invest in a broad array of large company stock and get diversification with low fees. An index fund is a conservative low-cost, effective way to invest.

A recent estimate by the Ellevate Network estimates that women, in particular, are leaving serious money on the table by not investing.

“If you put 20% of your salary in a diversified investment portfolio — one made up of stocks and bonds — rather than leaving that money in cash you’ll earn an additional $500,000 to $2.1 million throughout your career.”

Remember, if you are trying not to lose, you cannot win!

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