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Many new investors are intimidated by the process of getting into the market. Any entry into the stock or securities market involves some risk, and it is necessary to manage this risk through research and prudence. Rickey Manbahal, a finance director in local government, offers 9 strategies for people who want to improve the way they invest.

1. Lower Your Costs
First, look into all of the investment fees you are paying and find out whether they can be reduced. If you are earning 10 percent each year from your portfolio but paying 2 percent in investment fees, you will be left with a return rate of only 8 percent. If you reduce your fees to one percent, you may receive tens of thousands of dollars over your previous return rate.

2. Diversify
Many people have employer-provided 401(k) plans, but everyone should explore additional avenues of investment. Stocks, bonds, real estate, and crowdfunding are all different ways of achieving investment income. If you are not properly diversified, you could be highly vulnerable during the next economic downturn.

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3. Adjust for Age
When you are first saving for retirement, start in your twenties if at all possible. This will give your money the greatest possible time to grow. You should adjust your risk level depending on your age. People who are younger can absorb more risk with the expectation that they will be rewarded over time. As people get closer to retirement, they should rebalance their portfolios and move to less risky forms of investment.

4. Rebalancing
Rebalancing is returning your investment portfolio to a state of diversification. Portfolios often change in composition as time goes by. For example, if your portfolio was originally 50 percent in stock, it may have grown to the point where you have 75 percent in stock. Rebalance this across all of your investments. This will keep your money working hard for you and help to manage risk.

5. Use Tax Advantages
Investors need to have an excellent understanding of federal, state, and local taxes. Each time you trade a stock, you will be subject to capital gains taxes. Reduce the overall number of trades you perform, and you will reduce your tax bill. It is also wise to keep a certain amount of money in a tax-sheltered account like a Roth IRA or traditional IRA. The best mutual fund choice is an index-based exchange-traded fund or ETF. These funds trade stocks less frequently than other mutual funds and can help you save a significant amount of money in the long term.

6. Don’t Make Emotional Changes
The science of investment can often be derailed by emotional decisions. For example, if you find out that a company has taken a regulatory hit and that others are selling the stock, causing the price to go down, don’t immediately follow the crowd. Impulsive emotional decisions can cost investors a great deal of money if they are not careful.

7. Take Experts with a Grain of Salt
There are hundreds of so-called “stock experts” who make predictions about the market. It is smart to ignore them altogether if their experience cannot be verified. Their chatter can distract you from the true fundamentals of the situation. Even experts who are connected with TV or radio networks can be wrong. It is better to look at the overall market trends and the direction of the industry and make your own decisions.

8. Invest in All Market Conditions
Even if the markets are going down, you should keep investing. Contributing to your portfolio when the market is down will soon result in gains when it turns around again. You can get shares of your chosen stock or security at a low price. Putting cash into your portfolio will continue to bring you good returns and can help you scoop up bargain stocks.

9. Have Long-Term Goals
Successful investing happens not on the year-to-year scale but happens over decades. If you invest $10,000 each year in a fund with an 8% rate of return, in 30 years you will have made $1.25 million. This is not a way to get rich quickly, but it is a way to provide your family with long-term stability. Try not to be swayed by short-term needs or impulsive decisions. Investing is a business where you need to have patience, prudence, and industry information.

Final Thoughts
Rickey Manbahal recommends that all investors educate themselves as much as possible before putting any money into the market. Diversifying and rebalancing portfolios are necessary, and people should avoid making overly emotional decisions about their investments. With these 9 tips in mind, investors will be able to improve their chances of success in the market.

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