If anyone knows how successful retirement works, it’s Warren Buffet. Over a lifetime he has become a hallmark of profitable market investment. A recent article in The AARP Magazine shares 10 keys to his success.
Keep A Cash Reserve
Keep a reserve of cash for emergencies and for unexpected opportunities. A rainy-day provision is essential, especially as retirement looms. The end of a regular paycheck means changes in cash needs. Now you must rely on Social Security and whatever other nest egg provisions you have made over your work career. Embellish your emergency fund to take care of any financial challenges. Tap the fund to respond to lucrative investment opportunities.
Invest In Companies That Provide Essentials
Boring companies don’t get any attention at parties, but you may find that there are great long-term returns from companies in more mundane industries. You may think, for instance, that toilet paper, baby diapers and soap are not exciting investments, but Buffett has successfully invested in Procter & Gamble, which has become a world leader in this market segment. Those who put $1,000 into P&G stock in 1986 and reinvested their returns would have more than $32,000 to show for it today. Boring companies who become tops in their industry niche often provide better rewards to shareholders than attention-grabbing upstarts.
How Effective Is The Brand?
Brand loyalty is something to look for in wise investments. Loyal customers will pay more for a product they like. Coca Cola is an example. The logo is known around the world, making it the third most valuable global brand in 2015. Its initial success as a soda drink has financed its expansion into other marketing areas. Invest in strong brands to get larger returns.
Look For Good Fund Managers
Good management is a keynote of successful businesses. Buffett notes that most companies eventually have to survive a bad manager, but when there is a great leader, the company prospers. He points to the outstanding examples of Bill Gates at Microsoft, Steve Jobs at Apple and Jeff Bezos at Amazon. A great manager and a strong business model is an unbeatable combination.
Learn From Your Mistakes
Avoid mistakes, but learn from them. Even Buffett admits to investing mistakes. He experienced a loss of about $450 million in a Tesco investment when the company fell afoul of accounting problems. When such things happen, the best way to recoup is to study what went wrong. Search out the warning signs, suck up the loss and use the information to avoid further market losses. Keep a record of mistakes and they’ll be a guide to better investing.
Stick With What You Know
Stick with what you know. The investment market is huge and intimidating, but Buffett believes you can succeed without being an expert. He avoided the technology revolution in the 1990s and so did not lose big in the tech bust that followed. If you are more familiar with particular areas of the market, put your money there.
Increase Your Buying Power
Look for what will increase your buying power over time. Investments that produce consistent income and steady growth are best. In 2011, Buffett looked at gold as an example of a non-income producing asset, overshadowed by such investment opportunities as croplands and petroleum companies. Retirees benefit in particular from income-producing investments that keep up or hopefully exceed inflation and that provide sustained purchasing power.
Buy At The Right Price
Don’t overpay. Even if a company is successful, a share price that is too high is a bad investment. Wait until an industry has settled before investing. Buffett waited on investing in energy companies until stock prices plunged after the decline in oil and natural gas prices. Make a watch list of interesting stocks and see if valuations fall to more suitable levels. Patience is a virtue in the world of investments.
Use A Buy-And-Hold Approach
Don’t make the same decision over and over again. When you are frequently trading, it increases the chances for missteps. The buy-and-hold approach puts more emphasis on what stocks you purchase in the first place. You may not want to hold a stock forever, but minimize the number of decisions you have to make. The more opportunities you allow yourself to make mistakes, the more mistakes you’ll make.
Look For The Spirit Of Innovation
Don’t avoid revolutionary investments. The business world is full of visionary individuals looking for ways to improve things. One for-instance is the forward momentum at General Electric, a long-time leader in world business. The company saw the opportunity for snapping up a leadership role in the wind energy and turbine business and became a pioneer in the renewable energy industry. Look for the spirit of innovation as an indicator of strong investment possibilities.