7 habits of highly effective investors

These simple strategies will lead to big returns over time.

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Feb 1, 2014 2:27AM

Pretend you are poor from the day you start working.  Do not be envious of people who flaunt their wealth--they most likely are living from paycheck to paycheck, in debt.

Save, save, save.  Live below your means, and do not use Credit Cards.

Financially well off people look for values, study investments, and are cautious about saving a dime.



Jan 31, 2014 11:42PM

I practiced this advice (well before the article was written) for 30+ years and was able to retire at age 50 in 2010! I (we) did not inherit a fortune, we just lived below our means, paid for kids college (we also invest in the grandkids college) and invested wisely.


The dream is still there if you embrace (live) it. Don't let the media scare you, just be your own. Good luck........

Feb 2, 2014 9:15PM
You know what gripes my wife and I the most "you are so LUCKY". Luck my rear end folks, we worked hard, raised four hard working kids who do not need our support.  We saved, invested, budgeted, shopped sales, ate at home all the while paying the bills, living practically and not frivolously.  We now live very, very well and truly enjoy retirement. Oh, I forgot, Even retired we pay over $15,000.00 in federal income tax and feel it is a bargain for what we and our family enjoy from life.
Feb 2, 2014 10:19AM
Finally MSN has an article that is useful.  My wife and I have followed this advice for over 40 years.  We suffered a major financial setback about 20 years ago due to health and had to raid or savings but did not have to declare bankruptcy.  We started over and are now worth over $3 million despite having a family income of $60,000 a year with 3 kids to raise.  We never had cable TV, only ate out on special occasions, camped for vacation and used the library to get fee videos.  We always saved 10% of our gross earnings for our retirement.  We kept our investment expenses low and never sold or changed our investment strategy.  We put in the same percentage very month no matter the state of the stock market. 
Jan 31, 2014 9:05PM
This info are spot on and many may try and trash this article but I am a living product of doing what the article speaks about..... I am about 90% with a forty year history of commitment to most of the things here... I did better than just okay with it and might have done better by making a 100% commitment.
Feb 1, 2014 12:51AM
One of the better written financial articles on MSN.  It has good straight forward recommendations and the reasoning for the recommendation.  I see where it comes from U.S. New and World Report, a good source of financial information.
Feb 1, 2014 1:56AM
Becoming a pro investor is a bit like becoming a pro football player.  Many want to be at the top, but few have the skills, knowledge, talent and dedication to get to the top.  But, you can always try to get better and in doing so, have a decent retirement even if you don't make it to the All Stars.  P.S. You don't have to be a genius, but you do have to be willing to spend some time learning how to do it.
Feb 6, 2014 5:48AM
Live within your means. Do not spend what you do not have. It is all simple common sense. A car is not an investment. KEEP IT SIMPLE!!! Live long prosper.
Feb 1, 2014 3:05PM

Pretty solid advice for basics. I dive into individual stocks and options which is fine if you have the time to do research but I do a good portion in index funds as well to stay balanced.


One thing I would add. "8. Pray that the government doesn't turn around and punish you for your good bahavior." Unfortunately in an effort to help people that CAN'T save, we spend an awful lot of money on people that just CHOOSE not to save and live beyond their means. There is more than one idiot on capital hill that would steal your retirement accounts and "invest" them for you. Scary stuff but you can't let fear stop you from taking charge of your financial future.

Feb 1, 2014 8:50PM

Fairly good advice....For people of a younger age...

Many should remember there are plenty of other investments or wealth builders, besides stocks.

And starting as young as possible is a great idea...But don't forget to live along the way.

Be tax adverse as much as possible 401s, IRAs, ROTHs etc...

There will be a time to pay the taxes later.

Pay attention to your investments, get the biggest bang for your buck.

Learn about investing  and financial matters, to possibly do the work yourself in retirement.

Research, Re-allocate, Re-balance, Diversify and try not to be, too emotional about investing.


I do all of these things plus more.  I will could retire today at 53, but will keep working for another 15 years.

Here is one I would like to add!  Buy a house below your means.  You will save in Mortgage payment, utilities, insurance, cleaning and upkeep!

Invest what is left over

Feb 2, 2014 10:12AM
Like anything else in life, to become an expert, you need to spend 10,000 hours learning, practicing and doing.  Becoming an investor is no different.
Feb 6, 2014 5:08AM
Put 1/2 of every raise you get into your 401k. You get  a little extra in your pay check, and the other  (money you never had in the budget to miss in the first place) pays for your future. Then watch it grow.....
Feb 3, 2014 1:46PM
Its nice to see an article for once that "affirms" what we do and have done, rather than trying to convince us we do it all wrong!!!  Good job!
Feb 6, 2014 11:15AM
I believe the problem with most investors is,they spend to much of their money on stuff.Then what they invest is minimal at best.I know people in their late 50's and early 60's that haven't invested much money at all.If their lucky they have equity in their home.I doubt soc security will be anywhere enough for em.I imagine they'll never retire.
Feb 6, 2014 12:41PM
Good Article and interesting read. Tons of good comments here too. I'm surprised to not see too many haters. Seems like everyone thinks the American Dream is impossible. My family was disappointed in 2005 when I graduated high school and opted not to go to college and start a construction company instead. Now I have grown that into a thriving business with 4 different branches and a personal net worth of just over $1million all by my 26th birthday. It WAS NOT easy and it WAS NOT given to me but it is still out there as long as people are willing to stick to a plan and put in the work. School does not teach and financial anything anymore and its terrible this is all stuff kids need to be taught at a young age. There is still hope for this great country but we need more ambition in the younger generation.  
Jan 31, 2014 9:24PM
America will not recover until the job market comes back and that will not happen until people are trained to do jobs such as plumbing etc.
Feb 6, 2014 10:55AM
This is all good advice, but investing is an art.  You really need to find a solid and trustworthy financial adviser because most people do not know the first thing about saving and investing their money these days.  It is so crucial that you do this now because the years go by so fast and before you know it your retired with nothing.  Your employer can't and won't do it for you so do not depend on them for your retirement.  Be smart and do it today.
Feb 16, 2014 1:40PM

Many good comments here already.  I will add only a few thoughts beyond the regular saving, buy less, postpone spending on 'stuff'.  Read, read, read.  Yes, investing is a skill, but one that can be learned.  If you are not willing to work at it, avoid get rich quick schemes--the new latest best thing--and go with Index funds both on the equity (stock market) and fixed income (bond) side.  Watch out for initial purchase costs as well as commissions.  Stay away from the investment talk shows on TV--Cramer, etc.--there may be one good idea buried in all the hype, but it is unlikely you will find it easily.


If you are willing to work, read Buffett and his partner Charlie Munger, and the others who have been successful over the very long term.  First principle, think about the downside, not about how much you 'could' make.  Read folks with opposite views, contrarian thinking, to the headliners in the news or on TV and the 'net'..  Pay attention to the businesses you like, the established ones and the up and coming ones.  Ask yourself why you like them, do others like them.  And finally, KISS, so you know all the time exactly if you are achieving your goals or not.  Much confusion arises from a scatter-gun approach rather than keeping to a defined strategy!

Mar 9, 2014 2:49PM
Save and save and still not have enough due to taxes inflation healthcare and simple not making enough because there are no jobs for the middle class in the country
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