At some point in life, a lot of us consider the idea of managing our own investment portfolios. In some cases that might mean keeping an eye on some retirement funds and making the occasional, long-term decision. In others it might mean something more akin to day trading, making day-to-day choices in the hopes of turning investments into supplemental income. Or you might fall somewhere in the middle.

There is something empowering about handling your own investments, and in the right situation it can be rewarding—both personally and financially. But handling an investment portfolio is also complicated and demanding work, and it’s important to make sure that you’re prepared for the job. To help with that, here are some crucial questions to ask yourself if this is something that’s on your mind.

Do You Have Any Market Education?

This sounds like a very obvious question to ask yourself, but plenty of people dive into the stock market based on financial understanding they got from practical experience, or even from television. For instance, ABC’s hit venture capitalism reality show Shark Tank has gotten a lot of viewers to feel financially savvy. The show can actually teach some lessons about business, but doesn’t really carry any information particularly relevant to ordinary investing. Try to do an honest inventory of your own sources for investing knowledge and, if necessary, read a few books and strategic guides specifically aimed at independent traders.

Are You Devoted To Any Companies?

This is a more common problem than you might imagine. If you’re preparing to set up an investment portfolio and you know that you’re particularly devoted to a few companies, you might want to set those aside for the time being until you develop some sound strategies. For instance, if you adore Apple products you might be more forgiving if the stock should slide, or you might assume it’s a stronger investment than it is at a given time. If you love Nike, you might ignore a favorable pattern indicating that you should buy Adidas. The idea is to assess your own preferences to make sure they won’t dictate your financial decisions.

What Are Your Own Relevant Tendencies?

This is a broad question but it can be narrowed down as an attempt to understand your own trading personality. This might mean figuring out what kind of availability you’ll have to manage your portfolio to determine what sort of investment makes the most sense for you. It may also mean trying to assess how risky or risk-averse you naturally are and important decisions accordingly. You should take some time to recognize your own habits as they will relate to this new initiative, and adjust as necessary.

Does Each Investment Fit Into A Plan?

It’s important to recognize that investing is not about picking a bunch of great investments (though you probably wouldn’t mind doing so). It’s more about looking at a group of investments engineered to move you toward achieving your financial goals. A good portfolio has two key features: diverse assets (spread across various industries so that what happens to one won’t necessarily happen to another) and a unified goal (meaning short- or long-term gains). As you organize your investments, it’s important to ask yourself if each idea fits into a greater plan for the whole portfolio.

Can You Get Out?

Perhaps the most important question for anyone on the cusp of an investing decision is whether he or she will be able to withdraw funds when necessary. That might mean choosing the right time to gather profits on a successful stock, or when to cut losses on an asset in decline. The discipline to pull money out when needed is as important as anything else when it comes to the process.


imageIt’s been exactly one month since I left my corporate lawyer job to become a full-time ghostwriter, consultant, and coach.

During that time I’ve had a ton of successes, mostly because I had built my business on the side very deliberately, to the point that I had a lot of people waiting for my time to free up.

In fact, I was actually almost behind on some writing projects, although my clients were in the loop and accommodating, knowing I was in the midst of a transition that would allow me to serve them better.

As a result, I’ve had a lot of really great successes in the first 30 days, including:

  • Landing 2 new ghostwriting projects, filling up my capacity and starting a waiting list;
  • Getting a 3-book deal from a traditional publisher for books to be written in my own name, for my own brands;
  • Beginning the process and am now up for a Guinness World Record for one of my projects (more details soon);
  • Landing 3 new coaching clients (only a few left until I hit capacity); and
  • Landing a new consulting client.

It all adds up to some pretty awesome projected income to get started and projects I believe in.

I’m now writing 6 books at various stages, have several coaching and consulting clients, and have my own brands building in the background (and in some cases, the foreground).

I’m also working less (only slightly though, as the 50 hours from my day gig got quickly eaten up by the writing I am catching up on), sleeping more, and spending more and better-quality time with my family.


Most people would stop there. I won’t.

A lot of crap happened, too.

Here are a few that come to mind from the past 30 days. Total “unexpected crap” almost $2,000:

  • Long story short, my wife broke something by total accident that did not belong to us and it cost us about $1,500 to replace.
  • Our heating system in the house (that’s also connected to our hot water) broke and cost $350 to repair.
  • One of our garage doors broke. We think we fixed it ourselves. We’ll see….

That’s only the completely unexpected stuff and stuff that can’t be anticipated (like insurance premiums, which we knew about).

I also need to take better care of my personal health for oh so many reasons   That started last week.

Overall a great first month.

But don’t believe anyone who tells you it’s all tutus and rollerblades.

I can’t remember a month where I’ve been as happy professionally, literally everything is exciting.

But that Murphy guy has come a knockin’ more than a couple times too.

What else do you want to know?


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I’m going to share a little bit about the past 12 months. This is the short story about why and how I quite my job as a corporate lawyer to become a full-time ghostwriter and content coach.Just over 1 year ago, I announced that When you’re done reading, feel free to ask questions in the […]

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If you’ve recently committed to your partner “for richer or poorer,” you may be wondering exactly how that will play out over the coming decades. Hopefully, you will never have to experience poverty, but in the interest of keeping your marriage strong, healthy, and happy, you may want to spend some time talking about money. […]

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3 Tried and True Methods of Losing Money Trading Stocks

April 25, 2016

Yes, the title is something of a joke. An investor like yourself surely doesn’t want to lose money at stock trading. What follows are three common behaviors that, time and time again, blow up in the faces of investors, at many different experience levels. Even if you’ve been investing for a while with some success, […]

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5 Reasons Why The Right Trading Platform Is Essential

April 25, 2016

We often read articles and blogs which discuss the merits of the correct trading strategies and the benefits of the Forex markets as a whole. However, not enough attention is given to the type of trading platform used and why this aspect is so pivotal. To make this crystal clear, let us examine the top […]

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Forex, Leveraged and Commodities Trading With ETX Capital – An Insight

March 26, 2016

The exchange of foreign currency is known as Forex trading. It is a widely popular mode of trading which is based on the constant changes in different currency values. As the world money market at the international level is vulnerable to continuous changes owing to various events happening around the world, the currency rates of […]

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