Investors Top 10 Mistakes


My contribution to the Washington Post Business Section quarterly investing section came out late yesterday. Its a commentary that we have been harping on here for a while:

Here’s an excerpt from the column: Investors’ 10 most common mistakes

“Whenever there is turmoil in the markets, my phone lights up with calls from journalists, investors and potential clients. They are typically in a panic about the crisis of the moment and are calling for my take on the situation. In my decades as an investor and analyst on Wall Street, I have learned that panics come and go. They turn out not to be the main cause of investors’ financial setbacks.

Rather, what hurts most investors most is a failure to understand the basics of investing. Not grasping the simple mathematical drivers of returns invariably leads to very costly errors. The best time to make an investment plan is before a crisis, not during it. When the sky turns cloudy, you should follow your plan, including all “exit strategies.”

Consider these 10 points in the context of your own discretionary investments, 401(k)s and IRAs. Identify any errors you are making, and fix them now — before the next storm hits…”


I posted a more detailed digression on the blog this past 10 days of each of the bullet points in my list.  You can see those 10 items here:  Top 10 Investor Errors.

Investors’ 10 most common mistakes
Barry Ritholtz
Washington Post, July 11 2012


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