Investment Basic: What does successful investing require?

Successful investing requires knowledge, time and commitment, discipline and patience, and the ability to develop an investment strategy that is compatible with your personality.


Each individual must consider what he knows when planning an investment strategy. Recognizing your current level of knowledge, and how you will acquire the additional wisdom you need, are all-important factors.

Time and commitment

How much time are you willing to spend monitoring your portfolio? This is a critical question. An individual’s investment plan should be based on his level of interest in ensuring personal financial success. The more diversified a portfolio is, and the more complex your strategy, the more time you will need. To be successful, an investor mush map out a strategy that carefully matches his own personality and level of commitment.


Although many investors start with an approach that will work for them, the ability to maintain discipline eludes far too many people. This is caused by a variety of psychological issues, led by fear and greed, that tend to dominate predetermined financial strategies. During various stages of a stock market, different investment styles will work better than others. Sometimes a value approach will be in favor. Other times a growth or momentum style to accommodate the market.


The last trait for successful investing is patience. Without it, your returns will be more limited. Warren Buffett reminds us that it takes nine months for a woman to deliver a baby. Investments usually take more time to work out than most people consider. Once you plan an investment strategy that complements your personality, managing a portfolio should be simple. The challenge will be to follow the game plan and to remain disciplined.

An investor who establishes varying time frames for holding different types of securities will be much less inclined to lose patience in well researched ideas. This type of analysis will also assist the investor from “holding too long,” while watching his momentum idea fall out of favor and create large losses.