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6 Common Investing Mistakes of Newbie Investors

6 Common Investing Mistakes of Newbie Investors

Avoiding the six common investing mistakes of newbie investors helps you steer clear of global investment pitfalls and build a successful investment portfolio.

If you are looking to invest as an expat or high-net-worth individual, which is what I specialize in, you can email me (advice@adamfayed.com) or use WhatsApp (+44-7393-450-837).


Below are the common investing mistakes that are often committed by investors who have just been introduced to the investment scene. However, this article isn’t exactly limited to the blunders committed by rookies, as even old timers can fall to any of such woes if they don’t proceed with sufficient caution.

Common Investing Mistakes: Prospects and Risks

You finally reach that point where you think of settling down — perhaps not exactly marrying — but more of setting your priorities straight, halting your excessive and impulsive shopping spree, making your first investment. You read a bit about saving and investing 101s then make your move, only to find yourself at a loss with how easily your hard-earned money can be depleted.

Investing for the first time can be very exciting, particularly when you calculate all the potential returns you could accumulate. You choose from a variety of assets and additional income sources, such as properties, stocks, mutual funds, and commodities. You even hear about how much money someone made from using a bot for foreign exchange trading. You think it would be a piece of cake, only considering a rising market and the amount you were supposed to make based on someone else’s story.

But though the market may seem steady and strong, it is not without risks as it can easily crumble and leave your investments in a rut. Even analysts’ uptrend projections can be reversed in a snap depending on a mixture of economic and political factors, followed by changes in general market sentiment and appetite.

Common Investing Mistakes risks
Investments always come with certain risks. Image by rawpixel.com on Freepik

Below are six common mistakes for first-time investors:

  1. Following the crowd
  2. Rushing things
  3. Failing to diversify
  4. Going all in
  5. Being overly emotional
  6. Not investing at all

Common Investing Mistakes: Following the Crowd

Blindly going after the majority’s decision whether or not to invest on something can be very dangerous. While it may seem like you are making the right choice along with a sizable number of fellow investors, the so-called “fear of missing out” on what’s trending or hot on the market plus uninformed calls can lead to devastating outcomes.

American business mogul and investor Warren Buffett even said that investors should be “fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.” When everyone else says it’s going to be great, try to pause and be skeptical. When everyone else is afraid, consider getting in action. Think long term.

Besides, your every buy and sell move must be well-researched and backed by a solid plan or strategy, as well as sound analyses from experts in the field. With the proliferation of fake news and advent of influencers on social media, make sure to be more attentive to information you are picking up.

Common Investing Mistakes: Rushing Things

You cannot take your eyes off your investment because you are in such a hurry to hit your goals and get rich. You almost cannot wait to see some improvement and reap your gains even if it was only yesterday when you made the investment. 

While some choose shorter investing time frames, a lot of investments actually take time. You have to be in it for the long haul. Yes, you cannot hold onto a particular investment forever, especially when you do not get anything in return. However, you must be patient enough to wait for the market to at least recover.

There is no one-way market. Never dispose all your assets during a crash, especially when what you are experiencing is only an impermanent loss. Accept that, for most, financial freedom is not an overnight goal.

Common Investing Mistakes diversification
Diversified investments. ©Shutterstock

Common Investing Mistakes: Failing to Diversify

Should one of your investments fail, say, when rent plunges and negatively affects the real estate you invested in, having diversified products in your portfolio can minimize risks and save you from possible material financial losses.

It is a great strategy to invest in a variety of sectors and to avoid putting all your money in a single industry or product. Having a broad range of products in your investment basket can also help you bounce back faster when you lose money.

Common Investing Mistakes: Going All In

Overlooking or deliberately ignoring near-term needs and expenses to pour all your money on investments while hoping for the best is also a big no-no.  Do not over-invest. Such decision should not exceed what is necessary and what you can afford to wait for and even lose.  

Having a cash reserve can prove to be very efficient as it saves your finances from being overly stretched and keeps you from having to take on debt. It can also present an opportunity to enter a particular investment when prices later fall and become even more affordable.

Common Investing Mistakes: Being Overly Emotional

You should not be ruled by your emotions when you make investment choices. You cannot win anything if you get panic attacks for whenever the market sees a slight fall and if you wish to sell off your assets during a mere hint of a crash.

Getting familiar with the psychology of investing will help you get through the ups and downs of the market and teach you the best way to behave to avoid hurting your finances.

Common Investing Mistakes manage emotions
Being too emotional. Image by cookie_studio on Freepik

Common Investing Mistakes: Not Investing At All

You want to play it safe. You tell yourself you would invest as soon as the “right time” comes — until you miss the chance. You like to wait until prices fall, but when they do, you think they can still drop further so you would rather wait a little longer. You reckon you cannot afford to lose that’s why you would rather let your extra money sit inside your treasure chest.

Remember, not making a move is also a move. In whatever age you come to realize the whole point of investing, know that you have to take action and be accountable for it. Invest something to earn something else. Prep yourself to take more risks – whether that ends up becoming a bitter lesson of dos and don’ts later.

Common Investment Mistakes: Other Tips

Identify your current stage in the investing life cycle, what targets you are eyeing, and how much funds you need to invest to hit them before it’s too late. Seek the advice of a trustworthy financial planner if you don’t feel competent to handle this.

Also, keep in mind why you are investing your money. By doing so, you will be motivated to save more and perhaps find it simpler to choose the appropriate allocation for your portfolio. Watch your money in the market and consider previous market results while adjusting your expectations.

You can decide to add more when your income increases. Review your investments’ performance by the end of each year. Note that expecting your portfolio to make you wealthy overnight is unrealistic. Wealth will be built over time through a dependable, investing approach in the long term.

It’s inevitable that you’ll have this feeling when you would want to risk more and be tempted to spend money on occasion. Instead of being too rigid and trying so hard to resist it, you can embrace such scenario and set aside some investing money for fun. This is money that you can totally forget, something you can afford to lose. Just make sure this amount does not go over 5% of your entire investment bag.             

Common Investing Mistakes: Final Thoughts

Investment mistakes can happen to anyone even to seasoned investors. Falling into a trap and losing money when you are new in the field can happen. It will hurt. No investor has really only gained and not lose anything in the entire process. But that should be okay. Congratulate yourself for making that bold move. It’s something to be proud of.

Once you’re up and running again, know that there are a lot of materials that can help you with your investments and guide you in every step of the way if that’s what works for you. I can also be that guide, so don’t be afraid to reach out to me if I can advise you in your financial decisions.

If you want to learn more about investments, you can read our other articles such as best investment options for Australian expats in 2021, what are the best investment options for Canadian expats in 2021, what are the best investment options for UK expats in 2022, and how to invest in the S&P 500 from outside America.

Pained by financial indecision? Want to invest with Adam?

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Adam is an internationally recognised author on financial matters, with over 760.2 million answer views on Quora.com, a widely sold book on Amazon, and a contributor on Forbes.

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