Wise investing is often simple, but it isn’t always easy. In other words, while the principles of smart investing are fairly straightforward, practicing those principles can be difficult at times. That’s primarily because of our emotions. When the market falls, fear tempts us to sell. When the market rises, greed tempts us to take more risk.

One of the best ways to minimize the impact of emotion in investing is to develop a written investment plan. (Yes, actually writing it down is important!) If your plan is: (1) based on sound investing principles, (2) written when you are in an objective, level-headed mood, (3) tailored to your specific circumstances and goals, and (4) if you’re married, developed with the input and buy-in of your spouse, it will greatly simplify your decision-making, while making your investment journey more profitable — and peaceful.

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