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9 Essential Principles for Getting Started

How to Start Investing the
SMI Way!

For more than 30 years, Sound Mind Investing has been helping people become more knowledgeable, confident, and successful investors.

If you're a beginner and are wondering how to start, you're at the right place! Just think of this as our Investing 101 course. 

When you're ready to invest, we're ready to help — with guidance that will walk you through our proven process step-by-step.

Before you begin, here are nine essential principles you should know.

Principle 1

You Need the Stock Market

Who needs the stock market? You do! That is, if you want to retire some day. Or if you have a future dream/goal/plan that requires more money than you have now.

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Principle 2

Time Is Money

One of the most important investing concepts is that of “compounding returns.” And a crucial aspect of compounding is time. In this case, time really is money.

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Principle 3

The Ride Can Get Rough

Although the stock market’s long-term trend is upward, its path is neither smooth nor straight. Instead, that path is marked by twists and turns, with scary downturns thrown in for good measure!

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Principle 4

You Have Some Control

To invest in the stock market, you must accept risk. But you also need to be able to sleep at night! We’ll show you how to discover the level of portfolio risk that’s appropriate for you.

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Principle 5

The Future Is Uncertain

You don’t know the future. Neither do we (and that’s okay!). Successful investing doesn’t require the ability to predict the market. It requires patience.

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Principle 6

Objectivity Beats Subjectivity

SMI’s strategies aren’t based on “gut feel” or emotional criteria. They are based on objective, rules-based systems.

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Principle 7

You Can Beat the Market

We don’t believe in market timing, but we do believe in outperforming the market over time.

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Principle 8

Make Sure You're Ready

Before you put money in the market, be sure your overall finances are in order and your day-to-day cash flow is running smoothly.

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Principle 9

Start Now

If you have a savings reserve and are out of debt (other than a reasonable mortgage), you’re ready to invest. But what if the market is at an all-time high or in a downturn? Is this really the best time to begin? Yes!

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