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The 9 Essential Investing Principles for Getting Started

How to Start Investing the
Sound Mind Way!

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

If you're a beginner and wondering how to start investing, you are at the right place. Think of this as our Investing 101 course, or our "Investing for Dummies" guide. 

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 get started, here are nine essential principles you should know about investing in general, as well as our specific Sound Mind approach.

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 compounding returns. And one of the most important aspects of compounding is time. In this case, time really is money.

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Principle 3

The Ride Can Get Rough

While the stock market’s long-term trend is upward, its path is neither smooth nor straight. Instead, it’s 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 be willing to accept risk. But you also have to be able to sleep at night! We’ll help you choose a level of portfolio risk 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 ups and downs of the stock market. It requires patience.

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Principle 6

Objectivity Beats Subjectivity

At SMI, our strategies aren’t based on intuition, or gut feel, or any other emotional criteria. They are based on objective, rules-based systems.

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Principle 7

You Can Beat the Market

Even though we don’t believe in market timing, we do believe in outperforming the market.

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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, with day-to-day cash flow running smoothly.

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Principle 9

Start Now

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

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