Whether the year is 2011, 2012 or 2020 – here's a good investment strategy to make money investing without a crystal ball. Any good investment plan considers both investment selection and timing. If you can't make money investing with this simple strategy, rest assured that only the few and the lucky will make money.
Before you stress over putting together a good investment strategy for 2011 and going forward, ask yourself the obvious question. Where do most successful people invest (or where have they in the past) to make money investing over the long term? The answer before the financial crisis was bonds, stocks and real estate. The answer today for the average investor is the same and takes the simple form of bond funds, stock funds and equity real estate funds. In the final analysis, if all three of these investment areas tank – we're likely in a depression and only a lucky few folks or smart speculators will make money investing.
Good investment strategy does not rely on speculation or trying to time the markets. No matter what you hear, no one has a proven and consistent record in market timing that beats the markets significantly over the long term. If they did they'd make a ton of money investing, and they'd hide their secrets, not share them. So, why not settle for a good investment strategy that makes only one major assumption: that the USA will grow and prosper over the long term?
Investing money in the three areas above is simple with mutual funds. To lower your risk and add flexibility to your investment strategy, add a fourth fund type called a money market fund. At today's interest rates these might not look like a good investment, but they are safe and earn interest that tracks current rates. Getting more specific, by owning just 4 different funds you can put together a good investment strategy for 2011 and beyond and make money by investing in America's future. In order from high safety to higher risk and greater profit potential: a money market, intermediate-term bond, large-cap equity-income, and equity real estate fund is all you need to own.
A good investment strategy to get your feet wet is to simply invest equal money in all 4 funds. Timing strategy requires no judgment calls or guessing. One year later and once a year after that, you simply move money around to make all 4 funds equal in value again. This automatically forces you to take some money off the table from your better-performing funds – and to move more money into those that did not as well. The net result over time is that you are buying more shares when prices are down, are selling shares that are relatively expensive.
This is also a good way to make money investing over the long term while keeping a lid on risk. Simply buying and holding funds is not a good investment strategy, and has gotten many average investors in trouble in the past. For example, real estate funds were good investments for multiple years until they were nailed by the financial crisis. Had you owned them and just held on, by 2009 you could have had a significant amount of money accumulated and at risk there … resulting in big losses as a result of the financial crisis.
There's more than just simplicity involved in what I am calling a good investment strategy for 2011 and well beyond. This strategy employs two of the only time-tested tools in the investment business: BALANCE & REBALANCE and DOLLAR COST AVERAGING. The first tool keeps you on track while keeping a lid on risk, and the second is the tool that works to lower your average cost of investing by having you buy more shares when prices are lower and fewer when they are high.
You can put a good investment strategy together with only moderate risk by owning just 4 different mutual funds. People make money investing over the long term with bonds, stocks and real estate; and the smart ones keep some money in a safe investment as well for flexibility. In years past, some folks simply got lucky and made money investing without a strategy. With a good investment strategy you won't need to cross your fingers and rely on luck. If America prospers in 2011 and beyond – so should you.