When we talk about investing, it often comes down to particular companies, numbers, and trends. There are a lot of specifics to this kind of business or financial venture, and plenty of numbers-based strategies that any successful investor needs to take into account. But most people who have had success in this world will tell you that there are also a lot of personal and psychological factors that come into play. For that reason, we want to take a brief look at four personal changes you may be able to make that can make you a better investor.

1. Spend Time Learning Businesses

In an article about investing strategies that can last you a lifetime, the first tip is maybe the most important personal advice you can find, invest in what you can understand. Approaching investment any other way is like playing the slot machines in Vegas. That might be dramatic, but the idea makes perfect sense. It’s important to spend time educating yourself about the businesses and resources you might be interested in putting your money behind. This is different from learning general investing strategies or how to read charts. It takes a more personal effort to keep yourself properly educated in your areas of financial interest.


2. But Don’t Be Glued To Your Comfort Zone

You may have heard of famous investor Kevin O’Leary as one of the central personalities on ABC’s Shark Tank. Mr. O’Leary preaches about the idea of diversifying stock portfolios, but he’s also gone a step further by advising others to occasionally step outside their comfort zones. It can be easy to back yourself into a corner investing in the things that you best relate to, but as O’Leary puts it, buying into a cupcake company—something he never thought he’d do—was one of the best decisions he ever made!

3. Take Exit Strategies Out Of Your Own Hands

You’ve probably heard that it’s vital to remove emotion from the equation when investing. The point is to avoid hasty reactions and poor strategic decisions because of how you’re feeling at a given moment. One of the best ways to do this is to take exit points out of your own hands. An overview of various exit strategies for investors suggests stop-loss and limit orders for this sort of initiative, which means setting parameters for your fluctuation in advance. If a stock profits or loses a given, predetermined amount, your stop-loss or limit order will pull the investment before you have a chance to change your strategy based on emotion.

4. Learn To Lose

Finally, in a more general sense, get used to the idea that you’re not always going to clean up in the stock market. The best investors are mentally prepared to lose. This doesn’t mean accepting defeat, but it does mean being able to persevere and move on to the next venture if a given purchase doesn’t go particularly well. This is both mentally healthy and beneficial for sound, reasoned decision making.