Some mistakes are merely embarrassing, others you take your lumps and move on. But when it comes to money, the impact can be long lasting.
Here are four ways people go wrong.
- Hit the panic button: “People can’t separate short-term market fluctuations from long-term goals,” says Ken Weber, a Lake Success financial advisor and author of “Dear Investor, What the HELL Are You Doing?: Smart and Easy Ways to Fix the Mistakes You Make With Your Money.” “Look at the markets through a telescope, not a microscope. Markets go up, markets go down. Invest with a plan; then it’s easier to ride through market choppiness.”
- Chase yield: With interest rates at historic lows, fixed income investors are searching for superior yields. “Don’t choose an investment with a higher yield at the cost of safety,” says Frank Nargentino, managing partner of North Shore Wealth Management in Plainview. “Look beyond the current rates investments are paying. Consider an investment’s total return potential.”
&#110; Use credit cards to supplement income: Funding everyday expenses with credit cards is a no-no. “If this debt piles up with added interest, you’ll have difficulty coming up with extra money to pay the balance down and to pay beyond the minimum,” says Melville financial attorney Leslie Tayne, of the Tayne Law Group. “Re-evaluate your budget. Identify where you can cut expenses and free up cash to spend, rather than charge.”
- Follow the crowd: “Don’t chase what is hot or exciting. Getting caught up in the herd leads many investors to buy high and sell low,” warns Keith Lanton, president of Lantern Investments in Melville. “Build a diversified portfolio and keep it diversified. Re-balance annually.”