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Recognize the Ten Principles of Successful Investing

Once you are ready to invest, you must realize that there is not just one right way to invest. There are multiple ways and multiple methods of investing, depending on your budget, your personal goals, and your investment plan. The key to successful investing is knowing yourself and knowing what you are trying to accomplish.

Likewise, there is not just one right way to teach investing. While there are many different ways to teach investing, the principles of wise investing remain the same. When it comes to teaching investing, I believe we should follow the admonition of the prophet Joseph Smith, who said the following:

I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves. (in James R. Clark, comp., Messages of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6 vols., [1965-75], 3:54)

If you understand the “correct principles” that relate to successful investing, you will be able to “govern,” or manage, your investment portfolio well. Moreover, while some may dispute the number of principles, no one disputes the importance of these principles. Elder Dallin H. Oaks commented on this idea when he said the following:

We live in a complex society, where even the simplest principle can be exquisitely difficult to apply. I admire investors who are determined not to obtain income or investment profits from transactions that add to the sum total of sin and misery in the world. But they will have difficulty finding investments that meet this high standard. Such complexities make it difficult to prescribe firm rules. We must rely on teaching correct principles, which each member should personally apply to govern his or her own circumstances. (“Brother’s Keeper,” Ensign, Nov. 1986, 20)

Whatever you decide to invest in, and whatever phase of investment you find yourself in, the following ten principles are critical. If you build your portfolio in line with these principles, you will have a successful portfolio.

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