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Principle 5: Invest for the Long Run

Invest for the long run: this is how you will achieve your goals. Invest wisely: there are no “get-rich-quick” schemes that work, and short-term investing is expensive in terms of time, transaction costs, and taxes.

Avoid short-term trading. Short-term trading is expensive and incurs transactions costs and taxes. Keep at least part of your funds in the market for the long run. Keep in mind that taking money out of the market, as well as discontinuing saving, may not only slow your progress but could stop it altogether. A recent study found that those who traded more often, using the turnover ratio as a proxy for trading, had lower returns than those who traded less often and used a buy and hold strategy (see Chart 1). (Carla Fried, “The Problem with your Investment Approach,” Business 2.0, November 2003, 146).

Chart 1



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