Success!When it comes to investing, there are tons of people out there that love to give stock advice. Which stocks to buy. Which to avoid. Buy now! Sell now!

You can turn on the television and hear Jim Cramer shouting about the next great stock. You can go to Seeking Alpha and find many different articles touting many different stocks you should invest in. Heck, even here at this site I’ll occasionally do an article offering up my best stocks at the current time.

When it comes to investing, there is too much noise and the truth is you shouldn’t pay attention to any of it!

If you want to become a great investor then you need to learn to think for yourself!

You need to take responsibility for your own investing decisions.  When you make a great investment, you get to take all the credit!  When one of your investments goes bad, the decision to buy was yours and you are fully responsible for the consequences.

You can’t hold Jim Cramer accountable for one of your bad investments.  You can’t blame the author on Seeking Alpha if you lose all your money because you bought Ultra Micro Systems stock based on his recommendation.

Ultimately, investing decisions are yours.  You need to take responsibility for them.

No one cares about your money except for you!

For this reason, you need to learn to think for yourself in order to become the best investor you can be!

All those stock picking news shows, all the stock picking websites and even your conversations with your stock picking neighbor are for entertainment purposes only!  You may get ideas from them.  But the work doesn’t stop there.

You Need to Do The Research

Listen, I’m not saying you have to stop watching Jim Cramer.  I’m not saying you can no longer read Seeking Alpha.  And I’m definitely not saying you should stop reading sites like this!

What I’m saying is, when it comes to stock advice, you need to take it with a grain of salt.

I’ll admit, I check out Seeking Alpha almost daily to get up to date on company news and to help me gather new ideas of dividend growth companies.  I read several different blogs such as Passive Income Pursuit and Dividend Growth Investor where I sometimes find new ideas of companies.

But the work doesn’t stop there!

Those sites and shows are great!  They can fill your mind full of ideas.  You can learn from them.  Learn the process of other investors.  Learn how other investors think!

But then you need to go and you need to think for yourself!

Before you buy any company, you need to do your own research!

You can’t simply read about a company I am buying or someone is recommending at some other site and decide that you are going to jump in as well.  I may be completely wrong in my investment thesis about a company.  An author on Seeking Alpha may have his numbers mixed up and give you absolutely terrible advice!

You need to do your own due diligence with each company you think you may want to invest in.

You need to learn how to analyze a dividend growth company and how to value that stock before investing in any company.

Once you purchase a company, you need to know how to monitor your investment portfolio.  You need to understand the reasons you might sell a dividend growth stock in the future.

You also need to know your own personal goals for investing.  What are you trying to achieve?

And it never hurts to create your own set of rules for your personal investing decisions.

You Are Responsible for Your Own Success

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again!  No one cares about your money more than you do!  No one gives a crap if you buy a stock and lose money on it except for yourself.

Ultimately, we are all responsible for our own success!

What this means is that you need to make your own decisions when it comes to investing.

You need to Think For Yourself!

When you begin to think for yourself.  When you begin to take responsibility for your own investment decisions.  Then you will become a Better Investor!

You will begin to make better decisions.  When you take ownership for your decisions, you will think about them more, do the proper research and ultimately make better decisions.

That doesn’t mean you will never lose money on an investment.  But it does mean that you will have done all the proper research to give yourself the best chance of making the right investments.  It does mean that the probability of you losing money will decrease.

Those sites that give out stock pick ideas are great.  They are great for entertainment!  They are great for learning!  But you can’t rely solely on their advice when it comes to stock selection.

You can’t read an article about how great The Coca-Cola Company is and decide based on that one article to buy.  You need to do your own research and make your own decisions.  This one step should drastically improve your results as an investor.

My Goals With This Site

What I am trying to do with this site is show you the process of investment thinking.

I like to write articles that specifically teach different investing concepts.

I also write articles reviewing individual companies.  My reasoning for doing this is twofold.  I want to show you my process for analyzing a company.  I also want to help bring different companies to light that may not be on your radar.

The idea is that you will read my articles, learn how to become a better investor and then go apply those ideas within your own investment research.

You can read my articles here at Dividend Growth Stock Investing.  You can read my dividend growth books.  You can take my training course at the Dividend Growth Academy.  You can become a Dividend Growth Insider.

All of those things are aimed at helping you become a better investor.  All of those things are trying to teach you the process, give you ideas of companies and show you how to make investment decisions.

My goal is for you to learn how to Think for Yourself!

Always remember, You Are Responsible For Your Own Success!

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6 Responses to Learn to Think For Yourself: Become a Great Investor

  1. Great post Dan. I harp on this all the time on my site as well. In opinion, NOT thinking for themselves is the biggest mistake investors make. There is no easy road to riches…..but it starts with turning off all the noise and opening your mind
    -Bryan

    • Dan Mac says:

      I agree Income Surfer. It’s easy to read some investing advice. It’s a lot harder to think over that advice to make your own rational decision. However, for those that learn to think for themselves, I think they will see a lot more success in life not only in investing but in all areas.

      • I agree with IP – thinking for yourself is very important for individual investors. Unfortunately, I have found that dividend growth investors are in the minority, since many tend to do the work of analyzing companies, screening for opportunities, and monitoring portfolios. I have found that investors following most other strategies are more gamblers, who want to get rich quick, while taking huge risks in the process, and mostly ending empty handed

        Really Great article btw.

        • Dan Mac says:

          I agree DGI, there are many investors that are looking for the easy way. They are looking for that stock tip that will lead them to riches. Taking huge risks and gambling solely based on the word or advice of someone else.

          In my opinion it is best to learn a conservative strategy such as dividend growth investing and take the long term approach to investing. Over time, you will build up a portfolio of companies providing a reliable and growing income stream helping you build wealth. But you must learn the strategy and do your own research on the companies before buying into them.

  2. I think that’s the goal of all of the bloggers that I follow, at least I know it is for me. I don’t want anyone to blindly follow my ideas/purchases. I want them to learn to do it on their own so they can have a watchful eye when reading analysis/articles on any stock they’re interested in, no matter the source.

    • Dan Mac says:

      Yes JC I think that should be the goal of all financial bloggers. I want to help teach about investing. I want to bring to light certain companies that you may be interested. I want to show the reader my process.

      But I don’t want anyone blindly taking my advice and investing without doing their own due diligence. I love talking and teaching about investing. However, in the end we are all responsible for our own portfolios and eventual success.

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