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I think the most important thing is to only buy what you understand.
That means you understand how the investment will give you money back.

The case for investing in Fortis is very simple and clear. As regulated utilities they are very predictable.
My first "big" investing win was buying Lakeport Brewing (Ontario Buck a Beer), it was very simple exactly how they made money, and what they would make.
For some other companies, it's very confusing, don't buy those companies.

Never buy something you don't understand, and if it sounds too good to be true, you're likely missing something.

Everyone has a story of losing money on a poorly understood investment.

34 Posts
A few things you should do before investing in the stock market and stock-picking.
  1. Read about the basics of money management and take notes
  2. Read about the basics of investing and take notes
  3. Read about the basics of investing in the stock market and take notes
  4. Read about the basics of stock-picking and take notes
  5. If you haven't read at least 100h of content, read more and take more notes
  6. Read your notes
  7. Get to know yourself as an investor; how do you react to risk
  8. Write down how your money should be managed and the reasons why
  9. Write down your investment goal and the reasons why it's your goal
  10. Write down your investment strategy and the reasons why it's your strategy
  11. Write down your investment plan and the reasons why it's your plan
  12. Write down your investment choices and the reasons why you've made these choices
  13. Read your goal, strategy, plan and investment choices again and again
  14. Start investing
  15. Reassess your decisions at least once a year.
These are fabulous ideas from Mr. Blackhill. Wish I had them, before I started. Once blew through a combined $60k in an RRSP nest egg, in one day- with the infamous NORTEL. With this, I wouldn’t have!

All is more than well today through that School of Hard Knocks and pre digital, Self Directed Accounts.

Excellent advise.

lean-FIRE fan
18 Posts
That is excellent advice indeed. :)

The vast majority of people out there (95%? 97%?) should just stick with index funds. It's possible to learn how to invest in stocks - any skill is possible to learn from scratch - but that requires a lot of work. Whenever my friends and family ask me about that, I tell that to read "The Intelligent Investor" by Benjamin Graham first. It's 600 pages of concentrated knowledge, and it's definitely not an easy book to get through...

Of course, that's only for value investing, but it still gets the message across: if they don't do their homework, they'll be more likely to hurt themselves than to beat the market.

There's a very terrifying genre of literature - the so-called "loss p o r n" on Reddit's r/wallstreetbets community. (Spacing out the letters just in case some words are auto-moderated haha) If you know someone that's simply dying to go full-on YOLO on stocks (or options, or crypto, for that matter), show them some of those posts... It's about people who lost everything with their oh-so-brilliant bets, where they state that was their house downpayment money, or their kids' college fund, or even their next month rent money.

Here is a random horrifying example from one of the subreddits I post on from time to time: here and here.
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