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7 Tips for Long-Term Investing

Investing is a long game. Whether you want to invest for retirement or grow your savings, it’s best when you put money to work in markets and set it and forget it. But successful long-term investing isn’t as simple as just throwing money at the stock market—here are seven tips to help you get a handle on long-term investing.

1. Get Your Finances in Order

Before you can invest for the long term, you need to know how much money you have to invest. That means getting your finances in order.

“Just like a doctor wouldn’t write you a prescription without diagnosing you first, an investment portfolio shouldn’t be recommended until a client has gone through a comprehensive financial planning process,” says Taylor Schulte, a San Diego-based certified financial planner (CFP) and host of the Stay Wealthy Podcast.

Start by taking stock of your assets and debts, setting up a reasonable debt-repayment plan and understanding how much you need to fully stock an emergency fund. Tackling these financial tasks first ensures that you’ll be able to put funds into long-term investments and not need to pull money out again for a while.

Withdrawing funds early from long-term investments undercuts your goals, may force you to sell at a loss and can have potentially expensive tax implications.

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