Pitfall? Get it? I couldn’t resist.

Ben Carlson has a great piece on how avoiding the crippling mistakes of investing will greatly improve your results.

Here is Carlson’s list of the biggest mistakes to avoid:

  • Making investment decisions based on your political views.
  • Confusing your risk profile and time horizon with someone else’s.
  • Consistently trying to time the market.
  • Losing site of your long term financial goals.
  • Paying high fees on investments.
  • Having high trading activity.
  • Letting fear and greed take over at the extremes in market sentiment.
  • Having the majority of your investments tied up in one asset (company stock, your house, etc.).
  • Basing your decisions on what you heard on CNBC or Fox Business News.
  • Following every tick in the market and constantly checking the value of your portfolio.
  • Making too many short term moves with long term capital.
  • Basing your investments on the most recent performance.
  • Not saving enough.

For the ultimate backstop, Jason Zweig of the Wall Street Journal has a piece of advice most investors would be wise to follow:

Approximately 99% of the time, the single most important thing investors should do is absolutely nothing.

Be safe out there!