6 Mistakes to Avoid When Investing for the First Time

Investing for the first time can be a daunting and stressful task. It’s difficult to know where to start and what mistakes to avoid. This blog post discusses 6 common mistakes that investors make when starting out, so you don’t have to learn from experience!

1. Failing to learn about what you’re investing in before you invest

One of the biggest mistakes that investors make is investing without knowing what they’re doing. This can lead to losses and frustration down the road.

Before you invest in any type of security or company, it’s important to do your research. Learn about the industry, the company, and its competitors. Understand how the investment works and what could cause its value to increase or decrease.

If you don’t understand what you’re investing in, it’s hard to know how much money to put into an investment and when. You also won’t be able to determine the right time to sell the security if your initial prediction was wrong. This is why research is so important before making any investments!

2. Investing in the wrong type of investment

When you’re starting out, it can be tempting to invest in high-risk, high-reward options. However, this is often not the smartest decision for first-time investors.

When investing for the first time, put only a small amount into risky ventures until you’re more experienced. You’re more likely to lose money if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you don’t understand what your money is being invested in, or if there are more unknowns than knowns about an investment opportunity, then avoid getting involved at all costs! Some of the wrong types of investments to avoid include penny stocks, speculative real estate investments, and start-ups.

It’s better to start off with lower-risk investments and slowly increase risk as you become more confident in your investment knowledge. Invest in low-cost index funds or individual stocks that have a history of steady growth because they have lower fees than actively managed funds and are less risky. Some famous low-cost index funds are the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Investors should also do their research before investing in any company or security. Make sure you understand what you’re buying, and don’t invest money you can’t afford to lose.

3. Not diversifying your investments

Diversification is an essential element of investing. Diversifying your investments means that you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket, so to speak. It’s important because it reduces risk and ensures a more consistent profit over time. For example, if you only invest in stocks, and the stock market crashes, you’ll lose a lot of money. However, if you have stocks, bonds, and real estate investments, your losses will be minimized.

By diversifying into different types of stocks, bonds, real estate funds, etc., you can ensure that you’re not too reliant on any one investment.

It’s also important to diversify your risk within each type of investment. For example, don’t invest all your money in technology stocks if you’re worried about a tech bubble burst. Spread your money out among different types of stocks to reduce your risk.

4. Buying high and selling low

This is one of the most common mistakes that first-time investors make. It’s easy to get caught up in doing what everyone else is doing, but it often leads to bad results if you’re not an experienced investor.

Many people buy high and sell low because they panic during market downturns or are trying to be clever by selling at the peak of the market. This almost always leads to losses in the long run.

It’s better to buy low and sell high, so you can take advantage of price fluctuations. This means that you’ll need to have some patience and not try to time the market. Instead, invest money over time and let the market do its thing!

5. Avoid emotional decisions – they are often bad ones!

Emotions often get the best of investors, especially new ones. There are many emotional responses to market fluctuations that can lead you astray on your investment decisions.


If you feel panic during a downturn in the stock market, it’s easy to sell at depressed prices and lose money. It is hard not to get caught up in emotion when making investment decisions because you’re dealing with money that belongs to you. If you’re not confident about an investment decision or don’t trust your instincts, it’s often better to trust the numbers and focus on the facts rather than how you’re feeling.

Remember to always consult with a financial advisor or accountant before making any investment decisions. These professionals can help you make smart decisions based on your unique financial situation and goals!

6. Not having a plan for when things go bad

No one can predict the future, and sometimes things go bad even if you have done your research and are a knowledgeable investor. When this happens, it’s important to have a plan for what to do.

If you invested in a company that goes bankrupt, or the stock market crashes, don’t panic! This is why it’s important to have a plan for what to do when things go wrong.

One option is to sell your investments and take the loss. This can help minimize your losses and get you out of a bad investment. Another option is to hold on to your investments and wait for the market to rebound. This can be risky, but it could lead to bigger profits if you’re patient.

Finally, you could also try to hedge your bets by investing in different types of investments. This will help protect you from losing a lot of money if one of your investments tanks.

You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again. Knowledge is power! Especially when it comes to investing your money in the right financial products. I hope this article has given you some insight into avoiding these common mistakes that new investors make so that you don’t have to learn through trial and error on your own time. In the meantime, check out my Personal Finance section for more great articles about managing your personal finances wisely!


I am a data scientist at a technology startup in Texas with interest in finance and cryptocurrencies. Additionally, I studied Finance and Economics as my undergraduate degree and focused on International Trade and Finance for my PhD. For about 8 years I worked as a VP for a regional bank doing international trade and finance before getting into fintech startups.