"To make a mistake is only human; to persist in a mistake is idiotic."
Cicero (106 - 43BC)
Reduce your risks by:
Setting your sights on the long term, patiently riding with the ups and downs!
If you have the time to be patient, you can benefit from time diversification. The more numerous good years for stocks outweigh the bad, pulling your return up.
Thus, if you hold equities for many years, you can expect to realize significant positive growth in your wealth.
Weeding out your laggards!
Don't be too patient with laggards. This is the management risk referred to earlier. Underperforming the market benchmarks is a big risk to which many people are oblivious.
The more years you remain with a subpar performer, the greater the damage to your nest egg. Weed out funds that have lagged their peers over the past 18 to 24 months.
Avoiding hard-core market timing!
It's not uncommon for hard-core market timers to move between the extremes of 100% stocks during an up market to 100% cash when their indicators signal a major turning point in prices.
Market timing is especially easy to do with mutual funds. Resist the temptation.
Participation in the best up months is far more important than avoiding the worst down months, and the really dramatic upward surges in stocks are unpredictable, of short duration, and few and far between.
Market timers risk being in cash when the bull stampedes. Missing out can make a big difference in your long-run returns.
Being disciplined and using cost averaging!
Investing monthly in a specific stock is a great way to build wealth and cope with market ups and downs.
Your fixed investments buy more shares when prices are down and fewer at higher levels.
Cost averaging can help people become more disciplined because it encourages investing during market nadirs when individuals otherwise might be too fearful.
A particularly good strategy is to double up on your investments when prices are depressed, if you're able to.
This will help enhance your long-term performance, by further reducing your average cost per share!