Investment Tips From Billionaire Mark Cuban
With such an overwhelming amount of advice on investing out there, how do you know whose advice to trust? “You don’t and you shouldn’t,” says Cuban. “Unless you are a pro, your investments should be limited to the least cost passive SPX index fund. It’s a crazy world out there for investors. Don’t be chum for the sharks.” In the end, no matter how many experts you consult, it’s up to each individual would-be-investor to be well informed and invest smartly.
❷ Keep it simple
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of investing in the stock market or following the hottest financial trend. But, Cuban advises keeping things simple. Take ETFs for example, which are one of the most popular investment trends at the moment. “There are a lot of risks with ETFs. You have to know what you are doing and be able to watch them every day in case something changes. Don’t touch them unless you understand what you are doing,” insists Cuban. “…I always recommend the least expensive, passively managed index fund as the only way to play the stock market.”
His admonition to keep things simple applies to managing a portfolio as well — diversity isn’t always the answer. “The problem with diversification is that individual investors have a hard enough time understanding one asset class. Trying to pick and choose among multiple asset classes is nearly impossible for professionals. I strongly recommend against trying to create a multi-asset class or diversified portfolio.”
Knowing how to invest can still be an overwhelming process for most of us. Luckily, thanks to a wide range of helpful online and in-person financial services and advisors, you never have to go it alone. These trained professionals provide valuable insight that helps individuals gain the most monetary value from their investments and create long term wealth.
❸ The best way to save money is not to spend it
Before you even think about investing in the stock market, it’s paramount to consider first how you can save the money you already have. According to Cuban, rather than investing blindly “…you are far better off with the following:
- Paying off debt and saving some money so you can cut up your credit cards;
- Using cash to earn discounts wherever possible. You will be shocked how many places will give you a big discount when you pay in cash;
- Shop online for things you use a lot of and buy them in bulk. If you can get 50 percent off of your favorite toothpaste, buying two years’ worth will earn you a greater return via savings then anything you could invest in.”
- Pay particular attention to Cuban’s first point. Cuban once said in a Business Insider interview “Credit cards are the worst investment that you can make. The money I save on interest by not having debt is better than any return I could possibly get by investing that money in the stock market.” In this age of easy credit, budgeting is becoming a lost art and part of being smart about budgeting is being equally wise about not accruing avoidable debt. Don’t be afraid to take informed risks. It’s no surprise that Cuban enjoys taking chances; backing small start-ups has significantly contributed to his billions. Cuban advises would-be entrepreneurs to do your research and be smart and take a chance, because jumping in where others may fear to tread can be the difference between being broke and being a billionaire.
- Know what your end goal is. While it can be enticing to focus solely on making money for its own sake, Cuban believes it’s imperative to have a firm grasp on what your real life goals are. Are you saving for retirement, for a home, for your kid’s future or maybe a once-in-a-lifetime trip around the world? Accruing money is not an end in itself. In an interview with Entrepreneur magazine, Cuban rejected the notion that money could buy happiness. “To me, success isn’t defined by your wallet. It’s defined by waking up with a smile on your face, knowing it’s going to be a great day…” While this may sound strange coming from a billionaire, Mark’s words ring true and it’s advice everyone from financial experts to budgeting beginners can take to heart.