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Follow The Rules

5. Watching Too Closely

What's the first thing you do in the morning? If you switch on CNBC, get your fix of The Wall Street Journal or check your stocks on the Internet before pouring your coffee, you might be obsessing over the stock market. Although such diligence could lead to profits, it could also lead to needless worry, panic and way too much trading. Pay attention, but don't be too anxious.

Worse still is letting those talking heads go to your head. By the time you've heard it on national news, you're hardly the first to act. A lot of financial information is just that--information. Interpreting that information is what separates winners from losers. Unless you're a very experienced trader or plan to make trading your full-time occupation, resist the temptation to day trade. This isn't investing; it's gambling. And while it may be an avocation for some, it's a dangerous addiction for others.

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This article was originally published in the January 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Follow The Rules.

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