Not A Stock Wizard? Avoid These Investing Mistakes, Part 7

Read about the common mistakes people make when dealing with stocks.

Ain't nothin' like the real thing. Face it: 20percent average annual returns are not an inalienable right. Thepast several years have proved to be remarkable, but thatdoesn't mean the bull will run forever. It also doesn'tnecessarily mean the market will crash and return to the 6,000point level. To paraphrase Rudyard Kipling, "He who keeps hishead keeps his sanity (and his wallet)." Babe Ruth had one ofthe finest batting averages in history, and even he struck outsometimes. So if you expect your portfolio to swing for the fencesevery year, you'll probably end up disappointed.

Know where your advice is coming from. What kind oflicense does your financial advisor hold? Has your registeredrepresentative received a bevy of customer complaints? If possible,speak with him or her in person or over the phone and get a feelfor his or her style. Make sure your advisor understands yourobjectives, and be honest about your goals and expectations. Toverify a potential advisor's experience, call the NationalAssociation of Securities Dealers Inc. at (800) 289-9999. Ifyou're considering a certified financial planner, call the CFPBoard of Standards Inc. at (888) CFP-MARK.

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