1. Only invest in things you understand.
  2. Do the opposite of what typical people do... I cashed in during the tech bubble run up and bought my first car with cash. Sell stocks in 2008? I appreciate everyone letting me buy on sale back then for my Roth.
  3. Diversify. We have some traditional mutual funds and also 6 rentals units. If one market is down the other night be up.
  4. Talk to a professional, fee only CFP, period !
  5. I "invested" in paying off my student loan debt.
  6. Don't invest anything you can't afford to lose.
  7. Spread risk. ETFs help with that.
  8. A retirement fund is NOT an emergency fund. Too many people get hit with an enormous fee for dipping into their 401k early. You must have a seperate emergency fund!
  9. Bring your own lunch to work every day!
  10. Never ever use borrowed money (aka leverage). If you are smart you shouldn't need it and if you are dumb you shouldn't use it.
  11. If you can't explain it to your friends and family in terms they understand...it isn't a legitimate investment, or you don't understand it well enough to invest in it.
  12. Put as much money as you can in the cheapest index funds you can find for as long as you can. Do not change. Get in and stay there as soon in life as you can. I did and retired at 56 - having a blast.
  13. Have several buckets: 1 year CD emergency fund; plus 1/2 retirement in an stock index fund; 1/2 in bond index fund and keep adding to the funds...just keep adding ...never touch until retired.
  14. Stop trying to time the market.
  15. Buy and hold, never sell. Automatic investments every paycheck. Total stock market index.
  16. never buy at the open... wait!
  17. Dollar cost average. Invest a little at a time and never go all in or all out at once.
  18. Buy Berkshire Hathaway stock and read Warren Buffet's annual letter to shareholders every year! Not only will you get the benefit of owning a piece of a strong, well-diversified company, you will enjoy the wisdom of one of the greatest investing minds of our time.
  19. Utilize multiple sources when researching an investment. Never stick with one professional's opinion. Get a consensus for your decision once you have a handful of professional opinions.
  20. Stay consistent. Just like saving in general, put whatever you can away on a regular (ideally monthly) basis to be put towards investing, as if you're paying a bill.
  21. Take risks when you're young and learn from experience