When investing, what is the
most important principle to keep in mind? Is it to buy "safe" stocks? Think for the long term? Or, is it something else entirely?
Four simple principals: 1) Diversification; 2) Low cost; 3) Dollar cost averaging; 4)Long term. I achieve all of that by regular contributions to three low cost index funds. They include a broad US market ETF, a broad international ETF, and a US REIT. In my 50s I'll include bonds. It is all very simple and pretty much on auto pilot.
I am invested in real estate - rental properties.
But the rest of my retirement investments - 401k, IRA, Roth IRA - is 100% equities. I have no intention of touching that money for 25 years - so why would I waste opportunity by putting money into bond funds for 25 years? Especially at these interest rates! When I get closer to retirement, bonds will become a part of my portfolio.