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    5 Traits of Highly Effective Financiers


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    This is a guest post by Heather Johnson.

    Every young entrepreneur wants to be the next Warren Buffett. Dreams of emerging from humble beginnings to become world’s the next eccentric billionaire are a dime a dozen in this day and age. However, few aspiring investors take the time to really evaluate how the successful became so, dismissing them as fiscal savants, economic prophets, or simply lucky bastards. While this glib revisionism can be comforting to those who never achieve their goals, it offers little hope to those who are in the early stages of building for their financial future; if success can only be gained with the assistance of superior genetics or intervention from the gods, then why are we all working so hard?

    So buck the trend, take the other tack, and actually try to learn something from your financial forbearers. Great men and women have made money in innumerable and diverse fields and have done so using equally eclectic strategies, and it can be useful to evaluate each individually. However, it can be even more enlightening to consider the ways in which these success stories are similar. Certain characteristics are held in common by almost every successful businessperson, and the bulk of these traits can be studied and mimicked. Cultivate these proven qualities and you’ll be hobnobbing with Buffett before you know it.

    Be cold and calculating: Most people think of successful financiers as possessing an innate grasp of what makes money, but even the brightest bulbs have to do their homework. Take this phrase literally and take it to heart and it does not need to come with the accompanying negative connotations. You must put in the research and take all of the necessary precautions before making any investments decision. Weigh all of the ultimate rewards against any potential risks. Remember to include things like fees, taxes, and interest in your calculations. And whatever you do, look at the big picture and try to avoid linear thinking when considering an investment.

    Be patient: A willingness to sacrifice and postpone rewards until a later date is another trait not commonly associated with money moguls, but you are going to have to forego certain luxuries at first if you want to reach your goals. Put off those unnecessary purchases until you can really afford them and use any money you’ve earned to help you make more.

    Be thrifty: This goes hand in hand with being patient. Buy only things that you need and when you do buy, be frugal. Until you are so rich that you don’t have to think about money ever again, think about it every time you consider a purchase or investment, no matter how big or small it might be. There are thousands of little ways to avoid fees and cut costs; take advantage of as many as you can and your bottom line will only get healthier.

    Take risks: Finally we get to the good stuff. If you set out to get rich (and especially if you want to do so in time to enjoy the rewards yourself), you have to understand that there is a decent chance that you’ll end up poor as well. With that in mind, model yourself as a decision-maker, willing to live with the good and the bad. Of course, do your best to make these decisions solid ones by doing the research and weighing all of the evidence before taking on any significant risk.

    Have a vision: This is the trait that the person behind every success story has in common. You must have a plan. Just as importantly, you must have a backup plan. And finally, keep these plans to yourself for as long as you can. If you see someone making moves that could augment your own investments you can bring that person aboard, but make sure that you do so on your own terms. Have success and you’ll be hailed as the next great visionary.

    Heather Johnson is a freelance finance and economics writer, as well as a regular contributor CurrencyTrading.net, a site for currency trading and forex trading information. Heather welcomes comments and freelancing job inquiries at her email address heatherjohnson2323@gmail.com .


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