The stock market can be a dangerous place. Many investors think they are knowledgeable enough to play the market without proper education on the subject. Would you walk into a casino, sit down at the Texas Hold’em table and wager your entire life savings without understanding the game first? I don’t think so.

Although Pride Wealth Strategies is dedicated to helping people learn about the market, sometimes people just can’t grasp it. That’s nothing to be ashamed of. I possess zero knowledge of cars and limited knowledge of technology, so when I don’t understand how to do something, I turn to an expert who does. I encourage people to do the same when it comes to their finances.

Don’t take a chance and risk your hard-earned money by gambling with stocks or investments you know nothing about. There is a famous scene in the movie “Wall Street,” where Michael Douglas, who plays the infamous Gordon Gekko, says “I don’t throw darts at a board” when referencing companies he wants to acquire. You should listen to this advice too!

Seek out a professional whom you trust and whose vision and goals align with your own. For example, you shouldn’t invest in high-flying growth stocks if you are approaching retirement and may need the money in the next five years. If these stocks tank, you will have limited time to make your money back. Instead, look for an advisor who demonstrates a clear value/income approach to investing. This person should be pushing you towards mutual funds, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) or individual stocks that have strong balance sheets and a steady dividend. They may not be the headline-making stocks of today, like Draft Kings or Beyond Meat, but at least you know they are great investments and will provide some income.

Remember, this is a race, not a sprint. Focus on the long-term, not on making a quick buck. I promise you’ll be glad you did it.

Joey Amato is a nationally recognized columnist and the owner of Pride Wealth Strategies.

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