What do successful stock investors keep in mind when investing? Here are 7 stock investment tips of the most important actions to take in order to reap the benefits of the stock market over decades of investing:

1. DO aim low in your initial expectations for the performance of a stock.
There’s no point in getting your hopes up, only to be faced with the realities of the stock market. Those realities come in the form of stock market declines that fly in the face of conventional wisdom as fundamentally sound companies temporarily trade at lower and lower prices.

2. DO be patient.
Avoid panicking over short-term market events that drive the markets lower. Your primary goal should be to harvest long-term capital appreciation later in life. Focus on reaping the benefits of your investments over a long time horizon. Mr. Market will eventually price a business’s stock at its true intrinsic value even though he may be selling it lower today.

3. DO create both a life-long investment plan and a life-long financial plan with your family.
Begin implementing a simple plan of earning, saving and investing intelligently as soon as possible. Should you like a do-it-yourself plan, check out the tools at esplanner.com in order to crunch the numbers yourself. Remember your plan is a guide that can be modified over time.

4. DO approach the market with great humility by realizing that you are powerless over its direction.
Learn to accept the stark realization that you cannot control this aspect of investing. However, over time, fundamentally sound businesses that generate cash for their shareholders will eventually reward these patient investors through stock price appreciation or dividends.

5. DO keep track of your investments.
Ultimately, you are responsible for ensuring that your investment portfolio reflects what financial resources you have allocated to it. Check your monthly statements for errors or omissions. They do happen from time to time.

6. DO control what you can in the stock market.
Always be aware of the effect of fees and commissions on your bottom line. These costs will add up to be a fortune over time, eroding your potential for capital appreciation significantly. Look for opportunities to reduce these costs while still receiving the same level of benefits. For example, switching from a full service broker to an online broker may save you a pretty penny over time.

7. DO look at stock investing as a long-term process.
Avoid the hype generated on an hourly basis by the investment media. The media has become more of a distraction to investors since they encourage you the investor to move in and out of positions as certain companies move in and out of favor. Investing in businesses is not about winning or losing in the so-called competitive arena of the stock market.

When done properly, investing in best-of-breed businesses should be a long-term relationship that generates good returns for the patient investor over time.

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