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As an investor, it's critical to document your reasons and expectations for purchasing stock. This helps to counter hindsight bias, which tends to make people overstate after the fact what they anticipated before they made the decision. This is an approach professional investors use, but other individuals do not.
Though there may be little you can control in the realm of investing, there are at least four things that you can. They include knowing your risk tolerance, being aware of how tax rules affect your investments, being mindful of the fees you pay, and looking for conflicts of interest in your advisor. Tending to these four considerations will increase your chances of success.