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Portfolio management: Sticking with your plan

How can you give yourself the best chance to succeed? There are some actions you can take, and some things you can just keep an eye on.

It's easier than you think

If you've ever watched a movie showing traders on Wall Street, you might have gotten the idea that investing involves a lot of chaos and activity.

Happily, it doesn't have to be that way. In fact, if you started with a solid investment plan, you'll be able to spend most of your time paying attention to your daily life, not your portfolio.

Not only will this result in less stress for you, it can also give you greater rewards.

Markets up, markets down: What does it all mean?

Now that you're an investor, hourly business reports on the radio, stock prices at the bottom of your TV screen, and market predictions from self-proclaimed investing gurus will likely take on new significance.

But if you don't understand what's being discussed, the information can quickly become overwhelming and possibly encourage you to do things that aren't necessarily in your best interest.

It's wise to understand the ways stock markets and bond markets function so you can confidently decide what information is worth your time and attention—and what's just distracting noise.

Get more from Vanguard. Call 800-962-5028 to speak with an investment professional.

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The sum total of your investments managed toward a specific goal.

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Usually refers to common stock, which is an investment that represents part ownership in a corporation. Each share of stock is a proportional stake in the corporation's assets and profits.

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The trading of a universe of investments, based on factors like supply and demand. For example, the "stock market" refers to the trading of stocks.

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A bond represents a loan made to a corporation or government in exchange for regular interest payments. The bond issuer agrees to pay back the loan by a specific date. Bonds can be traded on the secondary market.