Hard-Knock Lessons for Individual Investors

Our practical investor and columnist Kathy Kristof learned the hard way that smart investing requires discipline and patience.

Experience is a great teacher, and arguably it's most instructive when you've made a big mistake. When it comes to investing, I've learned a few hard-knock lessons.

Let's start with my investment in Price Club, a warehouse-store pioneer that in 1993 merged with what is now Costco Wholesale (symbol COST). I bought shares in Price Club in the mid 1980s. But when they had barely moved after three years, I lost patience and sold -- even though the company was growing impressively. The stock almost immediately soared. Ouch.

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Kathy Kristof
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Kristof, editor of SideHusl.com, is an award-winning financial journalist, who writes regularly for Kiplinger's Personal Finance and CBS MoneyWatch. She's the author of Investing 101, Taming the Tuition Tiger and Kathy Kristof's Complete Book of Dollars and Sense. But perhaps her biggest claim to fame is that she was once a Jeopardy question: Kathy Kristof replaced what famous personal finance columnist, who died in 1991? Answer: Sylvia Porter.