With thousands of investments and millions of competing strategies vying for investors’ allegiance, it can be tempting to fall back on a few simple rules of thumb. Such oft-repeated and time-proven investment axioms are valuable because they “give people a foundation to start investing” and on the way to improving long-term financial security, says Cathy Carey, director of private wealth management research. investment firm Baird (opens in new tab).

But like simple medical advice, these bromides won’t help all people in all situations. Chicken soup has many healing properties, but is not a cure for broken legs. And in many cases, following certain investment prescriptions without adjusting for your own circumstances can hurt your returns, Carey says. To help you personalize maxims and maximize your returns, consider the nuances of some oft-quoted sayings.

Dollar-average cost

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