For the basic investor, one who does not have detailed knowledge of investments and cannot afford an experienced financial adviser, Harry Browne offers the best advice. You can get the details in his book Fail-Safe Investing: Lifelong Financial Security in 30 Minutes.
You can get a preview of his 16 Golden Rules for Financial Safety. Here are the headlines.
Rule #1: Your career provides your wealth.
Rule #2: Don’t assume you can replace your wealth.
Rule #3: Recognize the difference between investing and speculating.
Rule #4: No one can predict the future.
Rule #5: No one can move you in and out of investments consistently with precise and profitable timing.
Rule #6: No trading system will work as well in the future as it did in the past.
Rule #7: Don’t use leverage.
Rule #8: Don’t let anyone make your decisions.
Rule #9: Don’t ever do anything you don’t understand.
Rule #10: Don’t depend on any one investment, institution, or person for your safety.
Rule #11: Create a bulletproof portfolio for protection.
Rule #12: Speculate only with money you can afford to lose.
Rule #13: Keep some assets outside the country in which you live.
Rule #14: Beware of tax-avoidance schemes.
Rule #15: Enjoy yourself with a budget for pleasure.
Rule #16: Whenever you’re in doubt about a course of action, it is always better to err on the side of safety.
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from Money and Wealth