With more than 20 years experience in accounting, Tony Dutton has seen his share of investment success stories — as well as his share of failures. Poor outcomes generally come from a lack of proper planning and the wrong kinds of people in your life, he says. On the latest episode of the Get Invested podcast, Tony gave me some of his key pieces of advice for getting an investment portfolio up and running:

Find Calculated Risks

Approaching your investments with a “get rich quick” attitude may — with quite a bit of luck —  pay incredible dividends. But it’s also a great way to irreversibly lose your hard-earned money. Instead, you should look for investment opportunities that are risky enough to yield decent returns (property, for example) but not so risky that you could lose your savings in the space of a week.

Strategise Sooner, Not Later

It’s an old adage, but one that is crucial to learn for any investor: the earlier you start planning your financial future, the better. Whether you’re 25, 35 or 45, there is still time to sit down and decide what kind of lifestyle you want to live when you get older. If you don’t strategise, life will pass you by, and you will wake up 80 years old wondering where all your time went.

Invest In Yourself

Before you consider your financial plan, you should first take care of yourself. Whether it’s physical, mental and emotional health, yourself and your family should be your first priority. Money is important, and a crucial key to personal freedom — but it isn’t everything. Make sure you aren’t sacrificing your happiness and well-being to chase your financial dreams. Prioritise personal fulfilment over sheer income, and things will inevitably turn out better.

Find A Good Accountant

When it comes to investment, the most important person you deal with is your accountant. A good accountant can make your financial journey easy and painless, helping you optimise your taxes and keep your investments in line. A bad accountant, however, can potentially ruin years of finances and set your investments back to a point of no return. Finding a good accountant is something that you should put plenty of time and money into.

Just Do It

Once you’ve done your financial planning, you need to pull the trigger and move forward with your plan. Too many people get ‘analysis paralysis’ and keep themselves from actually taking the actions required to see their investments grow. In my experience, there seems to be a mental block that some people have and others don’t. This hesitation will hamstring your entire investment efforts, so put it out of your head and take action.

Investment isn’t simple. But by taking a methodical approach to the matter, you can build a healthy nest egg that produces plenty of passive income for you in the future. Just make sure you get out there and realise your goals.

Listen to my entire conversation with Tony here.