Want to make investment decisions that lead to wealth in the long term?Thats just what billionaire Warren Buffett has been doing for years. Whether you have $5 or $50 million, Buffetts wisdom will ring true as you work to make the best choices for your situation.

From the master himself, five tips you can take to the bank:

Its been anideal period for investors: A climate of fear is their best friend. Those who invest only when commentators areupbeat end up paying a heavy price for meaningless reassurance.

Keep your head about you when others decide with fear and youll find value at every turn.From the common market thrashing over quarterly earnings to the small business owner who just wants to get out, learn to smell fear and welcome it as an opportunity.Advertising

The irrational fear of the herd is a dear friend to the value-minded investor. When everybody else stampedes, quickly work through your own fear and get back to business.

It doesnt matter how good a deal youve found or how cool an investment opportunity seems.If you dont understand how it works, steer clear.You probably have at least one friend who is always rushing from one perfect investment opportunity to the next. Unless you can afford to burn money in a barrel (which you shouldnt), steer clear of investments that you dont fully understand.

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We pay a steep price to maintain our premier financial strength. The $20 billion-plus of cash equivalent assets that we customarily hold is earning a pittance at present. But we sleep well.

For most individuals, the idea of even $5,000 in the bank seems like a far-fetched dream. Keeping 6 months worth of living expenses in a separate account is good personal finance sense. Holding enough cash to get you through times of uncertainty in your business has the same result of keeping you free of fear-based blunders.Advertising

Figure out the number you need to keep safe in order to sleep well at night. Buffett needs his $20 billion, I need enough to pay for my friends drinks for a few months. What do you need?

In the end, what counts in investing is what youpay for a business through the purchase of a small piece of it in the stock market and what that business earnsin the succeeding decade or two.

Once youve put the first 3 tips into practice its important to remember that tremendous value is most often gained over the long term. Look at what might happen over the next 15-20 years and invest accordingly.

Youve got your cushion so youre not afraid of dips in the market. Youre working within the bounds of what you understand well. You also have the ability to operate calmly when the rest of the world has gone nuts. Putting some focus on 4 tips should be no big deal for you!Advertising

If Berkshire ever gets in trouble, it will bemyfault.It will not be because of misjudgments made by a Risk Committee or Chief Risk Officer.

Make the success or failure of your investments personal and take responsibility for all your decisions. You might have the smartest consultant of all time but thats no excuse to shirk your responsibilities. If something goes wrong at Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett takes responsibility for the mishap and works to fix the problem as quickly as possible.

Hes famous for treating the latest recession like a mother of 20 stocking up on groceries for 50% off. You probably wont be in a position to purchase entire companies any time soon though. In the meantime,Get more of Buffetts advice byperusing hisannual lettersto Berkshire Hathaway shareholders (quotes excerpted from 2009 letter).

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When it comes to stocks, I bet you feel like you have no idea what youre doing.

Everyone whos not a financial expert has been there. Ive been there. But, time is passing and you need to be crystal clear with how youre investing for your retirement.

Otherwise, its back to work until you can afford not to. So, how can you invest for retirement when youre not a financial expert?

You take the time to learn the fundamentals well. If you do, you can grow your wealth and retire happy. The best part is that you dont need to be a financial expert to make smart investment decisions.

Heres how to invest for retirement the smart and stress-free way:

Odds are you already know why should invest for retirement.

But, maybe you know the wrong reasons. Its time you get clear on why youd like to retire. Here are some questions to help you get started:

Everyone wants to retire but not for the same reasons. Once youre clear for why retirement is important for you, youll focus on making it happen.

Investing in the stock market allows you to take advantage of compound interest.[1]All this means is that your money earns money on top of its interest. A reason why investment in the stock market is one of the best ways to plan for retirement.

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. Chinese Proverb

Its true if youd had started investing when you were 10 years old, youd have a lot more money than you do today.

The reality is that most people dont start investing until its too late. So, if youre currently waiting for the perfect time to start an investment, it would be today. Open your calendar and block out 2 to 3 hours to choose how youll invest for retirement.Advertising

A quick way to get a snapshot of where you stand is to use Personal Capital. Input all your personal information and spend some time setting your retirement goals. Once completed, youll know where you stand with your retirement.

Having a savings account for retirement isnt planning for retirement. Why? Your money loses value when you factor in US inflation.[2]

Investing your money well depends on your emotions.

Because when the market drops most people panic and withdraw their money. On average, the US stock market yields an annual 6% to 7% ROI (return on your investment.) But, this wont happen if youre worried about short-term loses.

Before you invest your next dollar, know your risk tolerance.[3]Your risk tolerance determines the number of risky and safe investments youd have.

Regardless of your investing style, you need to view investing for retirement as a long term game. Know that some years youll lose money but recoup this in the long-term.

Avoid watching market-related new. Also, create a double authentication to log in your investment account. This way youre less likely to withdraw your money.

Depending on your circumstance, you may need to open a new brokerage account. This is the account is where youll invest your money.

If youre currently working for a company, odds are that they offer a 410K investing account. If so, heres where youll invest most of your money. The only problem with this is that youre limited to the stock options that are available.

You do have the option to open a separate IRA (individual retirement account.) Here are some of the best brokers:

Committing to invest for retirement is hard, but continuing to do so is harder.Advertising

Once youve started investment for your retirement, you run at risk from stopping. Often youll want to contribute less, so youd have more money in your pocket.

Thats why its important that youcreate a budgetthat allows you to invest each month. If youre working for a company, you can set a percentage for the amount youd like to contribute each month. Most people by default contribute 1% but aim to contribute 10% to 15%.

Be the judge for how much you can afford to contribute after covering important expenses. To stay motivated, use Personal Capital to view your net worth.

A benefit to contributing money to your retirement account is not taxed. For example, if you earn $100 and invest 10%, youd contribute $10, then get taxed on the remaining $90. As of 2019, the most youre able to contribute towards your 401K is 19K but this can change.

The most common way to invest your money is in stocks, but its not the only way. Here are other ways to invest:

Robo-advisors[4]are fancy algorithms thatll choose the best investments for you. Sites likeWealthfrontmake it easy for first-time investors to invest their money. Youd input information about yourself and set your risk tolerance.

Then, set your monthly contribution amount and your robo-advisor would do the rest. Robo-advisors charge a fee to manage your money, but less than regular advisors.

Think of bonds as IOUs to whomever you buy them from.

Essentially, youre lending money and charging interest. Like stocks, not all bonds are equal. Some will be riskier than others depending on their rating.

Here are the different types of bond categories:[5]

Picture a group of people dumping all their money in a jar thats managed by a professional. This is how mutual funds work. The fund manager manages the money looking to earn capital gains (interest.)

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One of the best types of mutual funds is index funds. Since these funds dont try to beat the market and instead follow it, they need less research. Because of this they often charge the lowest fees and yield the best long-term results.Advertising

Yes, buying a home is an investment when done correctly.

Imagine buying a home and using it as a rental property. After repairing it, you receive a monthly surplus check of $100 to $200.

This may not sound like a lot, but repeat this process enough times and youd earn a large amount of passive income. Thats why real estate is one of the best investments to not only retire but become wealthy.

But, it requires a lot of money to start and you should expect losing money along the way as you learn the process.

Your money can still grow in a savings account. Nowadays most online banks offer a 2% annual return. Although the average inflation is higher your money will be available when you need it.

Investing for retirement is a long-term strategy. Thats why you need to master delayed gratification. All this means is delaying short-term pleasure for something bigger in the future. Research shows that those who have delayed gratification are more successful.[6]

Think back to what retirement means to you. A clear purpose will help you avoid withdrawing your money during a market downturn. Itll help you contribute more towards retirement when youd want to waste it instead.

Your journey towards retirement will be long, so reward yourself along the way. Choose a reward thats relevant and meaningful, so that you reinforce positive behavior. For example, after contributing more towards retirement, treat yourself to dinner.

Ive mentioned several types of investments but havent covered the most important one.

It sounds cliche but heres why youre your best investment towards retirement. The more you know, the more money youll be able to make. The more good habits you adopt, the more secure your retirement will be.Advertising

More importantly, investing in yourself is an investment that no one can take away. Theres no market downturn nor tragic circumstance thatll wipe your knowledge and experience.

Reading books, blogs, and anything thatll help you learn new topics daily. Listen topodcastsand audiobooks on your commute to/from work.

Save money to buy courses and hire coaches. I used to believe hiring coaches was a waste of money when I could learn the subject alone.

But, coaches see your blind spots and hold you accountable.Hiring the right coachwill help you achieve your goals faster than you wouldve alone.

The key to a secure financial future doesnt only belong to financial experts.

Its possible for you and I. What if you were able to retire earlier than most people and werent a financial planner? What if you were able to focus on what you enjoy doing the most while your money was working hard for you?

I know this sounds impossible now, but the truth is youre capable of taking charge of your retirement. Im not a financial expert but Ive learned how to invest my money by reading books and learning from others.

Investing your money is scary. So start small and invest a small amount of your money with a robo-advisor. Feel your money drop and rise for a month or two. Then, invest more and keep this up until youre aggressively saving for retirement.

One day, youll wake up with a net worth youre proud of confident about your retirement. You now know a few strategies you can use to invest in your retirement. Will you take action to retire happy?

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