5 Rules for investing in your friendships

Feb 4, 2011 at 3:27 p.m. ET

Around tax season, we all start thinking about monetary investments. However, some of our best investments are the investments we make in people around us. Shasta Nelson, founder of GirlFriendCircles.com and expert of women's friendships offers these tips.

Three happy friends hugging


Diversify to control risk

No matter how good the stock is, you never want it all in one place. You may have a BFF, but life changes and shifts the dynamics between even the best of friends. Make sure you have other friendships fostered before you need them.

2Buy in thoughtfully

Friendship takes a lot of energy and time to build the familiarity required to foster acceptance, safety and intimacy. The most mature thing to do is to only give a little, make sure you see the value returned, before giving a little more, etc. Do your homework in connecting with different people and intentionally channeling time to those where you can see your deposits are being appreciated and held carefully.

Are you a good friend? Find out! >>

3Expect corrections instead of fearing them

The market has upswings and downswings -- we should prepare for both, not act shocked when the market corrects itself. It always does. True in friendships too. Even the closest of friends have misunderstandings, jealousy and judgements. It doesn't necessarily mean they aren't good friends, rather it just means we're all imperfect and should come to expect that and not be shocked by it.

4Don't give up on value

Too often people give up on companies or stock based on how they are performing now, instead of looking at their long-term value. Similarly, don't drop or add friends based only on current performance. Companies with clean balance sheets, the ability to make acquisitions, good leadership and upcoming new products are way more of an asset in the long term than simply based on current market value.

5Remember where your payoff comes from

In stocks it is in the selling that you make your millions. In friendship, it is in the enjoying. Be sure to spend the time and energy laughing and being together that will make all the withdrawals and deposits worth it!

More about friendships

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