Key Considerations When Investing
As you put away the Christmas Tree for the next 12 months and slowly get back to your work life grind, it is common to make a mental note of things you need to be better at for the new year. For a lot of us, being more disciplined in our finances is up there in priority (with fitness and dieting the other usual suspects!). However, often it ends up in the too hard basket as there are so many things to think about.
The key to any plan is to have an end goal and wanting it badly enough to commit both time and part of your cashflow to be successful. Here are a few key considerations you need when starting your own investment plan.
Start at the end: Have a Goal
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one small step. It also begins with having an end in mind. The clearer the goal looks to you, the more realistic and committed you will become. Hence having a goal is a key ingredient in having an investment plan.
Help me help you: Understanding your attitude towards investment risk
There is risk in doing anything, let alone investing. As 2022 has proven, markets can be very volatile and in the absence of perspective, investing can be a very bumpy ride for you. You need to understand your own attitude towards risk and comfort levels. Would you lose sleep at night if a market suffers a downturn, or you are comfortable investing for the long term, and understand that different assets perform differently?
How long is a piece of string? Your investment horizon
Time heals all wounds. This is also true for investing. The longer your time in the market, the more opportunity you have to make up for any volatility along the way. However, you may only want to invest for a short period of time. In that case, consider assets that have less risk built into it, such as a Term Deposit or Investment Bond.
The eggs and basket thing: Diversification
This concept has been doing the rounds for a while now. The idea of not putting your eggs in one basket. It is a proven fact that diversifying your investments will reduce the overall risk level of your portfolio. Note that it won’t remove risk altogether. however, by spreading your investments over different types of assets (cash, bonds, equities, property, alternatives, etc.) it will result in a smoother ride, if that’s what you’re after.
Where and when do I start: Don’t try to time the market
Unfortunately, no one can always accurately predict what markets are going to do in the future, and this means trying to time when to commence or exit your investment is difficult for even the most experienced traders and professionals. But given the difficulty of timing when the market may rise or fall, the better bet is to simply stay invested. Focus on time in the market, not trying to time the market.
Phone a friend: Talk to a Financial Advisor
Not feeling well? Go to a doctor. Your car’s brakes making noises? Call your mechanic. Your wisdom tooth keeping you up? Visit your dentist (I think the point has been well and truly made). A financial advisor is best placed to help you navigate the intricacies of investing and come up with a plan to help reach your financial goals.
It is important for you however to understand the nature of the engagement with the Advisor, what the process looks like and their qualifications as well as their license to practice in the different jurisdictions. You also must be comfortable with any fees (both ongoing and upfront) that may be charged.
From the outside looking in, Investing may seem like a complicated issue; the noise we get from the media and the recent headlines doesn’t make it any easier. However, by attending to the points above you can cut through a lot of the clutter and start your wealth creation journey in the right manner.
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