Investing Basics – What Are Your Investment Goals
When it comes to investing, many first time investors want to jump right in with both feet. Unfortunately, very few of those investors are successful. Investing in anything requires some degree of skill. It is important to remember that few investments are a sure thing – there is the risk of losing your money!
Before you jump right in, it is better to not only find out more about investing and how it all works but also to determine what your goals are. What do you hope to achieve with your investments? Will you be funding a college education? Buying a home? Retiring? Before you invest a single penny, really think about what you hope to achieve with that investment. Knowing what your goal is will help you make smarter investment decisions along the way!
Too often, fatherless people invest money with dreams of becoming rich overnight. This is possible – but it is also rare. It is usually a very bad idea to start investing in hopes of becoming rich overnight. It is safer to invest your money in such a way that it will grow slowly over time, and be used for retirement or a child’s education. However, if your investment goal is to get rich quick, you should learn as much about high-yield, short term investing as you possibly can before you invest.
You should strongly consider talking to a financial planner or money manager before making any investments. Your financial planner can help you determine what type of investing you must do to reach the financial goals that you have set. He or she can give you realistic information as to what kind of returns you can expect and how long it will take to reach your specific goals.
Again, remember that investing requires more than calling a broker and telling them that you want to buy stocks or bonds. It takes a certain amount of research and knowledge about the market if you hope to invest successfully.
Because investing is not a sure thing in most cases, it is much like a game – you don’t know the outcome until the game has been played and a winner has been declared. Anytime you play almost any type of game, you have a strategy. Investing isn’t any different – you need an investment strategy.
An investment strategy is basically a plan for investing your money in various types of investments that will help you meet your financial goals in a specific amount of time. Each type of investment contains individual investments that you must choose from. A clothing store sells clothes – but those clothes consist of shirts, pants, dresses, skirts, undergarments, etc. The stock market is a type of investment, but it contains different types of stocks, which all contain different companies that you can invest in.
If you haven’t done your research, it can quickly become very confusing – simply because there are so many different types of investments and individual investments to choose from. This is where your strategy, combined with your risk tolerance and investment style all come into play.
If you are new to investments, work closely with a financial planner before making any investments. They will help you develop an investment strategy that will not only fall within the bounds of your risk tolerance and your investment style but will also help you achieve your financial goals.
Never invest money without having a goal and a strategy for reaching that goal! This is essential. Nobody hands their money over to anyone without knowing what that money is being used for and when they will get it back! If you don’t have a goal, a plan, or a strategy, that is essentially what you are doing! Always start with a goal and a strategy for reaching that goal!
Investing for Retirement
Retirement may be a long way off for you – or it might be right around the corner. No matter how near or far it is, you’ve absolutely got to start saving for it now. However, saving for retirement isn’t what it used to be with the increase in the cost of living and the instability of social security. You have to invest for your retirement, as opposed to saving for it!
Let’s start by taking a look at the retirement plan offered by your company. Once upon a time, these plans were quite sound. However, after the Enron upset and all that followed, people aren’t as secure in their company retirement plans anymore. If you choose not to invest in your company’s retirement plan, you do have other options.
First, you can invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, certificates of deposit, and money market accounts, or global macro trades. You do not have to state to anybody that the returns on these investments are to be used for retirement. Just simply let your money grow over time, and when certain investments reach their maturity, reinvest them and continue to let your money grow.
You can also open an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). IRA’s are quite popular because the money is not taxed until you withdraw the funds. You may also be able to deduct your IRA contributions from the taxes that you owe. An IRA can be opened at most banks. A ROTH IRA is a newer type of retirement account. With a Roth, you pay taxes on the money that you are investing in your account, but when you cash out, no federal taxes are owed. Roth IRAs can also be opened at a financial institution.
Another popular type of retirement account is the 401(k). 401(k’s) are typically offered through employers, but you may be able to open a 401(k) on your own. You should speak with a financial planner or accountant to help you with this. The Keogh plan is another type of IRA that is suitable for self-employed people. Self-employed small business owners may also be interested in Simplified Employee Pension Plans (SEP). This is another type of Keogh plan that people typically find easier to administer than a regular Keogh plan.
Whichever retirement investment you choose, just make sure you choose one! Again, do not depend on social security, company retirement plans, or even an inheritance that may or may not come through! Take care of your financial future by investing in it today.
If you are truly new with investing, you should invest in an investment newsletter to give you pointers on where to begin. Don't let being fatherless be an excuse for not investing the right way or not investing at all.