Successful investing is smart investing. Investment is all about making the right choices, so that not only are you able to satisfy your immediate needs and requirements, but are also able to ensure the same for the medium and long term future. Just as no two individuals can be exactly the same, the financial needs and investment patterns vary from person to person. However one can follow certain definite markers to ensure that the path taken is the right one.
Understand Your Needs: Investment goals come with different time frames and different objectives. One may invest for a short term goal like buying a car or even a holiday abroad. On the other hand, one could consider a long term investment plan to cater for the period when one has retired from work. How much one is able to commit to investment is dependent entirely upon one’s risk taking ability.
When it comes to risk taking there is some truth in the adage that greater the risk, more the reward. That does not however mean that one should be reckless. Everyone possesses a risk threshold that they will not consider crossing. Factors like the level of a person’s income, one’s net worth, one’s ability to understand the investment scenario and the objectives behind investing drive how and how much a person invests.
Early Bird Catches The Worm: The younger that one embarks on one’s investment journey, the better are the gains. The compound interest that you will make as a young man would fetch quite impressive gains by the time you started getting along in years. For instance if one started investing $93 every two weeks starting age 25 one would reach an amount of $500,000 when one hits sixty.
This is a painless and easy way of building up a fine retirement fund. At age 25 if you are not married; you would hardly have any major expenses to worry about, and could afford to put away some money. As the years go by your responsibilities and expenses will increase, but so will your income, and you will not feel the pinch of the regular installment you committed to paying when you were so much younger.
Invest Regularly: This definitely makes a lot of sense for most people considering that it is far easier to invest small sums regularly than investing a large sum at one go. Firstly one might not be able to afford the latter and secondly one does need money for things other than investment, which will get tied up in large investments. Also it gets you used to the idea of setting aside a certain sum of money regularly. Monthly and quarterly investment options, where a certain fixed sum gets debited from one’s account regularly is a fine approach to take.
Spread your investment: That you don’t put all your eggs in one basket, applies to investment more than it applies anywhere else. Taking care to spread one’s investments over a diverse range of options will both reduce your exposure to risks and optimize your long term returns. You will be better inured against downturns in any specific sectors. So even if a part of your investments takes a temporary hit, there will be the other part still working well for you.
Track your investments: Your investments come out of your hard earned money, and you should therefore track them with a hawk’s eye. An annual appraisal, either with the help of a finance industry professional or on one’s own is very much in order to see that one’s investment objectives remain on track. There is nothing that stops you from recasting your goals in light of the changes one goes through in life over a period of time. These may be on account of personal milestones like marriage, children’s education, impending retirements or even the prevailing market situation. The idea is to guard one’s money zealously and make every penny count.
Make the right kind of investment: One needs to make different kinds of investments for the short term and the long term. Short term investments need to be less risk averse and easily encashable. The latter type of investment on the other hand need be of the late maturing growth oriented type.
Sound investment may not be rocket science, but one would be amazed at how often people, who should know better make a hash of things. The above steps can be used as basic template for sound investment. As one goes along the path of planned and systematic investment one is better able to understand the finer nuances and nitty gritty of the process and obtain optimal results.