In a nutshell, investment planning involves making decisions as to how you want your money to work for you. To get you started, we have 5 key questions for you to think about.
What are your financial goals?
The goals for your investment plan must be specific and measurable. For example, if you’re a young person a goal could be to have a $30,000 house down payment in 3 years or if you’re an older person your goal could be to retire in 10 years with an annual income of $60,000 for at least 15 years.
What is your risk tolerance?
When it comes to investments, the higher the risk the greater the potential return. It’s important to know the amount of risk you’re comfortable taking before you decide on the types of investments to include in your plan.
Who will make your investments?
If you have time to research the market and the numerous investment choices, you may want to go it alone. On the other hand, if your investment knowledge is not strong, you may be best to use the services of a qualified and experienced financial advisor.
What will be in your investment plan?
Here are four categories for your consideration:
- Cash and cash equivalents such as money market funds and Canada Savings Bonds. While relatively safe they provide the lowest rates of return on your invested money
- Fixed income securities such as bonds which have a slightly higher rate of return and are also relatively safe except for “junk” bonds since they do not offer guarantees
- Equities such as stocks which make money two ways, when the stock value increases and when the company pays a dividend. While stocks go up, they also go down so there’s no guarantee that you’ll make money and you could lose some or all of your investment
- Alternative investments – this asset class includes options, futures, foreign currencies, gold, hedge funds and real estate. They are the most complicated type of investment and are best suited for the savvy investor
What will be the asset mix in your investment plan?
You want to have the ‘right’ balance but this depends on your financial goals and level of risk tolerance. Selecting the actual investment products is where your financial research comes into play.
Not sure of the best asset mix for your situation? Can’t decide which investments to buy? Put Jacqui’s knowledge and years of experience to work for you – she can guide you in making your investment planning decisions.