If you’re a new investor, learning how to set investment goals is one of the most important things you need to know. Setting financial goals, and sticking to them, allows you to track where you’ve been, where you are and where you are going. Here’s how you can set investment goals that help you build your long-term path to financial success.
Qualities of Good Investment Goals
Smart investment goals typically have three things in common:
Your investment goals should be clear, concise and definite. Even something as simple as saving $100 every paycheck is a good goal because it’s measurable. You saved it or you didn’t. Broad or generic goals don’t help hold you accountable.
Keeping your goals reasonable and rational helps you ensure your financial goals are attainable. Using different tools, like the time value of money formula, allow you to test whether your rate of saving is sufficient to achieve your goals. Once you know that, you can either adjust your goal or adjust your savings.
It’s important when you’re establishing investment goals to remember that money isn’t the only thing that matters. It exists to serve you and should make your life better. Sometimes it’s better to have a lower savings rate and enjoy the journey instead of sacrificing everything to end up leaving all the fruits of your labor behind. The trick to remember when setting investment goals is to make sure you balance your long-term desire with your short-term wants to maximize joy.
Questions to Consider
If you’re ready to sit down and create your investment goals, here are some questions to help clarify your goals.
1. What’s your risk tolerance?
Be honest with yourself about how comfortable you are with fluctuations in your portfolio’s market value. No matter your risk tolerance in investing, there are options that can still help you succeed. Take some time to truly explore all the options you have.
2. Do you plan on leaving a financial legacy?
You must decide who is going to spend your money, you or someone else? If you want to leave the money behind, are you going to just leave it or establish something like a trust fund? Consider drafting an estate plan strategy that will help your legal team know what to do with the assets you leave behind.
3. What is your motivation?
What makes you want to invest rather than spending or donating? Once you get to the heart of your motivation, you can better design your portfolio to achieve whatever you truly want.
These are just a few considerations for you to make as you start setting investment goals. Reach out to your Farm Bureau agent or advisor to learn more about your investing opportunities and how we can help protect what matters most.