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How to Plan investment to meet your financial goals
Why invest? Saving is, and always will be, the foundation of any fortune. It is secure, risk-free and readily accessible. But saving alone is not enough to make your money grow. You should also invest. This means taking some risks, but the rewards are higher. When you save and invest, your money has the power to grow faster.
Prioritizing financial goals can feel like pitting one dream against another: Would you rather purchase a home or pay off student loans? Would you rather send your kids to college or be able to retire? Would you rather attend a friend’s destination wedding or buy a car? But with smart planning, you can increase the odds of achieving most – if not all – of your aspirations.
Here are some common financial goals, and investing strategies that may help turn your plans into reality:
Short-term investments Smaller goals, such as saving for a vehicle down payment, can be a great first investment opportunity. If you’re looking to purchase a car in the next one to two years, there are several relatively safe short- term investments that can help you accumulate a few hundred or a few thousand dollars. Look for investment vehicles with short-term maturity dates or options that allow you to access funds without penalty, such as a Short Term Deposit. Also, consider investing in Government Savings Bonds that have a maturity that matches the timeframe in which you want to make the purchase. DPS for 6 months to 1 year is also a short-term investment.
Short- to mid-term investments Purchases you want to make in the next two to five years, such as making a down payment on a home, can be partially funded by short- or mid-term investments. In addition to the short-term investment options listed above, consider DPS or FDR, which can give you a considerable rate of return with relatively low risk, and potentially increase in value the longer your money is invested. Mid- to long-term investments
Goals between five to ten years in the future, such as funding a child’s college education or buying a new home, may offer you the opportunity to take a little more risk in your portfolio. Riskier investments, such as stocks, have the potential to offer higher longer-term growth than more conservative investments.
Some of life’s biggest goals, such as retirement, require longer-term planning. From the moment you graduate from college and enter the workforce, you want to put retirement on your financial agenda – the key is finding the right long-term investment strategy for your specific situation. A good rule of thumb is to have a higher ratio of riskier to conservative investments when you are younger and then increase the percentage of more conservative and income-generating investments as you age. This can help you get the most return on investment in your younger years when it makes more sense to take financial risks.
By choosing investments that complement specific goals, you can improve the odds of achieving your objectives without compromising the other priorities in your life.