Thinking about investing your money is certainly a step in the right direction, but to make sure that you continue along a path that leads to financial success you should have a plan for how you come up with your investment strategy. The following are a few important tips for investing money that can help you to get started.
Set Investment Goals
Instead of simply putting what you think you can afford into an investment account at the end of every month, try doing things in the reverse. If you are used to investing what is left over after you have spent to your heart’s content, consider coming up with a few goals. Some of your goals should have a short time frame while others can have a longer term. For instance, you might want to invest so you can afford next year’s vacation, while you also need to put aside money for your retirement.
Each of these goals has a different time line and so they should be placed in different investment accounts. Your retirement fund can have a percentage invested in stocks as you most likely have a considerable amount of time before you leave the working world. Your vacation fund on the other hand should be more liquid because you would need to tap into it within a short period. Having goals not only gives direction to your investment efforts but it also motivates you to continue even when your budget feels tight.
Pay Off Debt Before Investing
While it is possible to start investing while you carry high interest debt it doesn’t make financial sense to do this. Your investments would need to net a positive return even after subtracting your debt interest rate for you to come out on top mathematically. It is much smarter to channel all your funds into debt reduction before you invest so you can earn a true return on your efforts.
Invest a Little Every Month
One of the most popular excuses for not investing is that there simply isn’t enough money to invest. There is no amount that is too small to invest. You can even place funds in a savings account and then make lump-sum transfers into an investment fund if there are minimums attached to the particular account you want to use. Investing a little every month builds a momentum but it also ensures that you put aside some money out of every paycheck.
Rebalance Your Portfolio Once a Year
To ensure that you have not become too heavily invested in one area while neglecting another it is good practice to rebalance your portfolio at least once a year. By automatically reinvesting your returns you can start to place too much emphasis on one type of investment but this can be corrected by checking your balances and making the appropriate transfers so things can be evened off.
Before you place your hard-earned money blindly into an investment account, or worse, put off investing entirely because you think you don’t have enough money to get started, you should consider these tips. Once you get the fundamentals right you are well on your way to building an enviable investment portfolio.