Whenever an Investor ask me on How to start investing, the first question I ask – what are your investment objectives? Almost 80% of them don’t know the “right” answer OR they just say – earn more money.
Investing without any goal is like travelling without destination. Also if you do not have any specific goals in mind you cannot choose a right product for investment. So the main thing before starting any investment is to decide your goals.
How to decide goals?
Financial goals are simply those things which you want to achieve or dream about. These goals will be different for different investors like buying a new home, retirement or daughter’s wedding. Goals should be realistic, clear, and measurable and should have a time frame.
But remember earning more money or become rich is not a goal. Robert Kiyosaki rightly said, “Money is not a goal. Money has no value. The value comes from the dreams money helps achieve.” Your goal should be based on making your life and future financially secure and money is a tool which helps you achieve it.
There can be more than two or three goals and each goal should have specific time period, importance and its own cost. Decide and write down these details on a piece of paper.
Prioritizing your goals:
Prioritize your goals on the basis of importance and time. Some goals need longer time e.g. retirement, while others are important to be achieved in next 3-5 years.
Divide your goals in three main categories:
- Short Term Goals (1 years)
- Medium Term Goals (3-5 years)
- Long Term Goals (more than 5 years)
Plan to achieve your goals:
Planning to achieve goals is a process and it should include:
- After prioritizing, decide how much money you need to save to reach your goals based on available time frame. Write it down.
- Before starting savings do checklist of available assets, cash/savings already with you.
- Budget your expenses. It will help you figure out how much you can save. Change your spending habits. Saving money depends mostly on your spending habits.
- Clear your credit card debts, try to reduce the use. The interest on credit card is one of major thing which lowers down your savings.
- Identify your risk tolerance level. Do not stretch yourself beyond your limit.
- Above steps will give you clear idea about what investment products you should choose. And therefore, select the investment products which is best suitable to your own goals, risk ability and duration.
Keep monitoring your goals. Adjust the savings, time whenever and wherever needed. Download some good financial apps or register with some financial websites to keep a check on it.
Good luck and Happy Investing!