January is traditionally a time when we look forward, make resolutions and attempt to put our house in order. It is very apparent from our clients that those who regularly review their investments, tend to achieve results which mirror their expectations.
Investment is not a form of gambling, it should be a process. Before you make any investment you should have a plan. This is not a financial plan but a life plan, everyone should have such a plan, it could be written down or it may be in your head. It is better if it is written down, but having it in your head will suffice.
This plan will include ideas about how you may progress in your chosen profession, or how you are tired of the commercial life and wish to lead a less stressed existence, if you are in a relationship it may contain joint plans and certainly if you have children it will include thoughts on secondary and tertiary education. If you are a little older, the time may be ripe to think of retirement plans.
Whatever your life plan, it normally cannot be accomplished without financial support. So once you know what you want to do, the next stage in the process is to work out how it can be funded – you now have a target or a number of targets towards which you are working.
The amount you have to invest is important, but even more important is understanding investment risk. There is risk in every type of investment, even leaving your money under the bed to get stolen. Our table investment risk to capital and income outlines for you the risk on many of the mainstream investments. You need to feel comfortable with the risk you are taking, if you do not you may need to modify your expectations or find ways of saving more.
Once you have established your risk profile and understand from our fact sheet the risks involved with various investments, perhaps you should spend a cold winter’s evening reviewing your current investments to see if they fit the risk profile, or if you prefer we can carry out this task for you for a fee (which will be discussed with you before we proceed).
We hope you will continue to read our monthly articles, because we will be continuing the theme of financial planning in some of our future articles.