Smart Investing

Back to blogPosted by First BankPosted on Investment Services, Money & Metrics, Trust & Investments

Have you been thinking about investing? Well, it is important to fully understand what investing is and how it works before diving in. There are a few things to think about and plan for before getting started. This includes clarifying why you want to invest, when you plan to start, how much and how often you will contribute, and how often you will check and monitor your portfolio. It is also important to explain why expanding and diversifying the items in your portfolio is imperative.

Why do you want to invest?

It is important to clarify why you want to get started investing. Are you trying to meet a short-term goal like buying a car or paying student loans in a few years? Maybe you are wanting to put money away for the long haul, so you won’t see it for another 30 years down the road. Some reasons are more timely than others, meaning that some will require a higher risk factor. If you want a lot of money right away, there are going to be more risks. Growing your money over a long period of time has less risk because there is no urgency, and it usually doesn’t require as much money all at once. It is important to think about what your end goal is now – because that is going to affect how you get started and proceed through the investment process.

When are you starting?

When it comes to investing, starting sooner is always better than later. Getting your foot in the door is the first step. When it is possible, get started at the first chance. For some people, the opportunity or resources might not be there right away. In this case, you need to figure out when the best time is to start and how you are going to do so. Have a plan set out so that when the resources, money, assets, etc. are available, you can jump on the opportunity ASAP. 

How much money are you going to devote and how often?

For some people it works better to invest small amounts, but doing it once a week or once a month. While other people choose to invest larger amounts, but fewer times throughout the year. Make sure to commit to the system you have chosen for yourself. Some institutions can let you set up automatic withdrawals. This means that you don’t have to worry about remembering every time you need to set money aside – it will automatically be taken out. When choosing this system, it is important to know if you will consistently have enough in your account for some to be taken out each time. Creating some sort of system or schedule for yourself is going to create consistency and habit.

How often do you plan on monitoring your investments?

It is recommended that you assess your portfolio at least once a year. Along with that, it is strongly suggested to do the assessment with a financial advisor or another professional in the field. You will talk over what accounts are doing well for you and would like to move forward with. You can also look for assets to pull out from your portfolio. You can monitor your account as often as you would like, but it is recommended to do it at least once a year with a certified financial advisor. Make sure to narrow down how often you will be available to do an assessment like this. If once a year isn’t enough monitoring for your needs, start scheduling out those meetings so that everything is planned and ready to go. These assessments guarantee that you are getting exactly what you want out of your investments. 

Why is it important to diversify your portfolio?

You have probably heard the common saying “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. That is great advice when it comes to smart investing. It’s important to not put all of your assets into one investment. If that one goes bad, all your assets went down with it. If you expand upon your portfolio, one area might not so well, but that doesn’t mean all of your investing went down with it. 

It is critical to understand all aspects of investing before jumping in and getting started. Take time to ask yourself these necessary questions about your investment strategy. Write down a plan, do extra research, and talk to professionals in the field to help with smart investing.