Does your investment strategy align with your goals? Once you’ve established the goals you wish to achieve—  whether it be a new home, regular travel or a comfortable retirement— it’s important to have the right strategy in place to help get you there. An investment strategy is a set of principles designed to help guide investment decisions. The right strategy can help increase returns, minimize risk and meet future needs for capital.

If you’re ready to start investing, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are your financial goals? 
  • How soon do you wish to achieve them? 
  • How comfortable are you with risk? 
  • How often do you evaluate your portfolio? 

These are all important factors to consider as you work towards building a strong financial future.

Below we share 4 key steps to help you align your investments with your financial goals:

Determine your financial goals

Having financial goals is important to help focus your priorities and determine how to invest your money. They will be dependent on your current financial situation and what you hope to achieve in the future. Some factors to take into account include your current living expenses, your desired lifestyle and any debt you may have.

When this is clear, write down your goals and ensure they follow the SMART criteria: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. An example of a SMART financial goal is paying off your credit card.

Specific: Specify what you want to accomplish, for example paying your credit card off in full.

Measurable: Having measurable goals allows you to see how much you’ve accomplished! A goal of paying off your $2,000 credit card debt in full gives you a final number to reach. 

Achievable: Do you have the resources to attain this goal? Take actionable steps that will help you track your progress. Set a goal to put $200 plus interest towards your credit card each month and limit how much you use it. 

Realistic: Ensure your goal is realistic and assess the steps needed to achieve it. Picking up some extra shifts at work or cutting back on your online shopping is more realistic than hoping to win the lottery.

Timely: Determine when the results can be achieved. By applying $200 a month plus interest towards your debt, you will achieve your goal in 10 months. 

Ready to accomplish your SMART financial goals? Utilize the resources available to you and reach out to The RaeLipskie Partnership to get started.

Assign a timeline to your goals 

Once your goals are established, decide if they’re short-term or long-term. Setting a timeline helps create a comprehensive plan towards achieving the life you desire. Short-term goals can typically take six months to a year to achieve, while long-term goals range between three to five years. A short-term goal might be paying for rent while a long-term goal would be saving for retirement. Each will require a different amount of time and resources to accomplish.

Understand your risk tolerance

It’s important to be aware of the risks involved when investing money. Risk tolerance is the degree of uncertainty an investor can stand before he or she becomes uncomfortable. Knowing how much you’re willing to lose in order to potentially gain more helps determine which opportunities make sense for you. Completing a Risk Profile Questionnaire (RPQ) and reviewing the results with an investment advisor can help you more clearly understand, and better define, your risk tolerances.

Investing is not a one-size-fits-all. There are different types of investments and risks associated with them. With so many ways to invest your money, it’s important to determine what type of investor you are before making any decisions.

Evaluate your portfolio regularly

Reviewing your portfolio regularly is important to stay on top of your financial goals and keep your investment profile updated. It also helps identify potential problems before they become too big to manage. One of the benefits of working with a Portfolio Manager is receiving regular updates on your investments and how the markets are doing. They’ll also be able to provide guidance on what changes need to be made in order to achieve your financial goals.

Achieving your financial goals takes time, effort and commitment. Whether it’s a short-term financial goal or a long-term financial goal, our Portfolio Managers can help keep you on track, reach out today for further guidance.

Interested in learning more about the benefits of working with a Portfolio manager? Read our blog: “Finding Success in the New Year With the Right Partnerships.”