One of the first and probably the most important principles supporting the decision to begin investing is: are you ready to take on the initial steps toward becoming financially accountable for your incentive to invest. If this answer is in the affirmative, and you begin to invest a portion of your income on a regular basis, chances are that financial independence will eventually become a reality. Common sense dictates that the earlier you begin investing, the better the long-term results will be.
A good amount of caution may prohibit you from taking the plunge due to a lack of understanding of the market forces, or the state of the current economy in general. Or you may feel that the initial investment options in vehicles like mutual funds may be somewhat intimidating or even unapproachable from an economically feasible standpoint. The task before you may just involve a small but comprehensive overview covering the primary motivations that drive the fundamentals of investing.
Your Current Financial Condition
You need to make a careful and critical evaluation of your current financial condition. It is senseless and foolhardy to invest your hard-earned money if you carry a heavy debt load, nor have adequate savings available for any type of emergency. To make investing possible, you need to begin taking care of that debt first, especially those credit card accounts, and start putting some funds aside for any unforeseen circumstances. Make time and a good plan to relieve your current debt obligations, and create some form of manageability. Your emergency cash needs to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 to 6 months worth of overhead expenses at minimum. Covering these issues, and putting debt and overhead on the back burner, will keep you from having to tap into your funds that should be earmarked for investment purposes. Likewise, your investment pool of funds should be allowed to grow without any unnecessary backpedaling from poor budget management.
Your Investment Plan or Objective
It is a very wise strategy to begin formulating a comprehensive and detailed set of investment objectives. You need to creatively and responsibly try to determine exactly what course your investment process or intention will take over the long haul. Are your monetary goals sighted on the long or short-term gains. You may be considering these gains to make a down payment on a home, or perhaps apply them towards a college tuition for you or a family member. These particular options will require a far different investment strategy than one for setting up a good retirement, for instance. Is your goal is to utilize your gains within the next five years or so, then the best strategy is taking a more conservative approach to your investment options. If not, and you are looking further down the road, then you can adopt a far more aggressive stance in your investment choices by considering stocks and mutual funds as an example.
Understanding Your Investment Options
Investment strategies develop over time, and grow more lucrative with careful research and responsible planning and objectives. With your initial foray into the investment world, it is vital that you realize that more money will be made by investing your capital in a mutual fund with a good and steady performance record, instead of moving them across various types of stocks on the market. While the stock market is certainly a great way to make money, it takes a considerable amount of time, energy, and talent to gain a rock-solid understanding of how the stock market operates. Even if you decide to employ someone more versed in the game to do the trading for you, you must nevertheless proceed with extreme care, because it is quite easy to lose everything you had hoped to gain.
Financial Planning Advice
Seeking the guidance of a reputable financial planner is always a good idea, especially if you are new to the ins and outs of the investment world. Any financial planner with a respectable set of credentials should take the time to completely understand your investment goals and what you hope to achieve. From there, he or she should be able to offer or provide a number of options in selecting the best way to achieve them. In addition, your financial planner must also make sure that you thoroughly comprehend all of the inherent risk factors pertaining to each investment option prior to your commitment. If they can’t, then seek out additional sources of financial advice, which can be done through a bank where you do business or through a trusted network of referrals.
Mutual Fund Options
For initial investment options, especially for anyone new to the field of choices, it is best to consider the advantages of the lower investment alternatives available through mutual funds, which are much more feasible and affordable. Through this option, there are mutual funds that permit a automatic draft procedure each month to keep the initial investment low. As this investment option moves forward over time, you will begin to evaluate the overall cost of managing this venture and its operating expenses against its average yearly rate of return. Of course, this is what characterizes the business of investments and inherent risks involved with the nature of speculative financial asset management, and your returns will rise and fall according to market forces. You also need to maintain a strong and optimistic enough approach to the process to ride along with the ups and downs, in order to reap the lucrative benefits over the long term.