Make Your Investing Plan
Once you have your outlined your objectives, it’s time to get started. Take these three steps to start investing or to make changes to your investment portfolio.Use the SMART Goals Worksheet to get you started.
Secure enough money to invest.
- After paying your essential and necessary expenses, have something left over to set aside for investing. Plug your spending leaks to free up cash for saving or investing.
- Take advantage of matching funds from your employer. This is money that you can use to your investment advantage.
- Evaluate your situation every year to find new ways to save and invest.
Make a plan to save and invest.
- Set long-term savings and investing goals.
- Decide your best investing options and strategies.
- Intentionally include saving and investing in a spending plan.
- Contribute to tax-advantaged savings plans.
Invest to put money to work for you.
- Know what you are investing in. Use these eight questions to prompt your thinking about your investment choice.
- Think long term.
- Take some risk to beat inflation.
- Pay attention to your risk tolerance.
- Take advantage of compound interest.
- Use diversification and dollar-cost averaging in your investment strategy.
- Reinvest all earnings, until such time as you actually need the cash from the investment.
Revisit your investments annually to make sure they are still achieving the goals you set. No one strategy will fit every phase of your life, so it’s important to give your investments an annual checkup.