Why do we invest? If you ask this question to your friends and family, everyone's answer will be different.
Some of the most popular answers are:
- Grow your money
- Buy a vacation home
- Pay for my kids college
Simply put, we invest because we have a goal we are trying to achieve.
Throughout our lives we put money into different buckets in order to work towards achieving our goals.
Those buckets are known as investment vehicles. Those vehicles are designed to get us from our starting point, or where we begin the process, to our end point of achieving our goal. There are many different types of vehicles you can use. Some of the most common types are stocks, bonds, mutual funds, annuities, etc.
Each of your vehicles should have a purpose. When you look at your statements, do you understand why each investment is positioned the way it is? If you cannot identify each investment and what goal it's headed towards you should make an appointment with an advisor to discuss your goals and assign each account to a goal. This will help you measure if you're still "on track". This strategy helps relieve the stomach flip you might experience while watching the market recap report on the nightly news. Simply, you need to know, given market movements are we still on track to achieve our goal when expected?
Often times when we begin on our investment journey we invest to accumulate. This simply means we decide to put x% of our pay into an investment vehicle to grow. Most commonly, the general goal assigned to that bucket is Retirement.
As the years go by, we continue along this track and never assign a goal to our vehicle. It remains, accumulation. We essentially are on a path with an undetermined destination. We know we're traveling, just not where we're traveling towards.
If all of your vehicles are still in the default "ACCUMULATION" track, make an appointment with an advisor. To help you get the thought process started work through our program by clicking here to help identify some of your goals. If you'd like to make an appointment to review, click here.
At minimum, get a blank piece of paper. Write your investment accounts on the left side and your goals on the right side. Bring that to an advisor to help determine which vehicles should be put on which track.
All investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. There is no assurance that any investment strategy will be successful.