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What wise investors know
Whether you are brand new to investing or a seasoned pro, there are a few basic principles you need to know and practice in order to protect yourself and your money
Know your risk tolerance and time horizon
Determining your risk tolerance (how comfortable you are with investment risk) and your investment horizon (how long you have to invest) are essential so you can make the right investment choices.
Every investment carries some degree of risk — and even not investing carries the risk that inflation will erode your buying power over time.
If you are young and just starting to invest, you likely have plenty of time to build slow and steady returns through the power of compounding. On the other hand, you also have time to recover from market declines if you invest in riskier products.
But if you started investing late, slow and steady might not be enough to generate the returns you need for your retirement; you might need investments that will help you grow your money faster.
Alternatively, you might not have time to recover if there were a market decline. As you get older, it becomes more important to protect yourself by finding the right balance between risk and returns.
Diversify, diversify, diversity
Putting all your eggs in one basket is rarely a smart course of action. Most investments will experience fluctuations. What if you need to withdraw money when they’re in a period of decline?
Most advisors will recommend a diversified investment strategy.
Diversification means investing in different industries/sectors and geographical regions. It also means holding different classes of investments, such as fixed income products as well as equities. If there’s a decline in one investment, it is usually offset by the others in your portfolio, helping to smooth out the bumps.
Be aware that there are investment scammers out there, and the reason they’re effective is that they’re not always easy to spot. Your best defense is to ask the right questions before making an investment decision. Assemble a comprehensive list of questions to ask yourself that will help protect you from scams.
Make a plan
Just as you wouldn’t set out on a road trip without plotting the route on your GPS, every investor should have an investment plan. It should begin by taking into account your shorter-term goals (such as saving for a down payment on a home, buying a car, paying for education or time off to have children) and your longer-term goals (such as saving for retirement or healthcare needs). This information, along with your risk tolerance and investment horizon, will lay the foundation for a diversified investment strategy.
A well-thought out, solid plan helps you stay on track and weather market downturns.
An advisor helps you get there
Developing a plan can take a lot of time and discipline, which is why too many people don’t do it. A professional advisor takes the stress out of the process.
Financial advisors are carefully trained to ask the right questions to help you develop a tailored investment plan that will help you achieve your goals.
Talk to your advisor today!