Financial investing starts when you establish your first investment goals, and establishing your first goals should come from reviewing and deciding upon your short term and long term investment strategy. No business that is financially viable would embark upon a strategy without first doing short and long term planning and goal setting nor should you decide your future investment goals without at least some of the very same planning. Obviously you wouldn’t need to go to the lengths of a Dell or IBM but you should at least do some planning and goal setting before you launch your investment projects.
Remember that planning and goal setting comes under the umbrella of due diligence for you and your financial resources. You do not have to have a lot of money nor hold a certain type of job in order to be involved in beginning financial investing. Actual investing in whatever medium you have decided upon should only come after the planning and goal setting. The following will discuss and help you to set up your planning and goal setting in a milieu that is hopefully not pressured by buying or selling or concern with financial pressures of that nature. One final note as a cautionary one; when or if you decide to utilize the services of a Certified Financial Planner hire one that is not part of a larger insurance or mutual fund company. Get one who is independent and not under an obligation to steer you to required in-house instruments or insurance policies or basket of mutual funds. Remember that he may have an agenda that is driven by company policies and fees and not necessarily driven by concerns for you.
· Lets start by doing some preliminary planning. Listing income and expenses are a good start. First do you have an excess of income over short term (monthly) expenses. Once you are through reviewing your income and expenses, and determine that you have some excess income over expenses that are not allocated to monthly obligations you can then determine some investment goals
· Start with a longer range goal and establish some shorter steps to meet that goal. Starting with employee benefits such as a 401K Plan is a good start along your investment path. If one is available you should try and max that out. If you already have a “rainy-day” savings account you need to continue that one as well. Remember from a small account you can move up to the Money Market Funds and Certificates of Deposit in your bank. The interest may not be spectacular but the accounts are safe and always available in case of need.
· For some education you can scan articles like this one to give you some ideas and guidelines There are plenty of articles available on the internet covering planning, goal setting, and financial investing. Visit the links of the good investment websites for good educational tutorials in all aspects of investing.
· After defining your goals you could then take all your data to a reputable Financial Planner and work with him on developing an action plan. The best of them will review your goals with you and then suggest ways to meet your goals. Whatever he suggests you should know that all of these probably have some degree of risk and that should be explained fully to you.. There are many benefits to working with a planner not the least being his intimate knowledge of the investment market and all of the instruments that would be available to you.
Finally make sure that you review your progress at least semi-annually or more often if your planner suggests it. At the very least you should see your planner once a year to review your goals and update them or change them if you decide that things are not going your way. Either way, with or without a Financial Planner it makes sense to review and update your goals on an annual basis.