Factors to Consider When Creating Road Map to Investing Goals

When people begin to build an investment portfolio, they are immediately confronted with a number of choices and difficult decisions. These include, how much money to invest, where to invest, and how long to invest. The contributing factors in this investing road map must work in partnership to help investors to achieve their financial goals.

When determining how much money to invest, investment-seekers must pay close attention to their immediate financial health. It is essential that any money set aside for investing should be free of any monthly or annual expenses. That said, the amount invested each year should be based on financial goals. Having investment goals is important. It not only provides investors with a target at which to aim, they also provide the motivation necessary to stick to an investing plan.

There are several categories of investments, and many of those categories have thousands of choices within them. So, finding the right investment is not a trivial matter. The single greatest factor, by far, in growing long-term wealth is the rate of return received on an investment. The challenge for investment-seekers is to balance two things that are diametrically opposed: low risk and high returns.

How long you should invest for depends upon your financial situation, goals, tolerance for risk, etc. Honestly, the ideal time period to hold an investment is forever. Investors should only sell investments if something goes wrong at the fundamental level of the company. If the company has sound management, stable profits, and good growth prospects, then the long-term investor need not worry about fluctuations in the company or the economy.

Making good investments is a challenge whether you are an experienced or novice investor. Although choosing investments that balance risk and reward is at the forefront of people’s minds, there are several other important factors to consider when creating the road map to your investment and financial goals.

Beware of People Who Offer Investment Advice And Information

When searching for investments, investors are likely to encounter people who genuinely want to help them, as well as financial predators who want nothing more than to help themselves. The challenge is being able to identify which is which. Often, this can be determined by identifying their motivation for helping.

To Help Investors

The investment community is full of people who have tried and failed, or succeeded, at investing. The experience that these investors have to share can, if applied wisely, be invaluable. Their stories of investing trials and triumphs are filled with information that can help investment-seekers make better, more educated, investment decisions.

The people who will be the most helpful are those who take more interest in others’ situation than their own. Questions and responses are directed at finding positive solutions, not dwelling on the negative or delivering harmful information. Additionally, most people who genuinely want to help will recommend dependable investment blogs, forums, and communities to visit for additional help.

To Help Themselves

Regrettably, in the search for more help with their investment strategy, investors will encounter nefarious characters who are motivated by greed, and hope to achieve their success at the expense of others. Most will use any and every opportunity to attack their competitors, as well as anyone who dares to challenge their opinion. This characterizes the online attack on Davenport Laroche by a young, inexperienced fund manager.

The challenge in these instances, is that some people may be selflessly help in the beginning, but then their motivation becomes clear later on. It is important to understand that most financial advisers and fund managers rely heavily on accumulating an ongoing list of potential clients. These are very often collected on their website through free downloads, newsletter subscriptions, and other incentives like their “free” advice.

Nothing is Free

There is an old saying; “nothing in life is free.” Unfortunately, this applies to investing advice too. The cost to investors, when accepting advice, is an investment in trust. They must trust in the information they’ve been given by (in most instances) a complete stranger. If the person sharing the information, insight, or advice shows themselves to be motivated by anything other than empathy and honesty, the value of their communications should be heavily discounted or perhaps even discarded.

Investors Concerned With Traditional Investments’ Performance

An increasing number of investors are growing concerned about the performance of the traditional investments in their portfolio; in particular, their stocks and bonds. Their foremost concerns are that stocks are overvalued and bonds are risky These are two very unappealing scenarios for cautious investors.

Stock Market

In recent years, countless investing surveys have been conducted. Of the people who responded, nearly half believed that the stock market is overvalued. According to the analysts, the current market is the second longest Bull Market of all time. Historically, the S&P 500’s mean P/E ratio is approximately 15. At the moment, it is in the mid-twenties.

Some financial advisers are of the belief that the markets are overdue for a pullback. With that being said, many believe it will emerge as a correction within the existing Bull market, and not surprise the world with another global financial crisis. Many are saying that they expect to see a 5% to 10% pullback in the stock market.

Bonds

Interest rates and bond prices enjoy an inverse relationship. As interest rates rise, the price of bonds is likely to fall. Conversely, when interest rates fall, the price of bonds trading in the marketplace generally rises. Also, if the cost of living and inflation increase dramatically, and at a faster rate than income investment, investors will see their purchasing power erode and may actually see a negative rate of return.

Aside from interest rate risk, which is the most widely-known of risks in the bond market, reinvestment, default, and liquidity risk should also be closely considered when choosing whether or not to pursue a bond investment.

Alternatives

In recent years, alternative investments have found an important place in a well-balanced investment portfolio. The investment community has taken the opportunity to invest in containers and other hard assets, that emerged relatively unscathed from the last financial crisis. In the absence of viable options from traditional investments, investment-seekers are finding alternative investments to be much more appealing.