A few things to Consider Before You Make Investing Decisions
Before you make any decision, consider these areas of importance:
Draw a personal financial plan
Before you make any investing decision, sit down and take an honest look at your entire financial situation — especially if you’ve never made a financial plan before.
The first step to successful investing is figuring out your goals and risk tolerance – with the help of a financial professional. If you get the facts about saving and investing and follow through with an intelligent plan, you should be able to gain financial security over the years and enjoy the benefits of managing your money.
Consider an appropriate mix of investments
By including asset categories with investment returns that move up and down under different market conditions within a portfolio, an investor can help protect against significant losses.
Market conditions that cause one asset category to do well often cause another asset category to have average or poor returns. By investing in more than one asset category, you’ll reduce the risk that you’ll lose money and your portfolio’s overall investment returns will have a smoother ride. If one asset category’s investment return falls, you’ll be able to counteract your losses in that asset category with better investment returns in another asset category.
In addition, asset allocation is important because it has major impact on whether you will meet your financial goal. If you don’t include enough risk in your portfolio, your investments may not earn a large enough return to meet your goal. For example, if you are saving for a long-term goal, such as retirement or college, most financial experts agree that you will likely need to include at least some higher risk funds in your portfolio.
Create and maintain an emergency fund
Most smart investors put enough money in a savings product to cover an emergency, like sudden unemployment. Some make sure they have up to six months of their income in savings so that they know it will absolutely be there for them when they need it.
Pay off high interest credit card debt
There is no investment strategy anywhere that pays off as well as, or with less risk than, merely paying off all high interest debt you may have. If you owe money on high interest credit cards, the wisest thing you can do under any market conditions is to pay off the balance in full as quickly as possible.
Consider rebalancing portfolio occasionally
Rebalancing is bringing your portfolio back to your original asset allocation mix. By rebalancing, you’ll ensure that your portfolio does not overemphasize one or more asset categories, and you’ll return your portfolio to a comfortable level of risk.
You can rebalance your portfolio based either on the calendar or on your investments. Many financial experts recommend that investors rebalance their portfolios on a regular time interval, such as every six or twelve months. The advantage of this method is that the calendar is a reminder of when you should consider rebalancing. Others recommend rebalancing only when the relative weight of an asset class increases or decreases more than a certain percentage that you’ve identified in advance. The advantage of this method is that your investments tell you when to rebalance. In either case, rebalancing tends to work best when done on a relatively infrequent basis. To get expert advice on your portfolio’s balance, click here.