There are a lot of people out there who invest just because investing is the trend or may be because people around you are too much into investing and all, the investing peer pressure it may be called. This is not the right way you approach such a life-altering concern. Before you go for actual investing and put your money to it, it is very important to understand the purpose of such investments. Once you align your investments with a purpose or goal, you will be more driven and determined towards achieving it.
Apart from self-control, there will be a lot of factors that influence your investment discipline during the complete course of time. The more determined you are the better gains you will make. The essence of investments is staying invested for a considerable period of time depending upon the type of investment. Having said that, staying invested for a long time-frame is no guess work, it needs proper planning and strategy which should beset all determining factors.
Following are the three key factors you must not neglect while strategizing your investments;
- Define you time-frame
Time is money, you have to encash it. There is no denying the fact that time is the most important factor while your plan your investments. There is more than one perspective through which you can consider time while planning investments.
- Knowing the time frame will let you know what kind of investments instrument you should go for
- Knowing the time frame, you can actually make calculations backwards and know how much you need to save and invest
- Knowing the time frame will prepare you mentally how long will it take to make the desired amount of money.
Let us understand this factor with a few examples
I am 28 right now and wish to plan for my retirement. It is safe to say that I have plenty of time to plan my retirement and can start saving even with a nominal amount. Also, since my retirement is at least 32 years away (considering 60 years as the retirement age), I need not worry about the short-term corrections and fluctuations the stock market goes through since I would be investing in a long-term plan.
My father is 53 years old and he also wishes to plan for his retirement. Taking the same age (60 years) as retirement age, he is left with only 7 years to save for his retirement years. It is obvious that he has to invest in a plan that ensures he has enough money by the end of 7 years to take care of his household and maintain a decent lifestyle. It is imperative that he will invest in a combination plan which may be mid-cap to large-cap funds, allows annuity as option and also can withdraw some money as regular monthly income.
Another aspect of knowing your time frame is you can plan a major commodity accurately. For example, if you are planning to buy a house in the next 5 years, you need to gear up your savings and investments. 5- year is a mid-term which calls for extremely judicious fund selection and investments. Taking too much risk may prove fatal while accomplishing this goal.
Even if you have a lump sum amount of money to buy a house 2-3 years down the lane and you wish to invest the money in order to grow it, it is highly advisable to invest in a vehicle which bears no or minimum risk. Investing in an instrument which may seem to be having a growth potential but suffers market fluctuations and incurs say 30%-35% loss will be a huge loss to you.
- Staying focused
Staying focused and avoiding distractions is another big thing while you wish to make investments. The stock market is an extremely volatile market which no one can guarantee of but there will always be people bugging you will load of suggestions and advice. Stay focused!
Even if the markets are not much rewarding presently, be patient and stay determined. No market situation is permanent- high or low. There are a lot of ways you can cushion your investments from the market corrections like proper asset allocation, investing the SIP way, opting for SWP and STP etc.
Moreover, if you have invested over the long-term, you need not worry as over the course of time, all fluctuations and corrections get adjusted.
- Invest for a reason
The next important factor to be considered is to invest for a purpose. As mentioned in point A, when you save and invest for a reason or purpose, you stay better focused and make an extra effort towards achieving it. In the conduit called life there will be plenty many reasons for which you will feel the urge to save and invest be it your home, your child’s education, their marriage, your retirement, etc but what goes neglected is the quality of life.
While you pave your way towards a better and richer future, make sure all your goals combine to improve your quality of life. Saving and investing should not narrow down your life prospects rather they should aim towards increasing them. with the right type of investment in the correct time frame, you should experience increased purchasing power, achieving your long-term goals and betterment in the quality of life.
If all these factors have a green tick on your list, you are doing it the right way.