Whether you are new to investing or a seasoned investor, setting realistic goals is the basis of any successful investment strategy. As investing continues to be an attractive prospect for many, our independent financial advisers explore the importance of investment goals, the factors to consider before investing and how to set investment goals that yield success.
With investors having greater access to different investment types, investing has surged in popularity during recent years. According to a survey conducted by Finder, 33% of the UK population currently invests, with 67% of people planning to buy stocks and shares in the future.
Although smart saving remains a crucial part of financial stability, investing presents individuals with an effective opportunity to grow their wealth progressively.
With an influx of individuals starting to invest, it is important to set investment goals in order to track and evaluate the progress of investments
Why are investment goals important?
It can be easy to feel overwhelmed or lost when investing – especially for new investors. Setting investment targets allows you to establish a coherent plan that incorporates your financial objectives.
Here are some of the benefits of setting investment goals:
- Direction – In the investing landscape, it is important to be intentional with investments. Investment goals provide direction to your investing efforts.
- Motivation – Investing is a long-term process and instant results are unlikely. This can make it difficult to stay motivated. Having a clear investment game plan will help you to remain disciplined and focused on your future goals.
- Performance – Make sure you celebrate your achievements. By regularly reviewing your goals, you will be able to track and evaluate the progress of your investment portfolio.
Questions to consider before investing
Before creating an investment plan, there are several guiding questions you need to consider first. These include:
Why am I investing?
While on the surface this may seem apparent, the motivating factors behind investing go beyond simply building wealth and differ from person to person. Perhaps you are planning for your retirement or saving for your children’s financial future. Whatever your reasons for investing, it is important that these motivators shape your investment approach.
How much can I afford to invest and how much am I willing to risk?
As markets continuously fluctuate, investments are never risk-free. Therefore, you must have a clear understanding of your risk tolerance. Remember, only invest within your means. Taking into account your financial DNA, your investment objectives should identify areas where you are willing to take risks by considering your financial commitments.
How long do I plan to invest for?
Investing is seen as a long-term commitment; this should be reflected in your timescales. Often the longer you invest for, the more opportunity there will be for potential growth in the value of your investments. Having an informed timeframe will allow you to implement a focused investment strategy.
Setting investment goals: 5 ways a financial planner can help
Setting goals is paramount for investment success, but it can be difficult to know where to start. Seeking professional advice and support from a financial adviser will help you to identify investment goals that are realistic and achievable.
Although estimates on the return on investment from having financial advice vary, Industry studies suggest that professional financial advice may add about 3% to portfolio returns long term, dependent on client circumstances and investments. For context, a 3% return on a £1 million investment would give you an additional £30,000.
Below, we outline five key steps to take when formulating realistic investment objectives and identify how a financial planner can support you to reach your investment goals.
1. Understanding your goals
Forming a financial strategy should begin with understanding what you want to achieve. Having an identified end goal in place provides you with a tangible target to work towards. However, with any investment goal, it needs to be clear and specific to ensure you invest accordingly. To get a complete picture of your financial position before establishing your goals, a financial planner will consider your financial DNA. This includes your income, any financial commitments you have, your current assets, etc. Developing a clear understanding of your current circumstances allows a financial adviser to create a strategy to achieve your future ambitions.
2. Setting timeframes
Once your initial objectives have been identified, each of your goals should have a realistic deadline. Categorising your investment aims into short, mid, and long-term targets enables you to organise your investment strategy and track progress over a given timeframe. Combining industry expertise with in-depth insight into your financial status and an understanding of your investment goals, a financial planner can set realistic benchmarks for your investment plan.
3. Establishing your investment approach
The investment goals you set and the timeframe you assign to achieve them will greatly influence your investment approach. For example, an investor focused on generating steady income over a long period may adopt a more aggressive investment approach to achieve this. In contrast, an investment strategy concerned with short-term growth may require a more conservative investment method. Both risk tolerance and risk capacity are also significant factors in strategising your approach to investing. Performing a detailed risk assessment and cash flow forecast enables a financial adviser to determine future income projections and identify specific types of investments that are most appropriate for you based on your risk profile.
4. Diversifying your portfolio
No investment is completely risk-free. However, some investments are riskier than others and certain industries are significantly more stable. A series of influential factors can affect the performance of your investments and, as a result, impact different types of investments in different ways. Building a balanced and diverse investment portfolio is an effective way to mitigate risk in a constantly changing market. Consequently, concentrating on one specific type of investment or sector can be a higher-risk tactic. With specialist knowledge of different investment types, a financial adviser can build your portfolio to include an appropriate mix of investments. In the long term, a financial planner can help you to maintain a balanced portfolio by selling investments that have reached their targets and buying investments that offer greater return potential.
5. Monitoring your progress
After implementing an investment strategy, the monitoring process starts. Over time your financial position and priorities may change, and your investment goals will need to be adjusted to support them. The financial market can be an uncertain landscape, making it imperative to closely monitor the progress of your investment strategy against your investment goals and identify any areas of improvement. A financial planner can save you significant time by closely monitoring investments and measuring your portfolio’s performance relative to the timescales set. A regular portfolio review is necessary to determine if the allocation of investments is on track to achieve the investor’s targets and to identify any potential areas of concern early on.
How can Everlong Wealth help?
Investments play an integral role in any financial strategy, and they should be part of yours.
Investment is a continuous balancing act between risk and return, but our wealth management experts know how to keep your finances in perfect harmony.
Here at Everlong Wealth, whether you are looking to protect, build or expand your capital, our evidence-based investment advice can help you get the most out of your wealth. We can manage and source investment opportunities that support your current and future objectives.
As a truly independent chartered financial planning firm, we are committed to putting you and your individual needs at the heart of our wealth management services.
For more information on how we can enhance your investment strategy, get in touch with us today. Our team of chartered financial planners can build a tailored investment portfolio that furthers your financial goals.
Important Information: Investments can go down as well as up in value, so you could get back less than you invest.