Your Investment Checklist
Here’s a news flash for you – investing can be for everyone. A lot of people think that investing is only for people who already have a lot of money to flash around, and just want to make themselves a little more comfortable. But that’s not true at all. In fact, if you’re smart and get your investments in place early, it can set you up for a stable, secure financial future. You just have to be smart about it. So if you’re thinking about it, here are a few things you need to think about before you start an investment plan.
Have Long Term Goals
There is no point investing any money if you don’t know what you want to achieve. And while short term goals are great as a saving incentive, long-term goals are what drives investment success. So take a look at your life and what you want to achieve, and ask yourself what is your long term goal? Is it buying a house? Travelling the world? Your dream car? Try to think at least 5 years into the future when setting your goal. This goal will then become the thing that guides all of your decisions, and will help you work out what the best investment strategy for you might be.
Start An Emergency Fund
Investing is a good way to build up capital for yourself, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of savings. After all, sometimes life is unpredictable, and you will face a few ‘oh ****’ moments where some easy to access cash will be essential. Medical bills, vets bills, car breaking down, replacing damaged equipment, or even covering living costs if you should lose your job. So before you start down the route of investment, it’s worth building up a savings buffer for emergencies. £1,000 is often thrown around as an ideal figure, but that’s a bit prescriptive. Work out what feels achievable and right for you, and aim for that.
Deal With Your Expensive Debts
If you’re looking to build up a stash of money, having debt is not a good way to go about it. A few little bits of debt here and there won’t hurt, and it’s important for building up good credit, but expensive debts hanging over you will always make you question why you’re saving, when you could be cutting it down. To be clear, we don’t mean student loans here! Instead, we mean any big debts you might have, like large credit card bills or outstanding loans.
Have A Pension (And Make The Most Of It)
Nowadays a lot of people aren’t thinking about setting up a private pension until later in life – but a pension will be one of your greatest assets in your retirement, and the sooner you start investing in it, the more valuable it will be. So yes, it’s a bit boring, but sorting out a pension that delivers great returns is super important and should be your first step in terms of investment. So, if you don’t have a private pension yet, get one set up and start stashing all the free money you’re entitled to. If you’re not sure how to do that, have a chat with a financial adviser to find out your options.
Boost Your Emergency Fund
If you already have some savings in place – that’s great! But it might be worth giving them a boost, just in case. This should ideally be different from your emergency fund (though it doesn’t have to be), and instead be a pot of quick-access cash you have on hand if you should need it. Before you start investing, try to boost your savings account to cover 3-6 months of living expenses to be fully secure. This is a lot of work, and you might need to work out how to scale back your expenses to make it happen, as well as what you would do if the worst should happen.
At Chilvester Financial, we are here to give you independent financial advice when you need it, on anything from pensions to investments strategies and general financial planning. Our team are on hand to talk through your unique circumstances, understand what your goals are and help develop a plan that will help you achieve those goals. If you would like to find out more, just get in touch with the team today.