Michael Jordan, Joe Montana, and Tiger Woods were great for a reason, they had goals. The same is true of those entering the investment field, have a goal in your career and set your mind to reach that goal. Before even making your first transaction in the world of stock investing you should ask yourself, what are you expecting to achieve?
Everybody likes to be charitable, but it has a place and a time and neither is found in the world of stock investing.
Most investors simply want a good return on their investment. But what is considered a good return? Enough for retirement? If it is based on what they want for retirement the question becomes how long is it until retirement age? If it is in two years your investment strategy will be much different than for those who are retiring in 15 years time.
As an example, let’s use me as a typical investor. 40 years old with a decent income and the ability to invest $300 per month. We’ll have to change my circumstances just a bit and imagine I have nothing in my portfolio but I want the ultimate dream – I want $1 million dollars to retire with. The question is, if I have the $300 available right now, is my target something I can hit?
Assuming that I can match – if not better – a stock index return which is running at 10.4% annually, my sum would be worth roughly $380,000 by the time I get to retiring at 65 years young.
Damn – missed my $1,000,000 target!
To hit that level – I need to invest more than $300 per month. (To hit that I’d need a return of at least 17 – 18% pa.
Okay – an index fund isn’t going to do it for me, especially as the history of these shows it won’t better much more than the 10.5% mark!)
Okay – let’s look at another scenario for me shall we?
Let’s imagine that I’ve actually been working away at my investments and funds for a while (must have listened to my dad!!) and I have a touch over $100,000 saved away.
Can I hit the target million with that amount as a lump sum starter?
Well, if I am set in using the index funds as my investment vehicle of choice, the answer is Yes!
So long as no major market upheaval hits and remains (ignoring the standard fluctuations you’ll get over an extended period of investing) I should have over the $1,000,000 mark by the time I retire – and I won’t have to add a cent more to my savings either.
But what makes this possible for me to hit my target? The fact that I HAD a target.
Goals – targets – aims, they all help us to focus on getting to the end of the race with the result we want.
Goals to help you focus on your investment are what help you design your investment plan.
Do you need to be aggressive and look for a major return or can you simply protect your savings and earn a more modest return to reach your goal?
Set yourself a (realistic) towards it, keeping it in mind always.
Be modest and be focused.