Ok, so now we’ve hopefully got our finances under control by avoiding lifestyle inflation, and setting up a properly funded emergency fund. The next step is deciding on your long-term goals and the reason you are investing. Do you want to achieve financial independence early? Still retire in your 60’s but have more cash flow to travel? Save up for a child’s college expenses?
The answers to these questions are very important and must be considered when deciding to start investing. If you are in your 20’s and planning on retiring at age 65, you will be investing differently than say, a 40 year old preparing to send their oldest kid off to college in 5 years, or a 21 year old like me trying to reach financial independence by age 40.
Before you open a brokerage account and buy that first stock, take some time to figure out your long-term goals. Then you can create a plan for your investing actions that will allow you to achieve these goals. I’d recommend actually writing it down so it is more concrete and you can reference it later. This plan will keep you focused on achieving your goals through good economic conditions and bad. If you don’t have a plan, it is too easy to lose your way and get discouraged when you run into adversity (think 2009 recession 🙁 ).
Once you figure out your reasons for wanting to invest you can then start investing. I’ll be posting my investing plan that will allow me to achieve my long-term goals here soon.
What are your reasons for choosing to invest? Leave a comment below.