Sound Investment Planning – The term investment has a broad definition. It can mean buying any good or service that is a long-term asset, including real estate, stocks, or precious metals. The Sound Investment Planning decision itself depends on the aim of the investor. Those with an eye for long-term profits generally invest in businesses and commodities. Those looking to capitalize on their assets more quickly usually turn to trade.
What these two have in common is that they both need financial planning. Regardless of what you choose to invest in, it is crucial to know how to plan for your future. That is to make sure you are not paralyzed by indecision when you get there.
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So, what defines a sound investment plan? Let us find out.
Define investment objectives
To get an appropriate answer, we must first ask the right question. The right question is, “What are my Sound Investment Planning objectives?”
Define your goals before you ensure that you are on the right track. Don’t worry about what other people’s goals are. Be honest with yourself. It is great that you want a brand new Tesla. However, don’t let it distract from more important things like saving for retirement or paying off debts.
Be ambitious and set challenging but realistic goals for yourself. It could be something as simple as losing 10 pounds in three months or getting your finances on track. Once you’ve established a goal, work backward from there. Figure out how much you will need each month to reach that goal. For example, if your goal is to lose 10 pounds this summer, make sure that you take in 600-900 fewer calories per day. In three months, those small choices will add up!
Set realistic expectations
Investing in the stock market is a difficult and often intimidating process for many people. After all, it is hard to get your head around the fact that you’ll be giving up access to your money for years—even decades—at a time. And if you’re like most people, that idea makes you want to curl up in the fetal position and never come out of your apartment again.
Investing is long-term. If you’re hoping to get rich quickly from trading stocks, know that it does not work that way. For almost everyone out there, investing is a long game played over 20 or more years (if not longer). The most important thing to remember is that success from investments does happen overnight. It takes time and consistency.
Conduct Proper Research
Before blindly plunking down your hard-earned cash, it is a good idea to take a few minutes to think about what you’re buying. Whether you’re considering moving funds from one investment option to another or deciding whether this is the best time to invest in something brand new, the basic principles of sound investment planning still apply.
It may be tempting to pool all your money and start making wild bets on cryptocurrencies or other risky bets. However, the reason you have that money is that you’ve earned it. You must take advantage of these opportunities without risking too much of your stability.
Better yet, do not dive headfirst into any investment at all unless you already know what it is. Learn how it works and how much risk it comes with. Learn about the company behind whatever product or service they are selling. It is also vital to know who the company’s management is and how they treat their business partners and customers. If there are any red flags in those areas, your money would be better off somewhere else.
Diversify your Portfolio
The final investment planning exercise of the day is a little more involved than the others since it requires you to identify your risk tolerance and the types of investments that are most suitable for you. To help you do this, we’ll provide an overview of diversification and discuss how it relates to investment planning.
Diversification refers to investing in multiple securities that have different characteristics to lessen market risk. A portfolio can be diversified by including a mix of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and ETFs (exchange-traded funds) in varying amounts. The goal is for an investor to have a diverse portfolio that includes stocks and bonds alike. In short, if one security is bad news (like stocks hit by the stock market crash in 2008), another one will be good news (like gold going up). The strategy helps investors maintain liquidity while still lowering overall portfolio risk.
Know the Risks Involved
When it comes to investing, there is a stark dichotomy between risk and reward. The more lucrative the potential gain, the higher the risk of loss—and vice versa. For an investment to be sound, you must understand its risks. Know how much loss you are willing to incur before deciding how much money you want to put into it.
Any investments that promise high returns with little or no risk should be treated with extreme caution and skepticism. Studies have shown that people tend to overestimate their ability to pick winning stocks. They underestimate their likelihood of losing money on these things. If you’re not prepared for a significant potential loss, don’t invest in something with a high expected return.
Beware of Investment Scams
If you are reading this, likely, you have already been scammed. Or, you are at least concerned about being swindled in the future. If so, then rest assured—this guide is designed to inform you on how to avoid these situations and what to do if they arise.
The main element of a scam is that it aims to get people’s money through deceit and trickery. Scammers’ accomplices can include actors pretending to be legitimate business people or celebrities on Twitter. They may even create a convincing website for their phony business; however, the only thing relating them to reality is some address listed on whois that links back to a server farm in Lithuania.
Although there are plenty of reputable investment opportunities available online, scammers have been known to use these same resources as tools for their schemes. That happens when they pose as a legitimate entity by setting up profiles on websites like LinkedIn or Facebook. Or, when they create a copycat site with information similar enough to a real one users could be tricked into thinking it is genuine if they don’t pay close attention.
Investment scams also occur offline but are much less frequent bursts than those that occur online—and usually only after some form of personal contact has occurred between victim and scammer (though this isn’t always necessary). For example, people who check out houses listed for sale by private owners could be led astray if they aren’t careful about determining whether this person is trustworthy. Another method used by offline scammers involves convincing someone to sell something valuable (like an expensive watch)
Be Updated with Tax Laws
Taxes can be a complex subject. Understanding how to pay the proper amount when it comes time to prepare your taxes is essential.
Tax credits are discounts on the amount of tax you owe that you can claim on your income tax returns. There are different types of individual credits available depending on certain situations, but they all work in similar ways.
The Residential Energy Property Credit (also known as the energy-efficient home credit) allows you to deduct 30% of the cost of qualified energy-efficient improvements made in their primary or secondary residence from their tax liability. For example, if you spent $5,000 on installing solar panels for your house, you would have $1,500 of this cost eligible for a credit when preparing your 2017 return. This tax credit was renewed in December 2015 and will continue through 2019.
As an important side note: More than one type of residential energy property may be installed at a residence if each type meets all specifications laid out by the IRS guidelines for this credit. For example, one could install solar panels for heating water and also install heat pump technology for warmth inside the house at the same time as long as both systems fit under these regulations.
That is just one example. There are many other credits out there depending on different things like having children or purchasing a new home among others. Always check with your local accountant. See which options would best suit your needs and get started today!
When it comes to investing, there is much to share. However, let us end by saying that you should put your money into something that is going up in value. Whether you’re talking about stocks, bonds, real estate, or even gold and silver bullion, these investments should be part of a long-term financial plan. That plan should include a Sound Investment Planning strategy, preferably keeping these points in mind.