On the topic of planning, it was billionaire Warren Buffet who said famously, “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” Essentially, tomorrow’s comfort relies on today’s foresight. The quote nicely underscores the need for financial planning and goal setting as a way of ensuring that our investments are working towards a life goal.
Types of Goals
Goals can vary from investor to investor, but in general everyone has at least one key goal in common: to retire comfortably. Past that, you most likely have other financial goals, such as saving for a down payment on a home, saving for your kids’ education, etc. or something more immediate like going on that dream vacation to Spain.
Quantifying Your Goals
Planning requires you to try and assign a dollar amount to each goal. In the case of a down payment for a home, this might be fairly straightforward. Determining how much you need to save for retirement is more complex. Don’t be shy about asking for professional advice when it comes to saving and investing for retirement; having a team of professional wealth advisors on your side is much easier than going it alone.
Next, you have to take into account certain personal attributes, such as your age, time horizon, risk aversion and any potential roadblocks or constraints you might face. Saving for retirement at 25 looks a lot different than starting at 35, for instance. And risk aversion plays a large part in how you will plan to achieve your short-, mid- and long-term goals.
“A Goal Without a Plan Is Just a Wish”
Once you define your investment goals, you are encouraged to work with a wealth management company. They not only help you fine-tune the definition of your goals, but they can help develop strategies for achieving the goals. Through tax management, and through a highly personalized investment portfolio that takes into account personal goals, timelines and decision-making attitudes, wealth management companies take your goals and help make them a reality.
Finding the right wealth management company for you can be tricky, however, on the surface they all seem to offer the same value principle – and the same stock photo of a retired couple on a tandem bike. To help identify the best firms you can use a wealth management service, a free resource for investors that vets and selects only the best wealth management companies. These services then work with you – noting your goals, needs and personal attributes – and match you with the wealth manager that makes the most sense.
Setting investment goals takes a good deal of personal reflection, number crunching and prioritization to get right. Working with a team of professional wealth advisors helps you take those investment goals and create sound strategies for their achievement. And in order to find the right team for you, it recommended you work with a wealth management service.