Before you consider investing in any type of market, you should really take a long hard look at your current situation. Investing in the future is a good thing, but clearing up bad – or potentially bad – situations in the present is more important. Pull your credit report. You should do this once each year. It is important to know what is on your report, and to clear up any negative items on your credit report as soon as possible. If you’ve set aside $25,000 to invest, but you have $25,000 worth of bad credit, you are better off cleaning up the credit first!
Next, look at what you are paying out each month, and get rid of expenses that are not necessary. For instance, high interest credit cards are not necessary. Pay them off and get rid of them. If you have high interest outstanding loans, pay them off as well. If nothing else, exchange the high interest credit card for one with lower interest and refinance high interest loans with loans that are lower interest. You may have to use some of your investment funds to take care of these matters, but in the long run, you will see that this is the wisest course of action.
Get yourself into good financial shape – and then enhance your financial situation with sound investments. It doesn’t make sense to start investing funds if your bank balance is always running low or if you are struggling to pay your monthly bills. Your investment dollars will be better spent to rectify adverse financial issues that affect you each day. While you are in the process of clearing up your present financial situation, make it a point to educate yourself about the various types of investments. This way, when you are in a financially sound situation, you will be armed with the knowledge that you need to make equally sound investments in your future.
Long Term Investments for the Future
If you are ready to invest money for a future event, such as retirement or a child’s college education, you have several options. You do not have to invest in risky stocks or ventures. You can easily invest your money in ways that are very safe, which will show a decent return over a long period of time. First consider bonds. There are various types of bonds that you can purchase. Bond’s are similar to Certificates of Deposit. Instead of being issued by banks, however, bonds are issued by the Government. Depending on the type of bonds that you buy, your initial investment may double over a specific period of time.
Mutual funds are also relatively safe. Mutual funds exist when a group of investors put their money together to buy stocks, bonds, or other investments. A fund manager typically decides how the money will be invested. All you need to do is find a reputable, qualified broker who handles mutual funds, and he or she will invest your money, along with other client’s money. Mutual funds are a bit riskier than bonds.
Stocks are another vehicle for long term investments. Shares of stocks are essentially shares of ownership in the company you are investing in. When the company does well financially, the value of your stock rises. However, if a company is doing poorly, your stock value drops. Stocks, of course, are even riskier than Mutual funds. Even though there is a greater amount of risk, you can still purchase stock in sound companies, such as G & E Electric, and sleep at night knowing that your money is relatively safe.
The important thing is to do your research before investing your money for long term gain. When purchasing stocks you should choose stocks that are well established. When you look for a mutual fund to invest in, choose a broker that is well established and has a proven track record. If you aren’t quite ready to take the risks involved with mutual funds or stocks, at the very least invest in bonds that are guaranteed by the Government.
Because investing is not a sure thing in most cases, it is much like a game – you don’t know the outcome until the game has been played and a winner has been declared. Anytime you play almost any type of game, you have a strategy. Investing isn’t any different – you need an investment strategy. An investment strategy is basically a plan for investing your money in various types of investments that will help you meet your financial goals in a specific amount of time. Each type of investment contains individual investments that you must choose from. A clothing store sells clothes – but those clothes consist of shirts, pants, dresses, skirts, undergarments, etc. The stock market is a type of investment, but it contains different types of stocks, which all contain different companies that you can invest in.
If you haven’t done your research, it can quickly become very confusing – simply because there are so many different types of investments and individual investments to choose from. This is where your strategy, combined with your risk tolerance and investment style all come into play. If you are new to investments, work closely with a financial planner before making any investments. They will help you develop an investment strategy that will not only fall within the bounds of your risk tolerance and your investment style, but will also help you achieve your financial goals.
Never invest money without having a goal and a strategy for reaching that goal! This is essential. Nobody hands their money over to anyone without knowing what that money is being used for and when they will get it back! If you don’t have a goal, a plan, or a strategy, that is essentially what you are doing! Always start with a goal and a strategy for reaching that goal!