4 Tips For a Successful Investment Journey
Investment is the road to wealth, financial security, abundance, comfort, and a lot more. However, it is crucial to understand the concept of investing in order for it to work in your favor. Successful investing may not come to you instantly. It can require years of practice, adequate experience, and the proper knowledge of the market. Successful investing also depends on your risk appetite and time horizon vis a vis your goals. Only when all of these things fall in perfect balance can you see a good return on your money.
Even though you may often get the combination right, you can still encounter roadblocks in the face of unexpected market highs and lows, global events like wars and pandemics, and other similar situations, etc. However, having a solid investment strategy can help you override these losses or at least counter them with enough profits. This can be done by mitigating risk with a carefully selected investment portfolio that offers growth and reduces risk by diversification. To create a well-diversified portfolio, you can consult with a professional financial advisor who can advise you on the same.
If you are looking for strategies for successful investing, here are some tips that can help:
1. Invest for the long-term:
Investing for the long-term can be one of the first things to focus on. A long-term investment horizon is the most successful investment strategy in most cases. The longer the term, the more time your money has to compound and generate higher returns. In addition to this, a long-term investment horizon can also help you ride out short-term volatility. Investing for the long-term lets your money grow, so your goals are met. Moreover, this happens over time and not out of the blue, lowering the risk involved. When you invest for the long-term, you can invest smaller quantities of money over time in a systematic manner. This makes it easier to invest a lot of capital in total. For instance, if you invest $1,000 per year, you can invest $10,000 in ten years. This is a relatively large amount when seen in totality. However, investing it at once would be rather hard for most people. Further, if you invest this money in investments that work on the power of compounding, like mutual funds, you will earn returns on your principal as well as interest. For instance, if you earn $100 on $1,000 the first year, the following year, your interest will be computed on $1,100, and so forth. This helps you build a large corpus over the course of the investment.
Another advantage of this investment strategy is not having to time the market. Timing the market, as in the case of short-term investments, can be challenging and time-consuming. It requires a deep understanding of the stock market, and you need to be updated on various fronts like corporate decisions, economic reforms, tax provisions, and more. By investing in the long-term, you evade these market highs and lows and trade them for a longer and yet stable approach to successful investing. It also keeps fear and anxiety away as you are not concerned about the current events, knowing the market will not be the same when you withdraw your money way ahead in the future.
Lastly, a long-term investing strategy lowers your tax rate. Your capital gains are taxed in two ways – long-term capital gains tax (LTCG) and short-term capital gains tax (STCG). STCGs are taxed as per your taxable income for the year you redeem your investments. If your income in the year of withdrawal falls in a high tax bracket, you will pay the prevailing income tax rate on your SCTG. The highest income tax rate in the country is 37% right now. So, your gains could be taxed as high as this. LTCGs, on the other hand, are taxed at different rates ranging from 0% to a maximum of 20%. This can be much lower than the STCG tax, even in the highest bracket.
2. Invest as per your financial goals:
Other than investing for the long-term, it is also essential to invest as per your goals. Your investments must be in tandem with your requirements and future financial objectives. This means building an investment portfolio that caters to each and every need, right from retirement to debt reduction, home purchase, child education planning, and more. Systematic goal-based investment can be carried out by drawing a well-balanced portfolio. For instance, if you are planning for retirement and saving for a child's higher education at the same time, you must have a designated account for each. This could be a company-sponsored 401(k) or an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) along with a 529 education savings account. The main idea is to avoid haphazard investing and have specific investments for each goal so they do not overlap.
A common mistake that some investors make is to use the same account for two or more goals. For instance, while you can use the IRA for retirement and a child's education expenses, such an arrangement is likely to end up badly for you. You may not have enough funds for one goal if you prioritize the other. Besides, you may find it particularly hard to cover retirement if you use all the funds for a child's education, as creating wealth after retirement can be a real challenge.
This is why, no matter what investment strategy you choose, avoid overlapping investments and goals. Having a specific tool for a unique purpose can ensure better use of funds. It also makes it easier to track your investments and make the necessary decision to ensure you are on the right path.
3. Do not undermine the power of being consistent in your investments:
The most successful investment strategy and yet the most undermined is the power of being consistent. Unwavering, regular investments are the bedrock of a strong foundation plan. They can make or break your financial plan. What a lot of people do not realize is that many a time, financial discipline can take you far ahead in life than opting for multiple investments. $100 invested every month for the entire course of your career may at times amount to a lot more than erratic lump sum investments made a few times over the years. Consistency in investing also ensures that you do not steer away from your goals. More often than not, life takes over, and you may not be able to focus on your future finances as well. However, regular investing keeps issues like procrastination, forgetfulness, errors, etc., at bay.
Moreover, consistent investing is just a block in the chain. The entire cycle starts with budgeting, saving, and curbing your expenses. Only when you have a fixed budget in place can you put enough money into your savings pool. A budget also helps you keep your expenditure in check. This controls impulse buying, mindless purchases, and splurging on things you do not need. When your expenses are lower, you are able to save more. When you have enough savings, you are able to invest more money. This helps you create a flow of healthy habits that help you grow financially. It is only when all of these points are addressed, and each of these habits followed that you are able to maintain consistency and regularity in your financial planning. So, keep in mind that successful investing starts with something as simple as budgeting, and its benefits can help you reach every one of your goals as per the expected timeline.
4. Change your investment portfolio per your life stage:
With every change in life, your portfolio must reflect the same. For instance, you can afford to take on more risks when you are young. In fact, your risk appetite is the highest in your 20s and 30s than ever later in your life. Hence, your strategies for successful investing can include adding options like equities at this stage of your life. Your asset allocation will also depend on your goals and how they evolve over time. It is important to balance your asset allocation and ensure that you do not concentrate risk on one asset alone. Rebalancing your portfolio, revisiting it, and rectifying it to reflect your current wishes and future goals is a critical aspect of your investment journey. This must ideally be done periodically every year or six months depending on how soon you need it. A financial advisor can help you with it if you are unable to modify your investment plan based on your current life stage on your own.
These five strategies for successful investing can differ at different ages and stages of life. So, make sure to be accommodative and adaptive to the changing times. Additionally, ensuring consistency and investing for the long-term also helps immensely. Remember that everyone's goals are inimitable, and so is the ideal investment strategy for their needs. However, as long as you are aware of your necessities, you can achieve most of your goals and be successful in investment. If you do meet any roadblocks, a professional financial advisor can help you solve the problem and get you right back on track.
If you are looking for successful investment strategies that will allow you to attain your goals and live comfortably in retirement, seeking the advice of a professional would be a good way to start. Use the free advisor match service and get matched with 1-3 vetted financial advisors that can help you with your unique financial needs and goals.
About Dash Investments
Dash Investments is privately owned by Jonathan Dash and is an independent investment advisory firm, managing private client accounts for individuals and families across America. As a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) firm with the SEC, they are fiduciaries who put clients’ interests ahead of everything else.
Dash Investments offers a full range of investment advisory and financial services, which are tailored to each client’s unique needs providing institutional-caliber money management services that are based upon a solid, proven research approach. In addition, each client receives comprehensive financial planning to ensure they are moving toward their financial goals.
CEO & Chief Investment Officer Jonathan Dash has been profiled by The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, and CNBC as a leader in the investment industry with a track record of creating value for his firm’s clients.