The new year is a time when we reassess our goals in an effort to align our actions to get us to where we want to go. The same holds true for investing. There has been much talk over the last several years regarding modern portfolio theory (MPT) and the use of exchange traded funds (ETF), but little discussion about why these often don’t perform as well as you would like.
Let’s take a look at 5 reasons why your goals should be front and centre when it comes to investing.
Sure, everyone wants to make as much money as they can – but with that comes risk. If you are saving to purchase your first home in the next 1-2 years, you really don’t want to risk the loss of any capital. If your retirement is 35 years away, then you can take on more risk with those funds. If you know that you are saving money for no other purpose but to build intergenerational wealth, then you may even be comfortable taking on some speculative risk. Match your asset allocation accordingly. How much risk you can manage is a function of not only who you are, but also what goals you are saving for.
A goal, most often, will have a timeline attached to it. You may need $60,000 for a down payment and closing costs of your first home. Understanding the target amount has a deadline, you can make better decisions as to how much and where to place your savings dollars.
Understanding Financial Behaviour
Behavioural finance is a growing field because we know the impact emotions have on our investing decisions. When you understand your goal and the related risk you can take on to meet that goal, you are better prepared to intellectually manage your asset allocation. Self reasoning can be a double edged sword, so you want to ensure that before you hit buy or sell, that the assets and their expected performance actually align with your goals. Reviewing the markets on a regular basis won’t help you reach your goals, but it will create a level of anxiety that isn’t beneficial.
Adaptability and Flexibility
You may not have been able to set aside enough savings to meet your home purchase desires in the time frame outlined, but by reviewing your saving pattern, you will have a better idea on how to adjust your timeframe or home purchase value in a realistic fashion. Likewise, maybe skipping the drive through on the way home is your best option to meet your savings goal. Understanding your goals makes it easier to make spending decisions.
Measure What is Truly Important
At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what your rate of return was if you can’t meet your goals. It doesn’t matter if there is excess if you have nothing of worth to enjoy it on. Clients typically want to know if they can afford their bucket list trip or have enough to help their children with their education. These are the things that really matter.
Goals-based investing is an integral part of financial planning. It encourages you to assess your current financial situation, determine your future needs, and develop a plan to achieve those needs. This process often involves prioritizing your spending, saving, and making strategic financial decisions in alignment with your goals. In the end, it really is all about peace of mind knowing that you are heading in the direction of your dreams.
For more sound financial tips from Dr. Arnal, visit the Financial | Wealth section of the site.
As your Chief Financial Officer, I am here to help you make smart financial decisions that align with your business growth, personal wealth creation strategy and long term interests. Helping you understand your money and assisting you in making smart decisions about your debt repayment, insurance protection, tax management and wealth creation, are just some of ways that I work as your fiduciary.
Have more questions than answers? Educating you is just one piece of being your personal CFO that we excel in. Call (780-261-3098) or email (Roxanne@C3wealthadvisors.ca) today to set up your next conversation with us.
Roxanne Arnal is a former Optometrist, Professional Corporation President, and practice owner. Today she is on a mission to Empower You & Your Wealth with Clarity, Confidence & Control.
These articles are for information purposes only and are not a replacement for personal financial planning. Everyone’s circumstances and needs are different. Errors and Omissions exempt.
Optometrist and Certified Financial Planner
Roxanne Arnal graduated from UW School of Optometry in 1995 and is a past-president of the Alberta Association of Optometrists (AAO) and the Canadian Association of Optometry Students (CAOS). She subsequently built a thriving optometric practice in rural Alberta.
Roxanne took the decision in 2012 to leave optometry and become a financial planning professional. She now focuses on providing services to Optometrists with a plan to parlay her unique expertise to help optometric practices and their families across the country meet their goals through astute financial planning and decision making.
Roxanne splits EWO podcast hosting duties with Dr. Glen Chiasson.