Top 5 for goal based investment

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.

  1. Risk Management

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.

  1. Measure Progress

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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 ( 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.


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Just as we have advised our clients, Kelly and I have set out goals for this year. The goals are big – huge even – and we need a solid plan in place if we are going to achieve them.

What is the biggest challenge to attaining our goals? Our work! We have clients and projects that need our attention every day, often extending our work hours well past a normal 40-hour work week.  It is exactly the same dilemma that faces the optometrists we work with. How do we spend time ON our business to achieve our goals when we are so busy working FOR our business!

I watched this TED talk called Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator given by Tim Urban and he identified the problem perfectly. Our work has deadlines naturally built in. We will promise a client to have a project completed by a certain date. That date will go into our calendar and we will work towards getting it done. A Deadline produces a Deliverable, each and every time.

But as Tim so eloquently points out, it is not the work that has a deadline that is an issue. That work gets done. It is the work that DOESN’T have a deadline that continues to haunt us, worries us and keeps us from feeling accomplished and at peace.

So how do we change that and make working ON our business as much of a priority as working IN our business? The answer is to create a deadline for our goals.

Let’s use the example of implementing a Staff Incentive program, something many of our clients seek our help in setting up.

Motivating staff is an example of a priority that may be important, but is easy to lose sight of as you get caught up in your day to day. A staff incentive has been shown to increase revenues as well as act as an effective staff retention strategy. But when you’re busy and there’s something else that needs your attention right now, a priority without a deadline can get pushed aside.

In order to create a deadline, we choose a date by which we want to have a certain project completed by. What works for Kelly and I, is putting these deadlines in our calendar, with reminders leading up to it. As the deadline gets closer, we start giving energy to the project to make sure we accomplish it.

In the same way, we have our clients set a deadline for when they would like to implement their Staff Incentive program. We outline what needs to happen in order for us to implement; choose the type of incentive, set up monthly goals and targets, decide on the rules, decide who will champion the program, set up a tracking system and then share the results from the tracking system with the team on a consistent basis.

The next step is to put each of the above into the calendar to serve as a deadline. This will hold you accountable to getting each step done, and ultimately, to making your goal a priority.


is the co-founder and managing partner of Simple Innovative Management Ideas (SIMI) Inc. and expert Practice Management contributor for Optik magazine. She can be reached at


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