Before You Invest You Must Read This
It is important to answer the following questions before you begin to invest any of your money. The answers to these questions will help to guide you to when, what, where, and how much to invest. Do not skip these questions and make sure you write it all down. You will need to look over and re-examine these answers many of times.
1. Set clear goals and write them down- Develop financial goals for 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, and long term. It is extremely important that all of your short term goals help you to reach your long term goals because that why we are doing all of this. Any good plan must be realistic. In the area of investments the rewards can be great but only when they are done one step at a time. Therefore, once you have more research into the opportunities available to you, go back and fine tune your goals. Once you have done this make sure you write them down and keep them in a place that you can easily refer to them.
Now that you have goals it is time to take your first step to make them real and attainable. Share your goals with someone in your family. Whoever, in your family that will be most effected by these goals. They must be involved because they are going to be your support and motivation.
2. Create a finacial plan- Now you need to create a financial plan to reach your short term goals. By reaching and accomplishing those sort term goals the long term goal will be reached. You need to decide how much time, energy, and money you are going to need to invest in order to accomplish your short term goals. Some of the questions you must answer are: how much time can I put into my investments, what kind of risk am I willing take, and how soon am I going to ready to start? Use all of the resources you can find to answer these questions. You will find some of my own ideas as well as other ideas I have found posted in the Articles section of The Savvy Investor. Do not be afraid to take the time needed to answer these questions before you actually begin to invest. Lastly, stay the course once you begin.
3. Establish a spending plan with the actual amount you have to invest- The prime force behind your investment opportunities will be the amount of money you have to invest. This is you investment life line. Do not over extend it , but also do not be afraid to invest enough to reach your goals. So take the time to create a budget by tracking your current spending. This should be done for at least a few months. However, if you have the records you can go back through the past few months to track what and where you spend your money. Now figure out how much per month you can invest without it affecting those things you need. Do not over extend how much you can invest and definitely don't borrow money to invest. This can make all your hard work for not. In fact, you should make it a priority to pay off any high interest debt you may have. It is financial suicide to let high interest accumulate while you put your money into investments with lower returns. Finally, refrain from taking on any new debt.
4. Educate yourself over and over- Remember that all of the three above areas assume that you are educating yourself. In order for you to be successful in your investments you need knowledge. The above areas can only be accomplished with the correct amount of time spent to learn about yourself, investment risks, investment rewards, investment strategies, and many other aspects of investment knowledge. Use all of the resources available to you to learn which market is best for you and then all of the concepts and strategies of that particular market before you begin. There are many articles and links on The Savvy Investor but don not hesitate to find other resources such as books, magazines, and financial journals to help you out.
In closing, it is better to spend a little money on education than lose a lot of money by jumping in blind.
Steven Parsons, The Savvy Investor
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