Whether you’re starting out in your 50s to prepare for your golden years or just peeking into the market as a college student, investing can seem like a tall mountain to climb, especially if you’re just getting started as a beginner.
Determining when and where to allocate your assets when investing can be a big task, primarily because of the abundance of options that present themselves to you in the current markets. Investing can be complicated and can include making some tough decisions if you don’t already have a well-defined strategy in mind.
There are several ways you can go about deciding where to allocate your assets when you start investing. You can base it on long-term growth, explosive gains, volatility, stability, retirement savings, or even investing in physical assets as well. The list is seemingly endless, and this makes it all the more important to narrow down your options before diving in.
To do this, the first and most important step before investing should be to outline your plan and decide what you want to achieve from this.
Devise A Solid Investment Strategy
When you’re starting out with determining your own plan, it’s important to take stock of your goals and personal investment strategy. Different investors will have different preferences and tolerances, making each portfolio look a bit different as a result.
Your strategic asset allocation will depend heavily on factors unique to you as well. Details such as your age, your liquid assets how much you have available to invest, liquidity preferences, desired return on investment, or even certain types of industry preferences that you’d prefer to invest in over others.
You’ll need to take the time to interview yourself, so to speak. Take a look at all of the investment options out there and decide what’s potentially best suited for you, based on your situation and all of those details that go along with it.
This is perhaps the most important step in the process of determining where to start allocating your assets, because it provides you with a reference point to call on in times where a decision must be made. When you have solid investing maxims to fall back on, you’ll know which direction to go.
Take Stock Of Your Risk Preferences
The amount of risk you’re willing to take is determined by your risk tolerance. If you are comfortable with taking on a little bit of risk, then you are probably okay to allocate some funds to individual stocks and other more volatile, free-standing assets. However, if you are a little more conservative and would like to take on a little less risk, then you can diversify into different asset classes such as stock market indexes, high-quality bonds, mutual funds, and so forth.
The key difference here is predictability and steady climbs in comparison with potentially exponential returns. It’s totally okay to do a little bit of both too, and even advisable to do so in appropriate amounts. Many long-term investors will occasionally make a play on individual equity, and even pattern-day-traders will find themselves invested into index funds for the long-haul. This is diversifying.
Whether you’re more of a risk-taker looking for big gains, or just a buy and hold kind of person, then you will likely still want to be diverse in your allocation in both scenarios. It’s important to not put all your metaphorical eggs into one basket, so to speak, regardless of your investing preferences.
Diversifying sets you up for long term success, and hedges your bets on more volatile investments as well in the case of a stark decline.
The idea is that you are diversifying your assets and spreading them across the market in order to reduce the amount of your investment in any one sector. This is referred to as diversified asset allocation. As long as the market keeps moving forward, and it always does, it’s possible and recommended for you to continue to diversify your investments without it negatively impacting your total portfolio.
Finalize Your Asset Allocation Plan
Taking the time to research and develop your overall strategy for asset allocation will be paramount here, and there are plenty of financial tools online to help you in doing so. Once you’ve taken the time to investigate where you stand both in terms of your financial situation, and your goals and preferences, you can now begin to start investing.
Be sure to pick an investing brokerage you’re comfortable with, and even consider opening several different accounts with brokerages that offer different services or types of assets too. Make sure to customize your experience, just as you’ve done with your allocation plan.
Go forward with the strategy you’ve developed and are confident in, and no matter what happens in the day-to-day markets, you’ll know you’ve made the best choice.