Starting out

Q – I am 27 years old, just finished university, and I want to create an investment plan for my future. Where do I start? Thanks. Jim S., Toronto, Ontario

A – The key is to know where you want to end up. I know this sounds like putting the cart before the horse, but in order to create a long-term plan that will provide a real benefit to you, you need to make some decisions about your future. Make a bucket list of all the goals you want to achieve in your life and when. Make them achievable goals. “I will buy a house by 35,” “I will have two children,” “I will be debt-free by 50” and so on.

Once you have the goals set out, you will need to attach a cost to each goal and then work backwards to determine how much you will need to save to meet each of them. Once you know how much you will need, it’s time to evaluate your household income now and in the future to ensure that you are making and saving enough to support your goals.

You’re at exactly the right stage in your life to create a financial plan for a disciplined approach to savings and investing. Stick to it, and you can achieve great things, and probably a lot sooner than you expect. If it all sounds a bit daunting, a qualified financial planner can help you set priorities, assign costs, and create and implement a plan. – R.T.

Robyn Thompson, CFP, is the founder of Castlemark Wealth Management, a boutique financial advisory firm, specializing in customized financial, investment, insurance, and retirement planning. Phone 416-828-7159 or email today to rthompson@castlemarkwealth.com for a no-obligation, no-charge Castlemark Integrity Financial Planning consultation.

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The foregoing is for general information purposes only and is the opinion of the writer. No guarantee of investment performance is made or implied. It is not intended to provide specific personalized advice including, without limitation, investment, financial, legal, accounting or tax advice. Please contact the author to discuss your particular circumstances.