Q – At the end of each year, I look back at my investment statements and regret that I did not start my financial planning at the start of the year. Do you have any tips on how to start the year off right? – Don D., Lakefield, Ontario
A – The beginning of the New Year is a great time for making resolutions and for taking control of your finances. The first step is to understand that you are not an expert and that you may want to enlist the help of a Certified Financial Planner. A planner can help you identify your life goals and help you achieve them. Once you know what you are working towards, it makes the process of saving and investing a little easier.
Think of your life and what you want to achieve. Are you saving enough? Do you have enough? What are the real must-haves, and what is on the bucket list? Once you have come up with some answers, you can determine how much money you will need. Then you can go about building out a portfolio of investments that will suit both your wants and needs.
But one of the trickiest aspects of planning an investment portfolio is determining how much risk you can tolerate. Most people overestimate their risk-tolerance level, which can lead to a great deal of “buyer’s remorse” when things turn south, as they inevitably do. However, again, a qualified financial planner can help you objectively assess your real tolerance for risk, and get you off on the right foot building a successful portfolio.
Good luck and best wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year! – R.T.