Investing is an important piece of the personal finance puzzle and a valuable way to achieve future financial goals. From saving for retirement to boosting net worth, investing is a great financial tool. Depending on your investment personality, the way you choose to invest your money will differ from others. Some people are hesitant to invest their money. Others are comfortable taking risks. So, what is your investment personality?
What is Your Investment Personality?
An investment personality depends on a number of different factors. Experience, age, gender, investment timeline, and more may all contribute to your investment personality. For example, women are historically more likely to be unfamiliar or intimidated by investing than men. Additionally, young adults may not have the financial literacy skills to confidently invest, so they choose to avoid it altogether. And senior citizens often choose to invest in low-risk funds that offer less investment return, but keep their money safe from dips in the stock market.
So, where do you fall on the spectrum? Identifying your investment personality can better prepare you to build your portfolio to benefit your needs.
Investment Personality Factors
How would you rank your experience and knowledge with investments? On a scale from very inexperienced to very experienced, where do you fall? As time goes on and you gain confidence in your decisions, your investment personality, and thus your portfolio, is likely to change. The stock market can be unpredictable, and even the most experienced investor can run into a problem. So be sure not to make any hasty decisions!
What do you want out of these investments? Are they necessary for your retirement? Look at your assumptions, how much you plan to invest and for how long. When do you plan to withdraw funds? These are all factors that can impact your eventual return.
Age is a huge factor in what (and how) people choose to invest. Stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, oh my! If you’re young, there is time for your funds to grow and recover from market changes. As you age, begin modifying your investments to reflect changes in your life. Eventually, as retirement draws closer, it’s wise to allocate funds into lower risk options to ensure you minimize chances of losing money that’s necessary to support your golden years.
Your mindset towards investing is important. Are you comfortable putting your money in a high-risk, high-return situation? AKA, is the risk worth the reward? Or does the thought of a dip in the market cause you stress to the point where you’re worried about your finances? While high-risk investments can achieve higher returns, they can also lead to more significant losses. Low-risk investments usually mean slower earnings, so the chances of losing money overnight are slim. Accepting the level of risk is important to making a sound, educated investment. You may end up in the middle.
How long do you plan to invest your money? Less than 2 years? 15+ years? Establishing an investment timeline will help you create realistic expectations for your plans. Once you do withdraw funds, how long are you hoping that money will last you?
Are you able to set aside money towards investments each month without worrying about other financial obligations? Do you have a stable income? If the answer to both of these questions is yes, then investing shouldn’t cause harm to your daily financial life. If you’re struggling financially, or have considerable consumer debt, then you may want to wait until you can invest without impacting your bottom line.
Other Investing Considerations & Tips
- Diversification. A diverse portfolio is a good portfolio. So don’t invest in just one place! Spread your money out in different types of investments with various levels of risk. Create a mix of funds. And don’t forget about available employer sponsored plans, like a 401(k).
- Research. It’s always important to research where you choose to invest your savings. Sound financial decisions aren’t best made on a whim. But, are you likely to invest after a conversation with friends and family? Or would you consult a professional? These decisions may impact your investment personality and likelihood of how involved you get with your endeavors. Investments can be uncertain. To best protect yourself, run a number of scenarios and assess the possible outcomes.
When used properly and responsibly, investments are a great tool. But be cautious. Investments aren’t meant to bail you out of financial trouble. If you’re struggling financially, putting all of your eggs in one basket is a scary thought. Especially as stocks can be unpredictable. A better option is to seek nonprofit credit counseling to help you regain control of your finances and eventually put you in the position to wisely invest for the future.