Investment planning focuses on identifying effective investment strategies according to an investor’s risk appetite and financial goals. There is a wide variety of investment options, including shares, bonds, mutual funds, bank deposits, real estate and futures and options. Through investment planning, one can identify the most appropriate portfolio mix.
Investment Planning: How it Works
Investment planning begins after you have taken into account your current and expected income level and have laid down your financial goals. The important aspects of investment planning are:
Capital growth versus regular income: Investors aiming at long-term goals focus on capital growth. A long-term investment will allow you to tide over rough times without changing your plans. Stocks, mutual funds and real estate represent investment options for capital growth. On the other hand, if you're investing to meet a short-term goal or to give you a regular flow of funds to complement your present salary, you should opt for income investments. These investments generate a regular flow of income in the form of dividends and interest and include fixed-income investments, such as bonds and certificates of deposit (CDs). While making a selection, you should consider the tax implications and associated risks.
Risk: Every investment option represents a unique risk-return trade-off. Typically, more risky investments offer higher returns in order to make it worthwhile for investors to take on the additional risk. Investment planning should take into account an investor’s risk appetite, which dependents on your current income level, savings, lifestyle and responsibilities.
Determine your investment profile: This can be done by considering your risk appetite. There are mainly four types of investment profiles:
- Conservative (Low Risk Tolerance): Such portfolios comprise mainly (about 70%) of income assets, such as fixed interest and cash.
- Balanced (Average Risk Tolerance): This refers to portfolios with an equal emphasis on growth and income assets.
- Growth (High Risk Tolerance): Such portfolios comprise mainly (up to 80%) of growth investments, such as stocks and foreign currencies.
- High Growth or Aggressive (Very High Risk Tolerance): This refers to portfolios with more than 90% of the funds in growthinvestments.
Review your investment plan regularly: This helps in fine-tuning a portfolio to suit your current financial situation and a change in risk preference.
Benefits of Investment Planning
Investment planning helps you:
- Generate income and/or capital gains.
- Enhance your future wealth.
- Strengthen your investment portfolio.
- Save on taxes.