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How to set investment goals

  • 2 min reading time
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Before you begin investing, it's essential to think about your life goals and what you need to achieve them – so you have a clear vision of the investment journey ahead.

What you will learn

  • Why you should define your investment goals
  • How different life goals can help form your investment approach
  • Which questions you should ask before getting started

Everyone has their own goals in life – which can include saving for a home, furthering their education, starting a business or building a nest egg for retirement.

What's your goal?

But investing isn't just about making money quickly. It's also about growing your savings over time, so you can achieve your dreams.

And these goals can be short-, medium- or long-term in nature, such as:

  • Creating an income for your retirement
  • Starting a business
  • Saving for your children's education
  • Buying a house
  • Building an inheritance for your family
  • Creating an emergency fund to cover unforeseen circumstances

You may be investing for one specific reason, or have a number of different goals in mind. Whatever the reasons, the clearer the objectives, the more easily you can achieve them.

Decide on an approach

There is no one-size-fits-all investment strategy. Instead, you need to think about the:

  • Amount of spare cash you have available
  • Length of time you can lock up your money
  • Rate of return you are seeking
  • Need for a regular income, or not
  • Level of risk you are comfortable with

If you intend to retire next year, for instance, the time you have to invest will be much shorter than if you're planning to start your own business in a few years' time.

You will also need to think about whether you need a regular income – often the case for investors who are no longer in work – or if you can afford to let your investments grow over time. Read more about investing for income or growth here.

No matter which direction you take, every investor has to begin their journey with the same questions – where are you today, and where do you want to be tomorrow?

Risk notice

Any information provided should not be considered personal advice. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. You may not get back the full amount you invest. If you have any doubts about making your own investment decisions, seek financial advice.

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