Your plan: the key to successful investing

Investing may seem like a daunting task. There appears to be so much we need to know. However, much like planning a trip, the key to successful investing is having the right information, a well-constructed plan and, often, the right advice. Yes, this takes effort when we might rather be doing something else, but once the planning is complete, we’re on our way.

Do you need the skills, knowledge and tools of a tour guide to take a vacation? Of course not. However, as with those experts, there are times when having a trusted financial advisor can help you reach your destination. Your advisor will help you set realistic, attainable goals, and create a plan to achieve them – so you can sleep better at night.

As with all major life undertakings, there is a trade-off between risk and reward. A professional financial advisor will help you identify your objectives, risks and potential rewards, and then help you select and monitor the investments for each of your goals.

Many investors have several financial goals, and investment accounts that are designed to work towards those goals. Each account will have its own strategy to attain its objective. Parents may set a goal to save money for a child’s post-secondary education. Later, that child may start saving to buy a car, a home or to retire decades into the future. How you invest depends on your life stage, your goals and personal circumstances.

Having several investment objectives and multiple products from which to choose makes the decision-making process challenging. Adding to the challenge is that our goals can change throughout our lives.

The Life Stages section of our Investor Centre lists common life events that impact financial plans. If you are confident answering the questions associated with each event, you might prefer to manage your investments on your own. However, if you’re uncertain, you might want a financial advisor to guide you.

With a well-constructed plan, and a trusted financial advisor, you are on your way.