You get lucky finding a parking meter with time left. You “luck out” having nice weather on vacation. Be lucky at love. But when it comes to financial matters, do not count on Lady Luck — focus on setting and pursuing goals.
Here are some suggestions:
• Prioritize your goals. Of course, you want to achieve all your financial goals — and you can have a better chance of doing so if you rank these goals in terms of both importance and timing. For example, you may want to send your kids to college, purchase a vacation home and still be able to retire at age 62. How should you allocate your resources to each of these goals? Should you invest more at any given time for a specific goal? What types of investments are best for each of these goals? Prioritizing your goals can help you answer these and other questions — and help direct your overall investment strategy.
• Be prepared to change your goals. Over time, your family and financial circumstances can change considerably — which means you shouldn’t be surprised, or alarmed, if you have to change your goals accordingly. And you’ll find it easier to maintain this flexibility if you’ve worked diligently to create an investment portfolio with sufficient resources to allow you to change direction, as needed.
• Review your progress regularly. If you’re going to eventually achieve your goals, you absolutely need to measure your progress along the way. Are your investments performing the way you had anticipated? Are your goals becoming more expensive than you had initially envisioned? To achieve these goals, are you taking on too much — or too little — risk? To answer these types of questions, it’s a good idea to review your overall progress at least once a year and then make whatever adjustments may be necessary.
It will take effort to set, review and achieve your goals. It can be complex, so work with a financial professional who takes time to talk with you about goals, understands risk tolerance and family situation, and has the training and experience necessary to help you work toward your objectives.
Think hard about your goals and how you might accomplish them. Don’t delay in taking action — because goals are generally easier to attain if you have time on your side.
This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.
Information from Edward Jones, provided by Jim Talley, financial advisor at Edward Jones, 2703 Beaver Ave., 279-4179.