Investing is an effective way to have your money work for you and build wealth. Holding cash and bank savings accounts are considered safe strategies, but investing your money allows it to grow in value over time with the benefit of compounding and long-term growth.
Whether you invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, options, futures, precious metals, real estate, or small businesses, investing is important to generate future income, increase value and equity, and build wealth.
- Investing is an effective way to have your money work for you and build wealth.
- Investments may include a range of choices, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and real estate.
- An individual's investment goals depend on their income, age, and risk tolerance.
Why Investing Is Important at Any Age
An individual's goals depend on a host of factors that may include age, income, and risk profiles. Age can be further subdivided into the following three categories:
- Young and starting in a career
- Middle-aged and family-building
- Retirement age and self-directed
These segments often miss their marks at the appropriate age, with middle-aged folks considering investments for the first time or the elderly forced to budget, employing the discipline they lacked as young adults.
Income provides the natural starting point for investment planning because you can’t invest what you don’t have. A young adult's first job issues a wake-up call, forcing decisions about IRA contributions, savings, or money market accounts, and the sacrifices needed to balance growing affluence with the desire for gratification. Don't worry too much about setbacks during this period, like getting overwhelmed by student loans and car payments, or forgetting that your parents no longer pay the monthly credit card bill.
Outlook defines the playing field on which we operate during our lifetimes and the choices that impact wealth management. Family planning sits at the top of this list for many individuals, with couples figuring out how many kids they want, where they want to live, and how much money is needed to accomplish those goals. Career expectations often complicate these calculations, with the highly-educated enjoying increased earning power while those stuck in low-level jobs are forced to cut back to make ends meet.
It’s never too late to become an investor. You may be well into middle age before realizing that life is moving quickly, requiring a plan to deal with old age and retirement. Fear can take control if waiting too long to set investment goals, but that should go away once you set the plan into motion. Remember that all investments start with the first dollar, whatever your age, income, or outlook. That said, those investing for decades have the advantage, with growing wealth allowing them to enjoy the lifestyle that others cannot afford.
Whether your goal is to send your kids to college or to retire on a yacht in the Mediterranean, investing is essential in reaching your financial objectives in life.