Many financial advisors have a minimum account size to take on a new client. We welcome new investors and have several programs with low or zero minimums to help you get started out on the right foot. As a new investor, there are four basics to keep in mind:
- Setting goals
- Determining your time horizon for your goals
- Determining how much you need to invest
- Selecting investments appropriate to your goals and time horizon
Setting investment goals means defining your dreams for the future. Writing down and prioritizing your investment goals is an important first step toward developing an investment plan. When you're setting goals, it's best to be as specific as possible, however you can always get started with a general investment fund for future undetermined needs.
Your investment time horizon is the number of years you have to invest toward a specific goal. Each investment goal you set will have a different time horizon. Establishing time horizons can help you determine how you should invest to accumulate the amount needed to meet your goals.
Although you can invest a lump sum of cash, systematic investing on a regular basis is another way to build wealth over time and how many investors get started.
Start by determining how much you'll need to set aside monthly or annually to meet each goal. Although you'll want to invest as much as possible, choose a realistic amount that considers your other financial obligations so that you can easily stick with your plan. But always be on the lookout for opportunities to increase the amount you're investing, such as participating in an automatic investment program that boosts your contribution by a certain percentage each year, or by dedicating a portion of every raise, bonus, cash gift, or tax refund you receive toward your investment objectives.
Regardless of your financial goals, you'll need to decide how to best allocate your investment dollars. One important consideration is your tolerance for risk. How well can you handle market ups and downs? Are you willing to accept a higher degree of risk in exchange for the opportunity to earn a higher rate of return? No matter what level of risk you're comfortable with, make sure to choose investments that are consistent with your goals and time horizon. Take our risk tolerance questionnaire.
New investors interested in getting started on a long-term financial plan may find our subscription service a good place to start. Learn more about our subscription-based planning services.
Associate Wealth Advisor Brianna Sternkopf works with our new investors. Contact Brianna to set an appointment.