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The journey to financial freedom begins and ends with effective cash flow management. There are fundamentally three things one can do with money: spend it, save it, or donate it to a worthy cause. The ability to accumulate wealth and achieve financial goals hinges primarily on living below one’s means and prioritising saving and investing.
Table of Contents
- Setting Investment Objectives
- Understanding Investment Challenges
- Addressing Taxation Matters
- Other Considerations
Setting Investment Objectives
The secret to successful investing lies in having well-articulated investment objectives, which should be periodically reassessed. Consider your investment portfolio’s timeline, purpose, and other relevant factors.
Should you need to fund a substantial planned purchase or expenditure, it’s crucial to evaluate your timeline and liquidity requirements. In instances where the intention is to transfer an investment account to future generations, adequate management is key.
Investors should also assess their risk tolerance, taking into account their financial resources, earning capacity, investment philosophy, life stage, and personal financial goals.
Determining whether you are on track to meet your investment goals involves several steps:
- Ensure your expected returns (growth and income) are realistic.
- Making suitable tax and inflation adjustments.
- Reviewing your retirement and life expectancy projections.
Understanding Investment Challenges
Several difficulties frequently obstruct the path to investment success. One of the key issues investors grapple with is determining the right asset allocation for their portfolio. Reviewing your portfolio holistically can help identify and avoid concentration risks.
The criteria for investment selection and monitoring need to be regularly reviewed and updated. This involves considering the investment philosophy, expense ratios for each investment, and trading activity within each account.
Rebalancing your portfolio is a crucial aspect of investment management. A review of your rebalancing plan may be necessary to determine whether it should be done periodically or when allocations drift from their targets by a predetermined amount.
Addressing Taxation Matters
Tax matters significantly impact investment decisions. If you have a taxable account and are funding your current cash flow needs, tax-efficient income generation and distribution strategies should be considered.
Efforts should be made to minimise tax liability, which could involve limiting trading within your taxable accounts to control gain realisation.
Investors should have a contingency plan for periods of market decline. Understanding investment fees and charges (including management, transactional, sales loads, commissions, etc.) is also crucial.
It’s also important to assess how future contributions will be handled, and the frequency of account reviews and monitoring should be updated as necessary.
At Expat Wealth At Work, we pride ourselves on being more than just a private wealth manager. As a performance fee-only financial planning and retirement income planning expert, we are one of a handful of fully independent wealth managers. We serve as your Personal CFO, ensuring that your overall financial goals are met in a prudent way.
Our process is simple and elegant. We provide clarity on your financial goals, deliver insights on how to achieve your vision, and partner with you long-term to guide you along the way.
“Investing should be more like watching paint dry or watching grass grow. If you want excitement, take $800 and go to Las Vegas.” – Paul Samuelson