I do encourage you to send any budget, savings, investment or making extra income question you may have so I can answer through a blog post.
This month’s reader question is:
Where Should I Invest My Money?
You all know that I started investing at 19.
My very first investment was an equity mutual fund I opened four years ago.
The decision to invest in financial instruments such as equity funds and direct stock was not that easy.
I had my fears and reservations too. But, what led me to consider investing my money came through constant reading and researching. The more I get exposed to the basics of personal finance, the more I learn the principle of investing.
5 Factors to Consider Before You Invest
2. Risk Appetite
3. Investment Horizon
4. Short-Term and Long-Term Goals
5. Current Financial Status
Age | How old are you today?
To help you decide on where you should invest your money this year, you need to first consider your age.
- If you are in your 20s, now is the best time to take risk and invest in instruments that give capital appreciation through long-term investment.
- If you are in your 30s, you begin to have more financial obligations you need to attend to as you start your own family or try to give back to your parents. Since this is a critical time it is best to balance your choice of investment. Go for vehicles that have guaranteed returns and a proven track record.
- If you are in your 40s or 50s, you should gradually switch from high-risk investments to lower risk ones. Your goal now is to make sure that you have enough funds as you closely approach your retirement.
Risk Appetite | How much investment risk can you take?
It is no secret that investing comes with a risk. These risks determine what type of investor you are.
Conservatives or those who have low risk tolerance. They lean more on a portfolio that offers steady growth with low risk. They are easily swayed by negative news surrounding the market and will need further explanation before making a financial decision.
Dynamics are people who have the highest risk appetite as an investor. They want capital growth through long-term investing. They do not get easily scared if they lose money for they remain positive that as long as they continue to invest things will change.
Balanced are investors who are a mixture of the two. Their risk tolerance is on a medium level. They love capital appreciation through investing in a long period of time but will still get fearsome in case things don’t go along their way.
In the three mentioned above where do you honestly fall? Are you conservative? Dynamic? Or Balanced?
Investment Horizon | How long are you willing to stay invested?
Some think that investing is a get-rich-quick scheme. But it is actually the opposite.
The longer your money stays invested, the higher the returns. They say that the real people who get rich investing in stocks or other instruments are those that do it on a long-term basis.
Traders who buy and sell their stocks will most often than not lose in the battle at the end of the day.
Ask yourself if you are prepared to have your money invested five years, seven years, 10 years or even 20 years from now.
Short-Term and Long-Term Goals | What are your life goals?
Our life goals can also affect what type of investment we should get.
1. Short-term goals include a travel fund, paying for a wedding, buying a car or fund to start a new business.
2. Long-term goals such as retirement fund or financial legacy.
Once you have jot down your goals already you can easily create a budget of how much money you’ll need to avail/accomplish the goal.
This will further give you a good answer to the question, “Where should I invest my money?”
You can now choose the right investment that will satisfy the amount you need for your goals.
Current Financial Status | What’s your current financial status?
Can you accommodate an investment with your current salary? Do you have proper buffer money other than your investment? Know that it is best to pay down your debt first, save for your emergency fund before you even consider investing your money.
So, Where Should You Invest Your Money?
With all the factors said and done let’s now dive into the different investment vehicles you can choose from. I also gave my recommendations at the end of each instrument. Ready?
The safest and the most common investing vehicle we all know. All you need to do is to park your money on your desired bank. Your money will earn interest but very little so don’t expect to reach your short-term or long-term goals just by parking your money in a savings account.
SavingsPinay says: Everyone should have invested in a savings account. But instead of hoping for capital growth, you can instead use this for your emergency fund. This is way safer than keeping your money on a piggy bank or alkansiya.
If you want your money to earn a bigger interest rate, invest in a time deposit.
Time deposit works this way: you keep your money invested in your trusted bank for a specific period. The duration is usually 30 days and can be extended to 60 days or 90 days and more. You cannot withdraw your money until the maturity period is met.
SavingsPinay says: If you have a big buffer money and you are skeptical to invest in stocks then try time deposit. The higher the money you will leave in the bank and the longer the investing period is, the higher the return. Just like a savings account, the risk factor is very low. You just really wait for your money to mature and then withdraw it.
Managed Fund (Mutual Fund, UITF and ETFs)
Mutual Fund, Unit Investment Trust Fund (UITF) and Exchanged-Traded Funds (ETFs) are collectively known as Managed Instruments.
How managed funds work? The money you invest is pooled together with the other investors. The trusted financial institution (Private Asset Management Firm or Bank) will then invest the money on your behalf.
All Managed Funds accounts follow a prospectus. This prospectus should be in line with your goals.
I, for example, invested in an equity fund because my goal is long-term capital appreciation.
SavingsPinay says: Managed Funds are perfect for those who would like to try stocks but are beginners or first timers in the world of investing. If you happen to have no idea how the direct stock market works and would want some time to better learn the ins and outs, why not try investing in a mutual fund, UITF or ETF.
[IMPORTANT NOTE. Try ETFs. I assure you how good ETFs are nowadays. It just keeps on getting better and better. Currently, First Metro Philippine Equity Exchange Traded Fund, Inc. (FMETF:PS) is the only available ETF in the country. You can go to your brokerage account and just type the code FMETF. As of this writing price per share is sooooo low. Check HERE for more info about ETFs.
Investing in stocks comes with the highest risk among other investment vehicles you can choose. However, the stock market proves to be one of the very few that could bring amazing returns to an investor.
Nowadays, you can easily invest in stocks by opening an account to licensed brokers. 5000pesos is all you need to fund your account and start buying shares. When you invest in the stock market you get to own a share in your chosen company. This means you become part of the growth of the said company. There are two ways you earn money.
SavingsPinay says: I just recently opened my direct stock market and I am still on the stage of trying to figure out how it really works. Currently I am investing 10% of my net salary in stocks. If you feel confident you can take the risk and you are investing for long-term (15-20 years) I say try the stock market. You can always invest in blue chip stocks or companies that will still be around in the next 50 years or more. Investing on those will eliminate your risk by half.
Another option is investing in non-traditional instruments such as but not limited to real estate, jewelries, gold, art, peer-to-peer lending, networking and putting up your own business.
These may need a higher capital and will need extra caution from the investor. Still these non-traditional investments are becoming more of an option now to the public.
SavingsPinay says: Alternative investments as mentioned above are recommended for those who have an overflow/surplus on their finances. Also unlike traditional investments, non-traditional will need contracts and official documents that may daunt you.
Do’s and Don’ts before you invest
- Do note and make sure you follow these eight considerations before jumping to an investment.
- Don’t put all your money in one investment vehicle, alone. Learn to diversify. That’s part of the 10 most important lessons to learn in personal finance.
- Do take your time in deciding where your first investment will be. Study everything. Again, the more you know, the better.
- Don’t forget to invest in yourself too.
- Do invest only in products you know.
- Don’t jump to an investment without first talking to your spouse or partner. Also contact a financial adviser to assist you in making the big financial decision.
Final Notes from SavingsPinay
In summary, consider these five factors:
Determine what age group you belong
Identify your risk appetite
Define until when you would want to stay invested
Study your short-term and long-term goals
Review your current financial status
And choose the investment vehicle that will fit your age group, risk appetite, investment horizon, financial goals and current financial status. This method will definitely help you answer the question, Where Should I Invest My Money?