Good Investments

Good investments are always out there, but investment opportunities are not always easy to find. What’s important is that you find a good investment that fits your particular needs. This can be tricky business because it’s all a matter of trade offs, and most people don’t know investment basics.

A good investment for your friends might not be a good investment for you. For example, you don’t want to place bets on a penny stock in an account earmarked for future college expenses. Penny stocks are not investment opportunities; they are speculation.

Believe it or not, many people follow the lead of a friend when HULT PRIVATE making investment decisions. They want to invest money where Ralph did because, according to Ralph, he made a lot of money in investment opportunities he found. As a financial planner I ran across this time and time again from new clients that were referred to me by existing clients of mine.

Here are the investment basics. You can’t have it all in any one investment. If you want growth (higher returns), you trade off safety. If you want high income or safety, you trade away high growth prospects. If you want the tax breaks offered by a retirement plan, you give up high liquidity (quick and easy access to your money without penalties).

So, when looking for good investments, make sure the investment fits your needs. If your kid starts college in two years, a bear market in stocks could change his or her plans if you had the college fund invested in stocks. If you are saving for a down payment on a house, the same holds true.

Rank your financial needs before you invest in anything. Always consider these five investment basics: liquidity, safety, growth, income, and tax advantages. No investment ranks high in all five categories.

A good investment for you depends on the investment basics that best describe your financial needs and financial position in life. For example, an IRA or 401k plan is great if you want to invest and earmark money for retirement. But you don’t want all of your money tied up in stock funds in a retirement plan. What happens if you need cash fast for an emergency?

Don’t call Ralph’s financial planner and tell him you want what Ralph has. Instead, view every investment in terms of the investment basics. His investment opportunities might not be good investments for you.

A retired financial planner, James Leitz has an MBA (finance) and 35 years of investing experience. For 20 years he advised individual investors, working directly with them helping them to reach their financial goals.

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