Investment planning is indeed a vital step in the financial planning process. The implementation of a sound and effective investment strategy is necessary to provide the financial security and expected returns to meet the objectives of a financial plan.
Like every thing in life, nothing is free. Risks and returns go hand in hand. If you want to be rich and financially secure during your retirement years, you have to stomach at least some level of risk in any kind of investment. The correct level of risk tolerance varies from individual to individual, depending on the personality of the individual. Indeed, it would be pointless to make an investment which might double in a short period of time if by virtue of holding that position that individual cannot sleep well and spend endless hours worrying about the state of his investment.
Hence, investment planning entails firstly, determining your risk tolerance. Most investment planners have drawn up a Investor Risk Profile quiz to be taken by their client before recommending on the relevant investment plan for their clients. Investment program and the right asset allocation need to vary according to the risk tolerance of the individual.
Another very important consideration is to embark onto an investment plan only after you have obtained an emergency buffer of 6 to 9 months for your expenses in place. This buffer is extremely vital as otherwise the slightest mishap or an emergency situation can derail your investment plan and cause you to plunder your investment program too early for it to gather momentum.
Self managed direct investment should only be considered if you have sufficient knowledge and time to study and monitor the investment conditions. Engaging a professional financial planner would be a wiser option. Different investment products are available in the market and are recommended depending on the degree of risk an investor is willing to undertake. Low risks products would include savings and fixed deposit accounts, moderate risks products would include conservative mutual trust funds and blue chips, whereas high risk products would include small capped growth stocks, futures and options and other derivatives.
In order to meet the objectives of a financial plan, a sound and comprehensive investment plan should consider asset allocation and diversification in the investment portfolio. The investment plan should include a statement of expected return, a statement of expected level of risk and also the expected time zone horizon of the investment strategy.