When it comes to your personal finances, think of it like a journey, where you have different financial needs at different times in your life. At some point, you may feel like you have enough money to begin investing. But how do you know?
Here are four signs that you’re ready to have a conversation with a financial planning professional:
1. You have a healthy savings account.
It’s always a good idea to keep a strong savings account to cover unexpected expenses such as a car repair or a dishwasher that needs replacing. It’s also there for emergencies in case you suffer from a loss of income: a healthy account allows you to cover at least three to six months of expenses. This gives you the stability that investing can require. With sufficient savings, you won’t have to tap into your investments (which are devoted to long-term goals) to meet short-term needs.
2. You have extra money at the end of each month.
In reviewing your monthly budget, you consistently have additional money after covering your expenses and savings commitments. Your savings account is healthy and you have paid off any high-interest debt. You have established good financial habits and your efforts are paying off. It could be time to put that extra money to work so you can start to earn some long-term financial benefits.
3. You are ready to think like an investor.
Becoming an investor requires a slightly different mindset about your finances. Investing is a journey with long-term goals that look ahead for years at a time. Investing requires patience and a ‘big picture’ perspective. It starts with your goals: for example, a comfortable retirement, or a great college for your kids or grandkids. Thinking like an investor means making decisions knowing that it will take time to see the benefits.
4. You have access to a retirement plan.
If you are enrolled in a retirement plan with your employer, you have already taken a big step toward investing. Most plans include automatic contributions from your paycheck, and many employers even match employee contributions. As a result, you could be well on your way to meeting your retirement goals. If you’re not in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, consider opening an individual retirement account (IRA), which offers many financial benefits while getting started toward your long-term goals.
As you think about your personal financial situation, these four considerations will help you decide if you are ready to become an investor. A good rule of thumb is, after establishing a healthy savings account and covering your monthly expenses, if you have about $10,000 available, it’s a good time to have a conversation with a financial planning professional.
Cinfed Financial Services can help you create a plan that will evolve with your needs on your lifelong financial journey: schedule a discussion with David Bailey, CFS Financial Advisor at email@example.com or 513-333-3901.
Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (“CFS”), a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA/SIPC) and SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through CFS: are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. Investment Representatives are registered through CFS. The credit union has contracted with CFS to make non-deposit investment products and services available to credit union members.