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Saturday September 22nd, 2012

Posted at 11:30am

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If you’re planning to take a road trip, you’ll need to choose your vehicle, map out your route and be certain of your destination. According to Edward Jones, a North American investment firm with offices here in Windsor, it’s important to follow a similar planning process to help you prepare for your financial future.

“Every successful road trip takes planning; the same goes for your personal finances. A financial road map will help ensure that you know your ultimate destination, choose the right investment vehicles and stay on the right course to achieve your long-term financial goals,” says Stephen Branney, an Edward Jones financial advisor in Windsor.

Edward Jones shares these tips as you build your financial road map:

  1. Get a clear picture – Before you shift to drive, it’s important to first understand your current financial condition. This includes your savings, investment and retirement accounts, as well as any debts you may have. When you have a clear picture of where you are today, you’ll be better equipped to map out a strategy for tomorrow.
  2. Choose your destination – Next, pick your destination, such as a comfortable retirement, paying for your child’s education or leaving a legacy for your family. Set short- and long-term financial goals that are viable and realistic, ensuring they’re well-defined and in line with your current circumstances in life.
  3. Map out your route – Once you have a destination in mind, it’s time to decide on the route to get you there. Choose investments that can help you pursue the financial goals you’ve selected. Your ideal portfolio will depend on your risk tolerance, family situation and time horizon; but in general, you’ll want a diversified mix of quality investments. While diversification does not guarantee a profit or protect against loss it can help reduce the effects of volatility. Work with your financial advisor to select the appropriate mix of investments.
  4. Keep your eyes on the road – There are often bumps along the way in road trips, such as traffic jams or flat tires. As an investor, you need to look past similar events that may have noticeable short-term effects on the financial markets but little impact over the long term. Choose quality investments, and have the patience and discipline to keep them over the long haul.
  5. Review your route regularly – Just like rest stops give you a chance to evaluate your route, it’s always a good idea to periodically review and, when necessary, rebalance your investments to make sure they’re still aligned with your goals and risk tolerance. This is especially important if you’ve recently experienced major developments in your life, such as a change in employment, birth of a child, or retirement.

Branney says, “If you’re planning a road trip, take time to review the path to your financial future at the same time.”

“A financial advisor can help you build the right financial road map to meet your long-term financial goals.”

For more information on building your financial roadmap, contact Stephen Branney at Edward Jones’ website, here.

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