The Single Most Important Part of an Investment Plan
What is the most important thing about investing money? For most people, they don’t really have an answer beyond a generic answer such as growth. They want their money to grow over time so that they can retire one day in the future. It is pretty simple for most. However, this mindset might be the single biggest mistake most investors make. They aren't intentional about the investment process. Said another way, they aren't investing with their values guiding the way.
What if you invested based and what was most important to you? What if you were a values-based investor?
Most investors save, invest, and hope. They hope that what they are doing will actually work. Unfortunately, there are some missing components to that process. Can you answer one simple question? Why are you saving money? The answer might be for retirement. No, specifically why are you saving money? How much will you need and at what age? How much should you save and earn to obtain that spending goal? Are you on track? What are your values when it comes to investing and retirement? What is most important to you?
If you truly value something, you become intentional about safeguarding what is important to you.
I have developed a model for intentional investing that has 5 components. It is the framework for getting the most value out of investing.
Value-Based Investing Model
- Plan – What are you investing and saving for? What do are your highest values when it comes to retirement?
- Save – How much do you need to save to fulfill your future retirement values?
- Invest – Do your investments reflect your values by reflecting your risk level? Are they capable of getting you to your end result?
- Protect – Do you have a strategy to protect your investments along the way? After all, the market doesn't always go up.
- Monitor – Monitor your progress to assure your stay on track with what you value.
Your values make your retirement future come alive. You can connect to what is important to you. This is what is missing in most retirement plans. There is no "why" motivating investors to be intentional about the process. It is much easier to stay disconnected just hoping everything works out. Being in tune with your values involves making decisions along the way which is what I find many investors have a tendency to want to avoid.