It is easier to invest today than at any other time in history. From radio commercials about investing in Bitcoin to social media ads of opening a stock trading account in minutes – access to the investment industry is right at our fingertips. However, we must take a step back and understand whether or not now is the right time to invest.
Below are a few considerations before you should think about investing your savings:
- Emergency Savings – Do you have enough money set aside for an emergency? What happens if the furnace in your home dies or you need to fly across the country for a family emergency. Having 6 months of your lifestyle expenses set aside for a rainy day is recommended but many people may have more than this depending on their personal comfort level.
- Time Horizon – This refers to the duration of time you will be holding your investment towards different financial goals. Investing for the purpose of growing a down payment for a home in a few years is much different than building your retirement nest egg. Generally, the shorter the time horizon the less risk you would want to take. An example of this would be investing in the stock market for your down payment. The stock market will increase and decrease over the course of your investment. You do not want to be in a position that the stock market is decreasing when you find your dream home. On the other end of the spectrum, retirement may be 20+ years away and with this, you may be able to weather the storm through both up and down markets.
- Tax Implications – Evaluate your tax circumstances and take advantage of the accounts the government of Canada has created for different financial goals. A Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) is traditionally used for retirement savings but does have special programs for buying your first house or to finance full-timing training or education. A Tax-Free Savings account (TFSA) can be used to tax shelter investments for both short and long term goals. There are many tax strategies based on current and future considerations and consulting a professional may be the best option to understand your personal wealth picture.
In general, investing does take planning. Understanding your personal circumstance while looking at your current and future financial goals will get you started in the right direction. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out.
Please contact one of our portfolio managers if you would like to discuss further.