Investment is one of the best ways to increase your wealth. It’s a proven means to generate more money as well as a source of passive income for the investor. Compared to savings, the investment provides a higher return. However, a higher return comes with its own set of risks. If you aren’t careful enough, you might end up losing more money than making through investment. So how do you make sure your investment is safe? What are the things to be considered before investing? Let's find out.
Why are you investing?
Before anything else, you should find out the reason for investment. Savings are something that can work as your financial cushion. Investments are a bit different considering your money gets locked up for a considerable period.
As a result, you should carefully evaluate whether you’ll have any immediate need for the money. You should also assess whether you want to make a short-term investment or a long-term one. Based on your investment period and the risk factors, your return will vary. Therefore you should be clear on your goals and strategies to make sure of the correct investment decision.
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What should an investor consider when making an investment?
Where are you in your life right now? This is an important factor many people ignore when investing. If you are a young professional with a steady income source, it becomes easier to take risks. However, if you are someone at a late stage of your life, or you are planning on child education support or retirement, it becomes increasingly difficult to make risk-related decisions.
All of it depends on your commitments. Usually, it's ideal to invest at a young age where you will have sufficient time to turn things around in case anything goes south. The same doesn’t hold for someone who is investing their life’s saving at an old age.
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We have already talked about the ideal stage of your life for investment. But what is the ideal period for investment? Truth is, there is no fixed answer for this. You can invest for a long time or for a short time. The choice is yours.
However, each short-term and long-term investment has its own perks. Long-term investments tend to generate a higher return. Short-term investments will give you profit much faster. If you are looking for long-term investment opportunities, you should consider stock and mutual funds. These are the best long-term investments out there. But if it’s short-term that you’re looking for, a fixed deposit can be a good option.
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Income or increment of capital
Some people use investment as a steady source of income. Some invest to increase their existing capital. While both of these are meant to generate money for you, there are some subtle differences between them.
Investments are through and through associated with risks. So if you are looking for a steady income source, the common investment strategies might not be a good option. You can invest in MIP, MIS, or fixed deposit as it will guarantee a return after a fixed interval. And if growing the existing wealth is your priority, you can consider investing in equity or real estate.
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Return on your risk
Depending on your investment strategy, risks will vary. There are countless streams of investment that will provide you with more return than the usual interest on your savings. However, the more the return there are, the merrier the risk will be.
If you are someone willing to play in a high-risk scenario, you can consider investing in equity-related investment strategies. If you want a quick return on your investment, there are high-risk bonds. As long as you are willing to play on the market fluctuations, you can be sure to make a good return on your investment.
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State of taxation
Many people don’t consider the tax burden that comes along with investment. As you start receiving a return on your investment, the tax will start to add up on your investment.
However, there are different tax waivers and rebates associated with investments. The only downside of the waiver is that there is a minimum lock-in period of investment. Depending on the investment strategy, the lock-in period can be as high as 10 years. So you should be careful before choosing an investment strategy as it can effectively lock you out of your capital for a long time.
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Liquidity of the investment
In layman’s terms, ‘liquidity’ is the state of how soon an asset can be sold off in the market in exchange for a good return. Risks on investment are directly associated with the liquidity level of any asset. The more the liquidity, the lesser the risk, and the lesser is the return.
If you are someone looking for an easy investment scheme without having to worry much about capital loss, then you should invest in high liquidity assets. But if you are a risk-taker looking to make a good profit out of your investment, then you should go for low liquidity assets.
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The last factor here isn’t directly related to investment; rather it’s a precautionary measure for you. Investments are high-risk games no matter how you look at them. There’s no guarantee that you will end up losing all your investments in a matter of hours or days. There might be situations where you will have an emergency need for funds but you won't be able to access them because of lock-in periods or losses.
The ideal approach would be to set up an emergency capital fund before you embark on investments. This will not only cushion you against any investment-related drawbacks but will also be a source of capital for future use. No matter how you use it, an emergency fund can always be your plan B.
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Investments aren’t for everyone. But if you are willing to take the risk, you can be sure to make a good return out of it. But for that, you will need careful planning and consider your options. In this article, we have discussed the key factors to consider before making investment decisions. We hope our discussion will help you to lay the groundwork for your investment options and make a good fortune in the process.