Three Steps to Creating Your Investment Plan

Whether you're investing on your own or working with one of our experienced Investment Consultants, we suggest a three-step approach to creating your investment plan and putting it to work: Define, Design and Execute.

  • Define
  • Design
  • Execute

Step 1: Define Your Goal(s)

  • Name It
    Know what you're investing for - retirement, college education, general investing, etc.
  • Date It
    Determine your time frame for when you'll use your investment. Different goals may require different timelines.
  • Estimate the Amount
    Add up how much you may need for each goal. Use our Time Value Calculator Link Opens New Window to estimate how much you may need to invest depending on your timeline and your goal amount.
  • Wondering how much you might need for retirement?
    As a general rule of thumb, you will need 70% to 80% of your pre-retirement annual income each year you are retired to maintain a similar lifestyle. For example, if your pre-retirement gross annual income is $100,000, you could need $70,000 to $80,000 per year in retirement.
 

Wondering how much you might need for retirement?

As a general rule of thumb, you will need 70% to 80% of your pre-retirement annual income each year you are retired to maintain a similar lifestyle. For example, if your pre-retirement gross annual income is $100,000, you could need $70,000 to $80,000 per year in retirement.

 

Step 2: Design a Strategy or Modify an Existing Strategy

  • Evaluate Your Risk Tolerance
    Our Investment Planner tool can help you determine how much of the market's ups and downs you're comfortable with and which mix of investments might suit your situation, depending on how conservative or aggressive you want to be.
  • Diversify
    Spread your investments across different types of assets to lower your overall risk. Learn more about how you can build a diversified portfolio with mutual funds and the importance of asset allocation.
  • Run the Numbers
    Use our  to calculate how much you'll need to invest to meet your goals or our Planning for Your Retirement tool to calculate how much income you'll need in retirement, considering your risk tolerance, anticipated earnings rate, and how long you expect to rely on the investment.
  • Know Your Decision-Making Style
    How will you manage your portfolio? Will you do the research and regular portfolio reviews yourself, or will you also consult a professional for advice and recommendations? 

Step 3: Execute Your Plan

  • Take Action
    Invest in new funds, rebalance or readjust existing investments to align your portfolio with both your risk tolerance and goals.
  • Make It Automatic
    Set up periodic automatic investments to help ensure you're building on your investment and putting market swings to work for you, or establish automatic withdrawals to start using your nest egg.
  • Stay on Track
    Review your investments regularly, either on your own or with an Investment Consultant, and learn how rebalancing can help you manage risk in your portfolio.
  • Maintain a Long-Term View
    The more time you have for your investments to grow and compound, the more likely you are to reach your goals.