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How To Define Your Investment Strategy


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Before making decisions about which individual investments to buy, think about an overall investment strategy. Then you can see whether particular investments fit your needs. Bear in mind that while there are some standard guidelines for different types of strategies, your specific strategy will be unique to your circumstances (including your health condition) and desires. We provide some sample strategies to consider as a starting point to create your own.

Reevaluate your investment strategy if you experience a change in health or in income. Even if there is no change, it is advisable to reevaluate your investment strategy at least once a year.

Don't put any money into other types of investments until you have what you consider to be an adequate emergency fund. The strategy for investing money in an Emergency+Fund should be to hold only investments in which you can access the cash immediately and that have no risk of losing principal. For example, use bank accounts, short-term CDs (certificates of deposit) and money market accounts. (For some guidance on how large your Emergency+Fund should be, see Emergency+Fund).

Consider the following strategies for the rest of your investable assets:

  • Strategy based on life expectancy.
  • Income strategy.
  • Liquidation strategy.
  • Retirement strategy.
  • Saving for a purchase.
  • Social investing.

Factors to help determine which strategy(ies) to use are:

  • Your life expectancy.
  • Your financial goals.
  • The return you require.
  • How much you can save.
  • Your risk tolerance.

The strategies and factors are discussed as follows:

NOTE: If you plan to leave bonds to your heirs, consider bonds which have a survivor's option because they protect value for your heirs. Issuers agree to purchase the bonds from your heirs at the original price - though for a lower than standard rate. One site which lists issuers of such bonds: offsite link.

For additional information, see:

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