This year there seems to be more tricks then treats when it comes to investing.  Tricks are sneaky and can cause a disciplined investor to abandon their plan and portfolio at the worst time.

Treats on the other hand are more satisfying yet arrive slowly.  They require patience and a carefully crafted plan with periodic reflection.  If you haven’t created or updated your plan lately, consider the following questions to guide your next steps.

What do you want to accomplish?  Begin by brainstorming and writing down all the things that are important to you.  Personally, professionally, financially, what is it that you want most?  Review your list with your significant other.  Now, narrow down your choices to three priorities you both may agree on.  What makes these priorities more important than others?  The purpose of this exercise is to rank goals and work in the same direction together.

What’s your time horizon?  How long will it take to accomplish these three goals?  Short term may be less than a year or closer to five years.  Medium term maybe ten years.  Long term may be twenty years or longer.  The key to getting things done is labeling each goal with a time horizon.

What resources are available?  This is where your time and money should be applied.  It’s a common mistake to begin with resources first before you’ve prioritized goals and outlined a timeline.  Goals first, cash and your portfolio second.  Everyone has constraints on their time, some more than others.  Are you spending your time in support of your goals?  It’s possible to allocate your dollars to buy more time to get closer to what you want.

What adjustments are necessary?  Our daily habits determine how close we get to achieving our goals.  These routines can be supported by following a repeatable process with accountability check ins.  Life is messy at times; we may find ourselves more distracted than we like.  It’s helpful to refocus on what’s important and adjust when necessary.   

Once your initial goals are achieved, it’s time to think about what possibilities come next.  Planning is not a destination, it’s an evolving process supported by good habits.  If you’d like to explore accountability and your plan, reach out below and we’d be happy to chat with you.

Advisory services through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Cambridge and Flowerstone Financial are not affiliated.

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