The key investment principles that will normally influence your investment strategy decisions include:
- It is your money.
- Sleeping at night (and not worrying about your investments) is normally more important than getting that “extra” return.
- With higher long-term average returns (i.e. over 20 years), you may get lower short-term returns (i.e. over 1 year). Any strategy has to be able to cope with negative returns as, even in a “bad” year, you still need an income to live on. It is your retirement savings, and so must meet your income needs.
- If you invest in assets that go up and down in value, it is important that you are never forced to sell them on a particular date i.e. you always need some assets that don’t go down (i.e. cash) for immediate financial needs.
- Any investment strategy needs to be able to cope with change; changes to your circumstances and changes to legislation.
Setting an investment strategy to spend your retirement capital is based on 5 simple factors:
- Timing: When will you spend the money?
- Importance: How important is the expenditure?
- Diversification: Do you have other sources of income?
- Patience: How long can you wait if something goes wrong?
- Risk preference: What type of investor are you?
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