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Today, we talk about investing in a lot of different ways. It can mean buying and selling stocks and bonds, or it can mean gaining value from putting your money toward something like a college education or a reliable vehicle. Where should you be investing your money?

My question

How can you make sure that you are making the best choices for you and your short- and long-term financial goals? A good place to start is with the values you’ve already identified. Can your investments reflect who you are and what’s important to you?

My solution

Investing is different for every person. Everyone has different goals and is on their own timeline. By first knowing yourself, you can help figure out what investments make the most sense. Take the following steps: 

  • Review your values. This first step is essential. If your investments don’t match your values, they won’t bring you happiness. Are you planning ahead for retirement that’s 20 years down the road? Saving up for a big getaway vacation? Thinking about moving to a trendier neighborhood? Think about how your investment choices can support these values.

Challenge: In your 20s or 30s? While it may be tempting to prioritize saving for a big trip with friends instead of retirement, keep in mind these are some of the most productive years for you to take advantage of compounding your savings.

  • Identify your objectives. Use your values to inform what you are trying to accomplish with investing. Are you committed to environmental sustainability? Look to invest in a company that values going green. Do you think you could make progress in your career by getting an advanced degree? Make a plan for going back to school.

Challenge: Keep track of how long it’ll take you to reach both your short- and long-term goals, so you can craft your financial strategy accordingly. Remember, even if your long-term goals, like retirement, don’t seem important today, it’s still important to start planning ahead now.

  • Do your research. If you’re using stocks or expanding your investment portfolio, become familiar with the ups and downs of the market and how those could affect your goals. Make sure you think about your personal risk tolerance and identify what you’re comfortable with.
  • Update as your plans change. It’s important to re-evaluate both your goals and your financial strategies as your life changes. Perhaps you get married, have a child or change careers. These life events can affect your priorities and your finances, so be sure to make regular check-ins a part of your financial plan.

Investments should be founded on your principles and have a specific purpose. Partner with a financial advisor you can trust to help make sure that your money matches up with your values. 

3 Key Takeaways
  1. Keep your values at the heart of all your investing goals.
  2. Set specific short- and long-term financial goals, with a timeframe for when you hope to meet them.
  3. A trusted financial partner can help you accomplish your values-based goals.


Level up

Investing is an important step on the path to financial confidence. Have you prepared by saving first and researching your options? Keep moving forward.
This content does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.
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