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- San Diego financial advisor Taylor Schulte suggests sitting down to create a long-term retirement and investment plan you can stick to, no matter what happens in the news or the stock market.
- When it comes to growing wealth, he says, your best bet is focusing on what you can control and ignoring the rest.
- That way, you can put your time to better use — instead of agonizing over things outside your control, you can enjoy your time knowing that your wealth is growing as planned.
- Want professional help setting up a long-term investment plan? SmartAsset’s free tool can help you find a licensed financial advisor near you »
Growing wealth is no easy feat, and that’s particularly true if you don’t have a lot of money to save. But with enough time — and with compound interest on your side — it’s possible for almost anyone to build a nest egg they can lean on to retire.
Financial planner and host of the Stay Wealthy podcast Taylor Schulte says that spending a significant amount of time upfront putting together a retirement and investment plan you can truly understand is anyone’s best hope at getting ahead. Schulte also suggests sitting down to create an investment policy statement — a written plan that dictates how you or your financial advisor will invest your money.
But it’s important to keep your investment plan simple and easy to understand.
"If you don’t understand it, you won’t have the confidence you need to stay committed to it for the long-term," says Schulte. "And staying committed for the long-term is critical to financial success."
Schulte says it’s important to spend a significant amount of time creating a plan for your money, especially when you are retired or nearing retirement. Once you have that plan in place, give it time to work, and find someone to help hold you accountable to seeing the plan through. Making frequent changes to your investments can trigger fees and taxes and destroy long-term performance.
Need help with your own financial plan? SmartAsset’s free tool can help you find a licensed financial advisor near you »
"Since we can’t control things like interest rates and the direction of the stock market, focus on the things in your life that you have direct control over and will improve your financial life almost instantly," says Schulte.
Examples of areas of your life where you’re in control include identifying opportunities where you can cut fees, taking actionable steps to reduce your tax bill, better managing the risk you’re taking with your investments, improving your asset allocation, and keeping better track your expenses to help with retirement income projections.
"If everything is dialed in and on track, spend your newfound time on things that mean the most to you," he says. "For me, I’d rather spend my morning hitting golf balls with my kids than worrying about the financial markets and tinkering with my portfolio."
If you hear someone on the news — or even your neighbor — speculating about the direction of interest rates or the next recession, you should ask yourself one simple question: Is this something I have control over?
More often the answer is "no," and if you can’t control it, you shouldn’t let it influence changes to your investments or your long-term financial plan.
Focus on what you can control and ignore the rest, and you’ll be a lot better off.
Need help with your plan to build wealth? SmartAsset’s free tool can help find the right financial advisor for you »
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