Vision Board: Invest for Your Future
By Lori Schock, Director of the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy
If the headline grabbed your attention, then you probably already know about vision boards. If so and you’re new to saving and investing, consider creating a vision board with a goal to invest for your future.
For those not familiar with the concept of a vision board, the idea is to use visual images and words to inspire you to achieve a specific goal. Creating a vision board that motivates you to save and invest for your financial future is a great way to utilize this concept.
What should you include on your “Invest for Your Future” vision board? It’s your vision board so it’s totally up to you. To help you get started go to Investor.gov for free financial planning tools and information to help you create a saving and investing plan that works best to achieve your goals. You can also check the background of an investment professional if you decide to use one.
First, you’ll need to identify your financial goals. Think about what really matters to you and what you want to save for. You’ll also want to prepare a budget that includes all of your monthly expenses. Some goals you might want to consider are: paying off high-interest debt or student loans; setting money aside for a rainy day/emergency fund; saving for a house; saving money for future travel or other luxury items; investing in your employer’s 401(k) (even if retirement seems like it’s a long way off) and knowing what to do with your retirement savings if you switch jobs.
Here’s an example of what an “Invest for Your Future” vision board could look like:
When you’re investing for your future, it’s important to get started as early as possible. The younger you are the better off you’ll be because you’ll be able to reap the rewards of compounding−your new best friend! Compound interest allows you to earn interest on the money you save and on the interest that money earns. You can watch your money grow over time even if you only put a small amount of money into savings right now.
Most importantly, you need to invest for the long term. Although it may be tempting to jump into the latest investment craze or try to time the market, it isn’t the best way to plan for a strong financial future. Creating a plan that includes a diverse mix of investment products (stocks, bonds, mutal funds, cash, etc.) and sticking with it is a prudent way to invest.
Keeping your eye on your vision board and following through on each specific goal, will help you succeed in reaching your ultimate goal to invest for your future.