To begin, you must be clear that investing simply consists of putting your money to work in such a way that you manage to increase your income over time.
However, choosing the type of investment can become complex if you are not clear about what you want to invest for, or do not understand the difference between stocks, bonds, real estate, or mutual funds.
Every responsible investor will take the same initial steps: first, study the available alternatives, and then choose the most suitable for their needs.
Below we explain the first steps and questions you must answer so that your investment goes in the right direction.
1. One of the first things is to discover what your investor profile is
Your personality and your investment profile are not always the same. Just because you are shy does not mean that you are conservative in investing, or enjoying extreme sports does not necessarily make you a poor investor.
There are hundreds of tests on the Internet that you can do to define your investment profile; It starts with this one offered by the Commission for the Financial Market (CMF).
Take advantage of the questionnaires that many financial institutions offer their clients to answer to determine their profile.
The better you know what your level of risk is regarding how your money will behave in an investment context, the better decision you will make.
2. Decide how much money you have to invest
Knowing exactly how much is the amount you have available to invest will allow you to limit possible losses and recognize the true gains.
To know this amount, you must first organize your finances and know how much you are willing to invest in a given time.
In investment, the money will change in value, and this should not affect your personal finances. That is why we recommend that you separate waters; The money that you use for your expenses is not the same that you will save, and neither the one that you will invest.
Finally, keep in mind that the money you have available for investment must cover all the associated and minimum costs required according to the financial product you choose.
Find out the minimum investment amounts, many times they are less than you imagine and everyone can invest.
3. Understand the basics
Once you know what your profile is and you are clear about how much money you will use, you must know the two basic concepts of any investment: Risk and profitability.
What is risk?
It is the general concept associated with the fluctuations that surround the operations of an investment with respect to the expected values.
What is profitability?
It is the ability that the investment of your money has to generate profits.
An investor chooses between risk or returns depending on his investment objective: to safeguard money or to obtain a greater profit.
There are two premises with which you must choose between investment alternatives of greater or less risk and return:
- If the risk conditions are equal, opt for the investment that offers the highest return.
- If the profitability conditions are the same, go for the one with the lowest risk.
When you are clear about these terms, you will more easily understand your investment alternatives currently available in the Chilean market:
- Mutual Funds
- Real estate funds
4. Set a goal
What do you want to save for? What is your investment objective? What are your deadlines for both of you? These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself to identify the cause that leads you to set aside an amount of money to protect or make profitable.
It is recommended that you have a clear goal, that guides your financial planning, and offers you a high view of the imponderables that will arise along the way.
5. Choose the financial product that best suits you
This decision will influence your investment plan. The product you choose must fit your investment profile and financial need.
Maybe you want to start slowly and safely, or you are looking for profits more quickly and immediately. To make an informed decision, know the main differences between the most common savings and investment instruments on the market.
Always keep in mind that regardless of the instrument you choose, you must diversify; assign different percentages or amounts of your money in different investment instruments, to reduce and control the risk of losses.
6. Develop an investment plan for a specified time
Do you know how long to invest? How often do you want to make a profit? Will you be watching all the time or will you see it indirectly? Would you rather leave it in the hands of an expert?
All these questions will allow you to plan your investment knowing exactly what you want, when and how.
7. Understand the associated costs
Any investment in financial instruments implies some type of cost or associated payment. They normally consist of commissions for having and managing your money, but there are also maintenance costs and costs associated with the risk that you will not always be able to know exactly.
There are also the taxes that you will have to pay when you redeem your winnings.
Be sure to check with the financial institution to which you will entrust your money what all these associated costs are, and consider them part of your investment amount.
Starting to invest involves a set of uncertainties and unforeseen situations, which you must know how to face from the beginning.
That is why you must decide your objectives, define a financial plan, understand costs and handle the basic concepts that will help you understand well what your investment is about.
Make sure you ask and inform yourself well before making a decision that makes you feel comfortable. The key is to start with manageable steps to build strength.
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