Don’t know where to turn for investment advice? Top 10 reasons to check out the new InvestRight Guide to Investing
Rare is the investment advice that meets me where I am: an adult with financial responsibilities but only the sketchiest of financial education. So, while I can’t say I leapt at the chance to update and expand the InvestRight Guide to Investing last year, I did approach it with a sober “this will be good for me” attitude. Now that it’s finished and ready for public consumption, it turns out that it was good for me. I learned the very things I most needed to know – how to think about making investment decisions and what questions to ask at every stage. And I’m dying to know how it works for you, too.
Here are 10 reasons why the new InvestRight Guide to Investing might just become your favourite investment resource for 2010:
1. Questions, questions, questions: The advice you get depends a lot on the questions you ask. Every chapter of the guide outlines the types of questions you should ask and every interactive worksheet expands on those questions to help you gather answers detailed enough to make informed investment decisions.
2. Encouragement: Only 25% of Canadians have a financial plan, even though more than 60% say it is important to have one.
Use Chapter 1: Getting Started to remind yourself why you even want a plan, then make short work of calculating your net worth with the interactive Worksheet for planning your investments .
3. How to talk to your advisor: It’s never a good idea to put an advisor on a pedestal as the all-knowing authority. Chapter 2: Choosing an Investment Advisor: the Interview shows you what you should know before you hire an advisor and what you should find out about the advisor you already have.
4. Advisor or planner: Know what you need. Investment advisors in Canada are registered by a securities regulator to provide certain services. Not so financial planners. Both serve an important role. Your job is to be sure you’re dealing with someone who is qualified to help you achieve your investment goals and you can read about it in ‘Chapter 1: Getting Started.
5. Help with your homework: Chapter 2: Choosing an investment advisor walks you step-by-step through a simple due diligence process to find out if your advisor is registered to provide the services he or she offers or has ever been disciplined for bad practices.
Chapter 4: Making investment decisions points out some basic resources for researching companies you’re thinking of investing in.
6. Don’t be duped: Wise investors always take the time to ask, “is this investment too good to be true?”. Let the guide remind you that despite the vast majority of honest investment professionals there are also unscrupulous types whose goal is to enrich themselves … and follow the protect your money link in Chapter 3 to find out more.
7. Walk before you run: Anyone can learn to protect their financial interests by learning the basics: know your worth; set goals; ask questions; evaluate the answers; be sceptical; do a little research. And remember, it’s your money! The guide helps you do it all, and the Wise Investing Tip Sheet sums it all up.
8. Keep track: Go straight to Chapter 6: Worksheets to see how the guide’s five interactive worksheets make it easy for you to start a written financial plan, record your due diligence findings, and conduct intelligent conversations with your advisor or advisor to be. Chapter 3: Working with your investment advisor sets the groundwork for monitoring your investments so you can stay on track with your investment goals.
9. Invest in private companies: Well, maybe. But only after you’ve read Chapter 5: Investing in Private Companies and completed the worksheet that goes with it. Both will help you understand the risks and how to manage those risks if you decide to invest.
10. It’s free! Download it now if you haven’t already.