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No pain, no gain

Close up of runner's feet ready to go
Planning to get where you want to be

Successful saving and investing is arguably a lot like exercise – no pain, no gain. As is the case when undertaking a new fitness regime, if you properly commit yourself and stick to it, the eventual outcomes can be very rewarding.

Many people have savings and investment goals in their life, from the old adage of saving for a rainy day to planning for a comfortable retirement. Working out exactly what you want to get out of your investments will help you set realistic targets and keep you on track.

It will also give you an incentive to keep going when you need to and enable you to arrange your personal finances to get you where you want to be.

Types of goals

The three most common types of investment goal are retirement planning or a property purchase over the very long term (15 years or more); life events, such as school and university fees over the medium term (10-15 years); and a rainy day fund or lifestyle funds to finance goals such as that dream car or dream cruise over the medium to shorter term (5-10 years).

The minimum time horizon for all types of investing should be at least five years. But whatever your personal investment goals may be, it is important to consider the time horizon at the outset, as this will determine the type of investments you consider to help achieve your goals.

It also makes sense to revisit your goals at regular intervals to account for any changes to your personal circumstances, for example, the arrival of a new member of the family.

Investment strategies

Investment strategies should often include a combination of various fund types in order to obtain a balanced and diversified approach. Maintaining this approach is usually key to the chances of achieving your investment goals, while bearing in mind that at some point you will want access to your money. This makes it important to allow for flexibility in your planning.

Long term: retirement planning

The importance of shifting goals can be seen in retirement planning, where it is quite common for funds to be more geared towards equities in their early stages to try to build capital. As an individual grows closer to retirement age, their pension plan will tend to lean more towards bonds to reduce volatility. Exposure to riskier sectors such as commodities or real estate may also be gradually reduced as the individual ages.

A typical pension plan may start out as 60% equities, 30% bonds, and 10% ‘other’, including real estate or commodities, when the employee starts work. Towards the end of its life, the plan may be 70% bonds, about 20% in equities, and up to 10% in cash. This ensures that the person retiring does not become susceptible to a sudden slump in stock markets just as they are about to cash in the fund.

Medium term: school and university fees plans

School and university fees planning may involve the same idea of buying a mix of equities, bonds and other investments in order to build enough capital to pay for education. Most plans of this type are geared to begin paying out after a fixed-term horizon, usually ten years, with withdrawals allowed incrementally after that to meet the fees. In this way, they need to be more flexible than pension plans that only pay out on retirement.

For this reason, parents often start plans when their baby is born so that they can start paying out when the child starts secondary school at age eleven, or even years before then, especially if they want their children to go to fee-paying primary or preparatory schools.

Short to medium term: lifestyle plans

Investment companies can offer ten-year plans or even shorter savings schemes that help pay out for a future holiday or dream car. A large number of products now exist for this, including Individual Savings Accounts that contain stocks and shares, depending on your timescale and willingness to accept risk.

Ready for the next step?

Whether you are looking to invest for income or growth, we can provide the professional financial advice, comprehensive investment solutions and ongoing service to help you achieve your financial goals. To identify which options are right for your individual circumstances or to find out more, please contact Reeves Financial on 01403 333145 or email areeves@reevesfinancial.co.uk – we look forward to hearing from you.

INFORMATION IS BASED ON OUR CURRENT UNDERSTANDING OF TAXATION LEGISLATION AND REGULATIONS. ANY LEVELS AND BASES OF, AND RELIEFS FROM, TAXATION ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

THE VALUE OF INVESTMENTS AND INCOME FROM THEM MAY GO DOWN. YOU MAY NOT GET BACK THE ORIGINAL AMOUNT INVESTED.

This is for your general information and use only and is not intended to address your particular requirements. The content should not be relied upon in its entirety and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute, advice. Although endeavours have been made to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No individual or company should act upon such information without receiving appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of their particular situation. For Reeves Financial, published by Goldmine Media Limited, Basepoint Innovation Centre, 110 Butterfield, Great Marlings, Luton, Bedfordshire LU2 8DL Content copyright protected by Goldmine Media Limited 2017. Unauthorised duplication or distribution is strictly forbidden.

Adam Reeves

Author: Adam Reeves

DipPFS Cert CII (MP&ER)
Independent Financial Planner, Wealth Manager, Director

Last updated on

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Adam was quick to assess & understand my situation, and was able to discuss & communicate in a very concise and simple way the various options available to me, taking time for me to understand and clarify where necessary. My understanding & knowledge of taxation & pensions has increased significantly allowing me to feel much happier making financial decisions for the future.

Rob – West Sussex

Adam and his team undertook in-depth research into our existing QROPS schemes and clearly set out both pros and cons of transferring the funds back to the UK. Having decided to go ahead with the transfer, Adam and his team worked extremely hard to facilitate the transfer. The QROPS pension trustees were not always the most professional or responsive organisation – however we were very grateful for the perseverance and commitment that Adam showed us as clients.

Jonathan – East Sussex

Adam offered a range of financial products , the one he suggested was affordable and proved to be a good choice.  Returns on investments have exceeded my expectations, based on Adam’s advice and guidance. Profits have enabled house improvements to take place.

David - Surrey

Adam arranged an appointment very timely, he explained his role and qualifications as an IFA giving me reassurance , we went through my retirement and investment goals. Adam discussed my options explaining in great detail, I felt relaxed during our discussions allowing me to fully understand my choices. I feel very confident in the financial advice allowing me to enjoy my retirement.

I was very happy with Adam’s recommendations and explanations of financial products which would suit my retirement goals, I feel this has helped me review and reduce my financial risk as I reach retirement, leaving me feeling confident that I can enjoy my retirement plans.

Ron – West Sussex

After initial meeting Adam put together a very detailed and thorough written plan. At our second meeting he went through the whole booklet and explained everything in layman’s terms which made it a lot easier to understand.

I am very happy with everything that was suggested and put in place especially with something as big and important as pensions. Adam and his team have taken a huge weight off my shoulders and I would highly recommend their services to anyone needing help with their financial planning and pension.  Adam couldn’t have been more helpful, and even came outside his normal area to meet me on a number of occasions.

Richard - Kent

Unfortunately I had to claim on my critical illness insurance due to my wife being ill and because of the sound advice Adam gave in acquiring this insurance we ended up being financially safe through a tough time.

Steve - Kent

Adam did a review of our financial situation, confirmed that Flexible Drawdown best suited our needs as a family, and then did all the research into the best product for us. He will continue to monitor it for me. He acted extremely promptly because we had a deadline for requiring the lump sum; went out of his way arranging meetings during non-office hours, was professional yet friendly and explained a difficult subject very well.

Clare – East Sussex

Adam did a thorough review of my pension policies, clearly explained how well they had performed, how flexible they were, how the market regulation has changed, and, crucially, what the tax implications would be if I were to leave them untouched. He accurately assessed my attitude to risk and recommended an up-to-date solution that will offer me the greatest flexibility at retirement.

Greg – East Sussex
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