Investing your RRSPs is probably the hardest decision for most people. There is no shortage of choices. You can invest in savings accounts, money markets, GICs, mutual funds, stocks, bonds, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and so much more. Putting money into the RRSP is one thing but investing that money properly is another.
Recently I wrote about 5 timeless tips for Investing Your RRSPs. Here’s a few more practical tips to think about before making long term investment decisions.
Don’t rush to make a decision.
RRSP season is a busy time and sometimes investors think they have to make long-term investment decisions as soon as they put they buy the RRSPs. When in doubt, remember that you can get the money into the RRSP and get a tax deduction without having to make the investment decision. If you are short on time but need to get a tax receipt, just put the money into a RRSP cash account or a money market fund for the time being just to get the receipt and make the investment decision later when you have more time.
Do your homework.
Good research leads to good decisions. Unfortunately I see too many people who do no research at all or if they do some research it’s usually just performance based research. My basic principle for research is that the more research you do, the more likely you are to make better investment decisions. It increases the probability of investment success. Research does not always guarantee success but it’s better than no research at all. Good research should incorporate a combination of quantitative data as well as qualitative analysis. In the end multiple dimension analysis will always be better than single dimension analysis. Research is not something you simply do once. Rather good research is an ongoing process. Here’s a couple of articles I wrote that might help with research:
For many people, the thought of developing an investment plan and doing research on their own is very scary and intimidating. As a result, some people will seek the help from financial advisors when it comes to making better investment decisions. That being said, choosing qualified people to help you is no easy task in itself. Here’s some articles I have written on getting help from financial advisors.
- Tips to finding a financial advisor. Here’s four thoughts as you try to find a financial advisor to work with.
- Do it yourself or financial advisor? This is a really big debate for many.
- Do you know how your financial advisor gets paid? Here’s the three most common ways advisors get paid.
- Three simple questions to ask a financial advisor. If you are on the hunt for a financial advisor, it’s best to interview more than one. Here’s three simple questions to ask them before you commit.
- What to look for in a financial advisor
Manage Your Risk
When it comes to investing, risk cannot be ignored. That being said, more investors place much more emphasis analyzing past performance than risk and quite often, risk is ignored altogether. If understanding risk is so important, then why do so few people take the time to understand it? Here’s some different ways to analyze risk from my first book Mutual Fundamentals.
It’s also important to look at your personal risk budget by asking yourself how much you can stand to lose. I believe every investor needs to understand not only their risk tolerance but also their risk capacity.
There’s no shortage of investment fads and hot tips but it’s the timeless tips that stands the test of time. Do you have any timeless tips you want to share?