The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy publishes “Saving and Investing,” a publication designed to provide information on the basics of consumer saving and investing.
In the publication, the SEC lists thinking about which goals are most important to you, as an important first step for those who want to effectively save and invest. The agency makes clear: “If you don’t know where you are going, you may end up somewhere you don’t want to be.”
For example, do you want to save and invest for a new home or a car, an education, retirement, emergencies or parental caretaking? Develop a prioritized list of goals and also determine when you wish to reach each goal.
In thinking through goals, take an honest look at your entire financial situation. The agency states: “You can never take a journey without knowing where you’re starting from.” Consumers should develop a net worth statement that lists assets and liabilities and determines whether there is a positive or negative net worth.
In taking these initial steps, the SEC suggests that consumers may benefit from using calculators and other general resources available at www.investor.gov. Some of these resources include a “Compound Interest Calculator,” “Social Security Retirement Estimator,” and “Mutual Fund Analyzer,” among other things.
For additional information, go to http://investor.gov/sites/default/files/Saving-and-Investing.pdf.