This is one of the most common -and frustrating- questions I get: ‘Should I invest in this?’ It seems like a very logical question. Here I am, as the developer, syndicator and promoter of opportunities. Therefore, you would think I would just say, ‘Yes, of course! I wouldn’t have brought it to you if I didn’t think it was a great investment.’ But it’s not about me making investment choices for you.
“Should I invest in it or not” is the question to ask yourself. And only you can answer that question.
Only You Can Make the Right Investment Choices for… You
Please, don’t ask me how to invest your money. That might be a little too straight-forward. But I am not a financial advisor. SAO does not offer financial advice, and I won’t tell you how to invest your money.
Yes, we will tell you about opportunities and tips and tricks of the “game”. But in the end, you will always have to use your own judgment and seek advice from your trusted advisors (and, possibly your CPA). There are just way too many variables that would make it difficult for me to know whether or not you should invest your money in one way or the other.
Recently, I was reminded of how little I know about other people’s situations. An individual I do business with and communicate with on a fairly regular basis just went through an incredibly difficult divorce. It had been going on for months, impacting every facet of their life and that of their children. And yet, despite our regular contact, I hadn’t even gotten a whiff of it.
This kind of information would make a huge difference in how someone should or would invest their money. It is information like this that I could never know, unless you told me every detail of your life (please, don’t). So imagine how I feel when people I know very little about or am newly acquainted with ask me, “Where should I invest my money?” Or, “Should I invest in ‘X, Y, X’?”, without me having any context to their life or situation.
What to Consider When Making Investment Choices
To help address this issue and to give you all some things to consider when making an investment decision, here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- What is your timeline?
- A 40 year-old will have a different time horizon than a 60 year-old.
- How much longer do you want to work?
- If you’re nearing retirement, you’re probably more interested in generating cash flow, versus someone who still intends to have a W-2 for the next 15-20 years.
- What is your risk tolerance?
- I am fairly risk tolerant if I know, like and trust the operators, and if I understand the background of the opportunity. Some people have zero risk tolerance. Most people are in between — figure out yours.
- What about the risk tolerance of your spouse or partner?
- My wife is not as risk tolerant as I am, so I have to take into consideration and balance with my own.
- What’s in your savings? How much is investable money?
- I recommend investing no more than 10% of investable resources on a particular opportunity. This is not a blanket answer, but it is pretty solid advice for most people. When you are starting out in investing, you may invest more. The only time I have violated my own “rule” was when starting up my practice. Then, I was all in.
- Is cash flow more important to you right now than equity appreciation or wealth-building?
- What’s your W-2 income? Are you still working? What do you have to fall back on?
- This may or may not even allow you to invest in our opportunities, as some require you to be an accredited investor.
- What is your individual tax situation?
- This is an area where you have to do your own due diligence on whether a particular investment fits in your plans. Taxes are usually your biggest line item expense and will vary depending on state, country, along with other factors.
Wealth Education = Financial Freedom
As you can imagine, this is not an exhaustive list. But assuming that I don’t know any of this information about you (and many, many, many other important details), it would be difficult to offer sound investment “advice”.
That is why I am making the distinction in this week’s post: SAO does not give financial advice. We create opportunities and we bring opportunities from others that we know, like and trust, oftentimes with our own skin in the game, but we are not financial advisors.
I am always glad to answer questions that give clarifying information, but to ask “Should I invest in this?” is too loaded for me to answer. Truly, I wish I had all the answers, but I don’t! We have certainly done a thorough job of explaining WHY you should invest. But, you have to be the one to gather information, do your due diligence, ask even more questions, and ultimately make a decision.