In any couple’s life, there comes a time when finances need to be discussed. Couples need to ensure their money is being pooled together effectively, but they also need a financial plan to weather any emergencies. The topic bit of investing is something that every couple should have a serious discussion about. Many of the financial choices you make as a couple can be deceptively simple, but others require a lot more strategic alignment. So what does it really take to ensure that you are investing as a couple?
Having the Same Level of Understanding
Investment is a term we can all plead ignorance about, and this is why it’s so important to understand a basic level of economics. There are fantastic resources out there that can ensure you are both on the same page, such as Investopedia. There is a huge amount of information out there, and this is why it’s important to be comfortable with a specific level of knowledge. A lot of people are watching the news closely because the current circumstances have made them emotionally invested as it can have an impact on their finances, such as impacting their energy bills, their mortgage, as well as their day-to-day lives.
Investing requires a base level of understanding. The problem many people have is thinking that investment should be about diving in and putting your money into specific areas quickly. Of course, there are many tools that have made it easier than ever for people to invest in things like cryptocurrency. The platform Bitcoin Motion has made it simple to invest because of artificial intelligence. However, this can be a very risky strategy if you are going into this with your eyes closed. Making sure that as a couple you have the same level of knowledge when it comes to investing is vital because it’s something you should both be emotionally invested in.
Determining Your Portfolios
Much like couples have joint bank accounts, you may want to decide if you should have individual or joint portfolios. Deciding which is the best approach for you boils down to two things:
- How aligned you are on your goals. For example, if you are both pulling in different directions when it comes to preparing for the future because one of you wants to have children or invest in a second property and the other doesn’t, this could cause a lot of friction between the two of you.
- Risk tolerance. Risk tolerance is a term that is brought up in investing, and it relates to how each partner feels about investing as an entity. Some people like to invest in something for immediate returns. However, an investment should be something that takes place over many years. If one of you has a higher risk tolerance, this could pay off with a higher return, however, this could mean market volatility in the short term. Low risk involves investing in safe products, but this guarantees a lower level of return.
With both of these components, it’s important for couples to have a conversation about whether they are comfortable with joint or separate portfolios. The benefits of having two different portfolios mean that when you pool your finances together after getting a profit, this could result in a far better return as a couple. But it still demands clear communication between the two of you, based on your overarching goals.
When Is the Best Time to Start?
To answer this question, it’s not just about looking at the timescale of an investment, but about determining whether you, as a couple, are ready to start investing. Of course, many couples make investments in other areas of their lives, for example, when they decide to have children and get married.
The fact is that communication is the most important thing, and when you are both having that conversation about the future, you can then determine whether investing is something that would suit both of you. They say that investing should be started as soon as possible, but in order to do this effectively, you’ve got to have enough money saved to substantially invest in something.
Financial advisors say you should be saving approximately 10% to 15% of your annual income. If you are looking to invest, you’ve got to be comfortable in locking away a portion of your finances for a significant amount of time. The best time to invest is always now. Many people will argue that the volatility of any market because of current circumstances it’s not a good idea. The fact is that now is always a good opportunity to start investing because you have a better opportunity to see returns on your investment over time. It’s about ensuring that you don’t pull the money out anytime soon. Investing in stock is about the long game and ensuring that you plan your goals as a couple will give you a better idea of how much you can invest right now and see the returns.
Many people want to make as much money as humanly possible, but it’s about being comfortable with the fact that the market can go up and down. Rather than investing in short-term things, taking the opportunity to put your money to one side and not think about it for a long time is a big ask of many couples. This is why you ideally need to save around $1,000 as an initial investment, as this can see a considerable return if you leave it over time. But of course, you don’t want to put yourself into financial trouble as a result of pooling together this investment.
Putting Yourselves in the Best Financial Position to Invest
Investing is something that comes with risk; as a couple, you may want to plan for retirement or think about better vacations a decade down the line, but if you find yourselves on different pages, you need to ensure that your journey of investing together involves being in the best financial position. What are some of the best ways to do this?
- Paying off high-interest debt. You need to ensure that you are debt free before you start. People need to invest as soon as possible, but if you are paying credit card debt at 12% and at the same time are trying to invest to get 6% interest, you’ve got two plans that are going in opposite directions. It’s better to eliminate your debt so you have a far better starting point.
- Reassess your lifestyle. A very common thing that people overlook, but it is essential to address your lifestyle and if you’re trying to maintain something that is unrealistic. You need to consider if the value of your lifestyle is worth investing less into your future. Because if you are trying to maintain a certain lifestyle based on something like the cars you drive, this is one thing that will quickly depreciate in cost, making it a poor investment in the long run.
- Splitting the risk. Putting money into two separate accounts can be very effective, in case there is a loss. This is a far more sensible option if you are at loggerheads with each other in regard to risk.
- Understanding the value of the relationship over money. The fact is that whether you’re a freelancer that’s living a hand-to-mouth existence or you’ve been investing for a long time, there is a difference between a relationship with your partner and one with money. Money problems are one of the contributing causes of divorce, and this is why it’s so important for you to both be on the same page.
A healthy relationship is about understanding your future goals as a couple and the financial side of things is not the goal, but should always be a means to an end.