#parent | #kids | Financial groundwork: 5 things you need before you start investing


Are you thinking about investing for the first time? Maybe you’re tempted to rebalance your 401(k) or Thrift Savings Plan but uncertain with outcomes of the debt ceiling or tax legislation debates.

Spontaneity makes for great date nights and getaways, but it is not necessarily the best for your financial security. Recognizing that life tends to dish out surprises, it pays to have a plan. In the words of Denis Waitley, “Expect the best, plan for the worst and prepare to be surprised.” Here are five steps to building solid financial groundwork before you begin investing.

1. Start at the end, then work backward: Define and align your goals 

The risk of taking action without an intended goal is that you may end up in a place you’d rather not be. Recall the Cheshire Cat’s advice to Alice: 



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