How much is ‘enough’? Demystifying Investment Goals with Verve Money
Places to go, things to invest in? Here’s the TL;DR version…
- Investing, for many of us, is not about building wealth for wealth’s sake; it’s about making money moves towards financial freedom and living life on our terms
- Verve Money is a goal-based ethical investing platform with a range of options (incl. buy a home, emergency fund) when you get started in the app
- Once you have a goal/s in mind, you can decide your investment timeframe, risk capacity and which investment option/s to choose
- Research shows that, no matter how much they earn, women are still not as comfortable investing as men. One reason is that women feel they don’t have ‘enough’ money to get started
- Enough is enough when you decide it is, and you can get started with Verve Money today with just one dollar
When wealth is more than a number
At Verve Money, we understand that the journey to financial freedom is uniquely personal, yet almost universally daunting. There is so much information out there, and a lot of it is centred on the ‘whys’ of investing — from building wealth, to preparing for retirement, or funding life’s major milestones.
While knowing what you’re working towards, and setting goals is critically important, and helps us ride the waves of market volatility as investors, what’s often missing is the ‘how’ — how do you *actually* decide on a number?
“How much do I even need to [insert investing goal here, e.g. retire, start a family, go on holiday]?” — this is the question that echoes in the minds of many investors, especially when you’re getting started.
Like most things, even in the finance world, the answer isn’t just a question of numbers. That’s because investing isn’t just about building wealth for the sake of it. Instead, it’s about deliberately crafting a future that aligns with your aspirations, and to do that you need to understand your ideal lifestyle, your commitments, and the goals you’re investing in.
Getting started with investing is about translating the abstract idea of ‘enough’ into a figure you can actually work towards — one dollar at a time.
How much should you invest monthly or yearly to hit that target? Over what period? And what return should I target? Let’s break down what it looks like to take simple, actionable steps in the Verve Money App and make progress towards a financial goal that represents far more than just a number.
Step 1: Choose a goal that resonates with you
Verve Money is an ethical goal-based investing platform, meaning we help you invest toward your money goals. For you — that could be about retiring comfortably someday, starting a business, buying a house, having kids, going on a fab holiday for your next milestone birthday, or just building wealth for the future. You name it.
The other great news about goal-setting for investing is that you are 42 percent more likely to complete your goal, if you have one set! There are a range of goal options when you get started in the app, so let’s break them down to help you find your direction.
In a world where money = power and freedom, this goal is about increasing your wealth (net worth) over time. If you’re looking for a goal that encapsulates overall financial growth without a specific purchase or event in mind, this could be a great place to start. By far the most popular goal among Verve Money members, ‘building wealth’ is about having the resources to make choices and live comfortably. And the best part is, you get to decide what wealth means to you and how you measure it.
Kids’ Future Fund
Thinking of starting a family, or already have one on the way? This goal is about investing in your child’s future, whether it’s childcare, education, health, first car, or a milestone event like a wedding. And there’s nothing to say that ‘child’ can’t be fluffy— or that your investment isn’t for doggy daycare, puppy school, vet bills, a dogmobile, or a milestone paw-ty.
Retiring early (a.k.a before you turn 65) means giving yourself the financial freedom to stop working sooner than the traditional retirement age. This goal often requires some careful planning and significant savings, as you’ll need ‘enough’ to potentially cover your expenses for a longer period. Again, you get to decide what ‘enough’ is and what age you aim to retire.
Life is full of surprises, and sometimes those surprises really suck. Think of your emergency fund as your financial safety net so those unexpected expenses like medical bills, car repairs, or losing your job sucks a whole lot less. As a rule of thumb, it should be readily accessible (e.g. invested or in the bank, not in super or property) and enough to cover several months of living expenses. Basically, think about your current financial obligations and what would give you peace of mind if the proverbial was to hit the fan.
Buying a home can be both a personal aspiration and an investment goal, and the second most popular goal to set for Verve Money members. Whether it’s your first home or a place to rent out, this goal can cover your savings for a down payment, any maintenance or renovations needed, as well as the costs of maintaining the loan.
At Verve, we define ‘financial freedom’ as the stage where you have enough income from your investments to cover your living expenses. It’s about having the choice to work or not. If this sounds like heaven on earth to you, start by calculating your annual expenses and aim for an investment portfolio that can generate that amount ‘passively’.
If entrepreneurship is calling your name, setting aside funds to start your own business could be your primary goal. Think about the kind of business you want to start, estimate the startup costs, and consider the initial running costs until the business becomes profitable.
Make Your Own
Of course, just like the avocados at your local supermarket, everyone’s dreams are slightly different. So if your #goals aren’t covered above, no sweat. Be the trailblazer you are and create one of your own, in your own words, and change it anytime.
Goal-based investing with Verve Money
Research has consistently shown that people who set specific and challenging goals are more likely to achieve those goals. And people who set goals are also more motivated and report higher levels of confidence than those who don’t.
So, we structure everything around your goals! Plus, helping you set clear targets makes you more likely to save, invest and build wealth.
Whether you’re looking to retire at 55 on a sun-soaked beach, give your child a great education, or you simply want to watch your hard-earned money grow faster, on average, than it will sitting in your savings account, setting a concrete and tangible financial goal is the first step.
Step 2: Decide how ‘hungry’ you are and how long until you need the money
Once you have a goal/s in mind, it’s time to decide your investment timeframe, how much risk you’re willing (and able) to take on, and what type of investment option will get you there.
When it comes to investing, you’ll often hear about something called ‘risk appetite’ — i.e. the amount of risk you’re willing to take on, in order to achieve your goals. And while this is important, in the context of the investment gap, wage gap, superannuation gap (the list goes on, we assure you…), it’s important that we not only acknowledge how much risk you’re willing to take on — but how much you can realistically afford based on your goal’s timeline and target. This is called ‘risk capacity’, and it’s vital to know yours in order to make an informed choice about getting started with investing.
Once you’ve figured out your risk capacity (think: how long do you have and do you have time to ride out the waves of the market), it’s time to choose which type of investment option best aligns with your goals.
Verve Money offers three expertly curated diversified portfolios, each of which balance risk and returns. The time horizons range between 2-7+ years, meaning it’s probably not quite right NQR for those hella quick turnaround kinda goals.
Why three options? Because different levels of risk are appropriate for different goals. For example, if you’re investing for a goal that’s decades away (e.g. retiring early when you’ve just blown out the candles on your 25th birthday cake), you’re probably going to want a different risk profile than if your goal is only a few years away (e.g. going on a holiday, or replacing your rickety old car). Learn more about how our experts curate different levels of risk appropriate for different goals ↗
The good thing about investing in a managed fund like Verve Money is that you don’t need to pick stocks, our ethical investing experts do that for you.
We design the investment options for strong diversification and to ensure that the risk level is suitable for investments of different time horizons. We’ve also ensured strong ethical screens, and that 20% of every portfolio is invested in climate solutions. So you can feel pretty good about the future your money is working towards.
Now what you gotta do is decide which investment option is right for you based on the goal (or goals) you’ve chosen and how long you have to achieve them…
For example, Verve Money’s ‘High Growth’ option is considered the highest risk option and is suitable for a 7+ investing horizon, often for goals like ‘building wealth’ or ‘early retirement’. Our ‘Fixed Income’ option is more conservative and has been structured for low-to-medium risk, making it suitable for shorter term goals (2-5 years) such as ‘emergency fund’.
Step 3: Set an investing plan
You’ve set your goals. You’ve got your time horizon. You’ve even got your choice of ethical portfolios. Now it’s time to make a plan to achieve those goals. But where to start? How do you calculate how much to set aside each month? How regularly do you want to invest? Do you want to invest a one-off lump sum, or do you want to make regular contributions?
The way we see it — much like the saying, ‘the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,’ the journey to financial freedom begins with a single dollar. Literally, you can get started with just one dollar on Verve Money. And then how much, or how often you invest, is a really personal financial decision.
What you should know is that — investors (especially women+) have let notions of ‘not enoughness’ prevent them from getting started for wayyyyy too long. In fact, the research shows that, no matter how much they earn, women are still not as comfortable investing as men. And that’s for a number of reasons, including: a perceived lack of experience with money management, fear of losing money, and a ‘lack’ of investable assets. Enough is enough when you decide it is, and you can get started today.
At Verve Money, we’re here to show you that you can start where you are, and with what you have, and build towards something remarkable step-by-step.
So, what’s it going to take to reach your goals? Let’s take a look at three examples based on three different goals, time horizons and monthly investment amounts.
Kids’ Future Fund
Top up amount
$253 per month
$304 per month
$991 per month
Step 4: Habit stack and automate
In many ways, investing is about keeping your eyes on the prize (a.k.a your goals). It’s about riding the waves, not the hype, and investing with the intention of not changing your time horizon or your goals as often as the seasons do.
That means, unless you’re literally a professional stockbroker, day trader or investment banker (if so, kudos), it’s usually best not to check the market too regularly. Instead, keep a casual eye on it, sure, but bear in mind that you’ve got at least a few years to achieve your goal so usually, a little dip here and there is nothing to sweat.
Market fluctuations are so normal that we plan for them, and panic selling after one or two down months is a great way to lock in your losses! So, how do you stay on track without checking in all the time?
One way to help you make consistent progress towards your goals is to automate your investing. Because much like you, the Verve Money App is pretty powerful. It can help you easily set a fortnightly, monthly or quarterly amount to skip the hassle of manually depositing money into an investment account or trying to time the stock market. Setting up recurring deposits is a bloody great way to feed your money (hungry) goals and start building money, power, and freedom, on your terms.
Your journey to financial freedom starts here
The best time to start investing is now, and any amount — even a small one, invested regularly — can make a big difference over time thanks to the power of compound interest.
Ready to start making money moves? Sign up to Verve Money today and download our fun new app from the App Store or Google Play.
This article is published by Verve Money Pty Ltd (ABN 71 653 669 366, AFS Representative No. 001294184), a Corporate Authorised Representative of True Oak Investments Ltd (ABN 81 002 558 956; AFSL 238184), as the Manager of Verve Money. A friendly reminder that all the financial information contained in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal financial objectives, situation or needs. It’s important to do your own research and consider getting in touch with a professional adviser to access specific information tailored to your unique situation.
You should read the Product Disclosure Statement, Investment Guide, Target Market Determination and Financial Services Guide before making a decision to acquire, hold, or continue to hold, an interest in the Verve Money Fund. Visit www.vervemoney.com.au/documents to view these documents.
Interests in the Verve Money Fund (ARSN 662 622 899) are issued by Melbourne Securities Corporation Limited (ACN 160 326 545, AFSL 428289). When considering financial returns, return of capital is not guaranteed and past performance is not indicative of future performance.