Investing Basics

What is Investing?

Investing simply means putting your money to work so it can make more money. It is not a get-rich-quick scheme and it is not gambling. For many Canadians, investing is an important and necessary part of retirement planning.

Wise investors don’t leave anything to chance – they have a plan and commit money only if an opportunity or product will meet their investment objectives. By setting goals and understanding your risk tolerance, you’ll start your investing journey with much more than just luck on your side.

Setting Goals

Everyone has a different idea of what money means to them. Having a financial plan can help you get where you want to be.

Your financial plan should take into account any current investments, your knowledge of financial markets, your tolerance for risk, how much you plan to invest and your overall investment objectives.

Set personal investment goals

Start by taking some time to set out your investment goals. Look at the big picture. How do you see yourself down the road? Set financial goals by writing down what you want to accomplish and by when.

Helpful Tools:

Investing Basics: Getting Started (AcrobatPDF) – Get important tips to help you get started or to sharpen your investing knowledge.

Working with an Adviser (AcrobatPDF) – You may want to work with a professional to set your goals and complete a financial plan. Learn how to choose a financial adviser and make the most of the relationship.

NEW – Financial Concerns Checklist – Don’t be at risk of elder financial abuse. This checklist will help you start a conversation if you are concerned about the financial well‐being of your parents or a senior close to you, or if you suspect they may be suffering financial abuse. (AcrobatPDF)

Understanding Risk

An important step in understanding who you are as an investor is knowing how much risk you are willing to take. Every investment has some amount of risk. The higher the potential return, the higher the risk. There is no such thing as a high return, risk-free investment, so if you want higher returns you have to be prepared to take on the risks that go along with them.

Understanding Your Risk Tolerance

The amount of risk you are willing to take may depend on:

  • if you would rather keep your money safe or seek higher growth
  • when you need your money
  • how you react to the ups and downs of the markets
  • if you have any debts
  • if you have other sources of income to fall back on

Helpful Tools:

Working with an Adviser (AcrobatPDF) – How to choose a financial adviser and make the most of the relationship.