As I have written in an earlier post, time is the best friend of the investor. As we have seen in the first post you will have to draw up a plan. this plan will contain information about for objectives, risk tolerance, risk tolerance and asset allocation.
However the time that you have will impact on these four aspects on you investment life.
I am going to take the examples of a person saving for sending his child to university and for retirement and talk about how the time aspect would affect the achievement of these objectives.
Suppose that a person who is 20 years old want to retire at the age of 60 years old and also to save money for a child who has just been born. Such a person has 40 years to grow his portfolio for his retirement and 20 to send his child to university. Such a person has time on side.
This person can afford to be risk averse and conservative and invest in a greater amount of safe assets. This person can also invest a smaller amount of money every month because he has the advantage of compounding. Compounding will ensure that his money will grow with time even with small monthly investment. Such a person would be able to achieve his objectives with no problems.
On the other hand if a person is 35 years old and want to retire at 60 years old and want to send his child to university in 10 years then this person will not have time on his side. This person will have to invest more aggressively and cannot afford to be risk averse and must choose assets with greater riskiness but with greater return. Such a person will not also have the advantage of compounding and as a result will have to invest more every month. This person may have no choice but to delay retirement or the time set to attain the objectives.
The lesson that we can learn today is that if you have time on your side then you are a lucky guy. But if you do not have time on your side then it would be harder.