Interactive Investor

Quick guides

Setting investment goals and timescales

If you don't know where you want to go, you'll find it tricky getting there! Don't worry if your investment goals are a little vague - it's good to have some flexibility.

Reasons why people invest

Here are a few examples of why people invest in the stock market:

  • Build wealth for financial freedom
  • Pay for a child’s school or university fees
  • Provide an income in retirement (pension)
  • Speculate on the markets

Setting your timescales

Identify whether your investment goals are short-term, medium-term or long-term. Your life stage is an important consideration here, and your investment strategy will need to take this into account.  Timescales will also be dictated by your objectives. Speculative investment will often be short term, whereas investing for a specific goal will be determined by your own target date.   

Find out more:

How much will you need?

Try to put a figure on how much money you will need to achieve an investment goal. This will help form your investment strategy. For example, if you want to achieve a high return in a relatively short space of time, you might opt for investments which could give you higher returns, albeit with more risk to your capital.

If you’re investing for a pension, our handy calculator can give you a good idea of what you will need to save to achieve your retirement goals.

These articles are provided for information purposes only. The content is not intended to be a personal recommendation. The value of your investments, and the income derived from them, may go down as well as up. If in doubt, please seek advice from a qualified investment adviser.