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5 Must-Do Steps Before You Dive into Investing


Pre-Investment Checklist

Investing your money is crucial in achieving your financial goals, but it should not be the starting point. Effective financial planning involves steps that lay the foundation for successful investing. Before you dive into the world of investments, here are five important things you should do:

1. Establish a Household Budget

Before you even think about investing, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of your financial situation. Creating a household budget is the first step towards this. Start by listing all your sources of income, including your salary, rental income, interest from fixed deposits, dividends from shares and mutual funds, and any other sources of revenue.

Next, list all your monthly expenses, including groceries, fuel, loan EMIs, and discretionary spending. Break this down into quarterly, half-yearly, or annual income and expenses to make things more manageable. A budget helps you identify patterns in your spending and allows you to allocate money towards short-term and long-term financial goals.

A useful guideline for budgeting is the 50-20-30 rule:

  • Allocate 50% of your income to living expenses, such as groceries.
  • Dedicate 20% towards savings for short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals.
  • Reserve 30% for discretionary spending, which includes outings, dining, and travel.

Adjust these percentages to suit your age and individual circumstances.

2. Eliminate Debt

Debt can be a major obstacle to financial success. Your financial progress may be stunted if you pay high-interest rates on loans while trying to grow your investments. There are two types of debt to consider: unconstructive debt (like personal and credit card debt) and constructive debt (like home loans).

Prioritize paying off high-interest unconstructive debt, such as credit card balances, personal loans, and car loans. Interest rates on these loans can be excessively high, making building wealth while carrying them challenging. On the other hand, home loans typically have lower interest rates and can be considered constructive debt, as they help you acquire a valuable asset. Ensure your home loan EMI does not exceed 40% of your take-home pay.

Clearing your debt frees up your financial resources and contributes positively to your credit history, which can be crucial for future financial endeavours.

3. Secure Adequate Insurance

Protecting your assets and your family’s financial well-being is paramount. Before diving into investments, ensure you have adequate insurance coverage. Here are two key types of insurance to consider:

  • Health Insurance: Medical expenses can be a significant financial burden in case of illness, accidents, or serious health conditions. A comprehensive health insurance policy ensures you won’t have to deplete your savings or borrow money to cover medical bills.
  • Life Insurance: A term life insurance policy provides financial protection to your loved ones during your untimely death. The sum assured is paid to the beneficiaries if you pass away during the policy term. It’s essential to have life insurance coverage of at least seven times your annual income, considering the financial needs of your dependents. Purchasing term insurance online often offers cost savings.

4. Build an Emergency Fund

Before you start investing for long-term goals, establish an emergency fund. Life can be unpredictable, and unexpected events like temporary disability, job loss, or medical emergencies can strain your finances. Without an emergency fund, you may resort to borrowing from friends relatives, or taking personal loans, incurring additional costs in the form of interest.

While there’s no fixed rule for the size of your emergency fund, a good rule of thumb is to set aside three to six months’ worth of household expenses. Keep these funds in easily accessible, liquid assets to ensure you can access them quickly when needed.

5. Set Clear Financial Goals

Lastly, it’s essential to identify your financial goals before investing. Knowing where you want to go financially allows you to chart a path efficiently. Setting clear, specific goals is crucial to the overall financial planning process. Define your goals, whether buying a home, funding your child’s education, or retiring comfortably, and create a separate plan for each.

Remember that financial planning encompasses more than just investment planning. Once you have a financial plan, consider your risk tolerance and the time horizon for your goals. Finally, choose the right investment vehicles to align with your objectives.


In conclusion, investing is a vital component of financial planning, but it should not be your initial step. By following these five essential tasks before investing, you’ll be better prepared to achieve your financial aspirations while minimizing unnecessary risks. Effective financial planning ensures that your investments are aligned with your goals, setting you on a path to financial success.


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