Quick Guide to Investing: Setting Investment Goals

Setting investment goals is like entering your destination into your car’s GPS – the more specific you are, the easier it will be to get where you’re going. Solid investment goals generally have the following things in common:

1. They’re specific and measurable.

  • Don’t just set a goal of "saving more for retirement." Commit to saving a specific amount during a specific period of time (e.g., an extra 2% of your pre-tax paycheck or an extra $100 each month).
  • For more information on defining and quantifying your investment goals speak with a SunTrust Investment Services (STIS)Advisor or visit our Resource Center.

2. They're achievable.

Nothing will derail an investment strategy faster than having unachievable goals. If you’re 40 years old and can only afford to invest $100/month, setting a goal to save $1 million by the time you retire is inevitably going to lead to disillusionment. Be realistic and either lower your goals (you can always increase them later as your financial circumstances change) or increase your savings rate.

5 Most Common Investing Goals

  • Achieving a comfortable retirement lifestyle
  • Buying a new home
  • Saving for a child or grandchild’s education
  • Starting a new business
  • Leaving a legacy for your heirs

3. They’ll improve the quality of your life.

  • Honestly, what’s the good of accumulating a great deal of wealth if the struggle to do so will make you miserable or contribute to shortening your life? Money is a means to an end, not an end unto itself.
  • Make sure your goals are genuinely important to you, not just goals that someone else says you should pursue.
  • A SunTrust Investment Services advisor knows the right questions to ask to help you better clarify and quantify your goals.


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Investing & Retirement Resource Center

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    The financial obligations associated with caring for an aging parent can often coincide with other priorities. Of course you want to help out when possible; just don’t jeopardize your own future.

  • A Fresh Perspective on Retirement Income

    Faced with the potential to live 30+ years in retirement, the traditional approach to retirement income may no longer make sense.

  • Big Life Change? Three Retirement Rules of Thumb to Follow

    Big life changes can dramatically change how much money you’re able to save each month. Keep in mind these rules of thumb when life shakes things up.

  • Staying on Track with Your Retirement Investments

    Investing for your retirement over the long term takes a little knowledge and discipline. Though there can be no guarantee that any investment strategy will be successful—and all investing involves risk—there are ways to help yourself build your retirement cushion.

  • Donor Advised Funds: Family Giving Made Easy

    In 2014, Americans gave more than $358 billion to charity with nearly three-quarters of that amount coming directly from individuals. And while much of these donations come in the form of direct cash gifts, more and more individuals are turning to planned.