Labor Day is almost here. Of course, this year, the holiday may have a different impact, given the employment-related stress and disruptions stemming from the coronavirus. Yet, it’s good to recognize the value of work and its importance in achieving your life’s goals. But if you’re going to retire comfortably and reach your other financial objectives, you also need to invest — and your investments need to work as hard as you do.

To help make this happen, you need to know why you’re investing in the first place. You likely have a variety of financial goals, including short-term ones — a long vacation, a new car — and long-term ones, such as a comfortable retirement and the desire to leave a legacy for your family. But you can’t invest in the same way for these goals. For example, when you’re planning an overseas vacation for next year, you want a certain amount of money to be available at a certain time, so you’ll want an investment that offers a high degree of preservation of principal. However, when you’re saving for a retirement that may be decades away, you need to consider investments that offer growth potential. In any case, you can help your investments work efficiently for you by matching them with specific goals.

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