Money plays a big role in many stages of a relationship, whether it's a first date, wedding budget or a joint retirement. Once you're together, you may want to start crucial conversations, including about investing.
Start with this quiz to set the tone, and then try working through these strategies one by one to build a plan that works for you and your significant other.
When you discuss finances with your partner, see it as an opportunity to get closer and build a strong backbone for your future. While sometimes stressful, it's important to be honest for productive conversations.
First, outline your investment goals. Whether you have been investing for a while or are new to the financial markets, outlining what you aim to achieve is critical to financial success.
If you don't know where to begin, try thinking first of your short-term goals.
Maybe your priority in the beginning is to build an emergency fund together. That way, you can feel secure about your finances should a financial emergency arise, like an unexpected veterinary visit or a new transmission for your car. Your next goal could be upgrading your kitchen or moving into a larger home in the next few years.
Once you define your short-term goals, you also can discuss what you'd like to achieve together in the long term. These goals may include having children, saving for their future, saving for a house down payment or for retirement.
Ensure you're on the same page as you determine joint goals with your significant other. Remember, it's okay to have differing or additional personal investment goals. The important thing is that you're open about them and that you're reasonably aligned on major life goals, like retirement.
2. Build a joint strategy you can stick to.
After defining collective and individual goals, create concrete plans to pursue them. Determine how much money you need to hit your objectives and figure out your investment timelines so you know when you'd like to achieve everything.
These factors can help you decide how much money to allocate toward your goals — whether on a biweekly, monthly or annual basis.
You might consider opening a joint investment account when discussing your investment strategies for various goals. Retirement accounts are for individuals only, but a joint investment account may make sense for other future goals you may have.
If you and your significant other are unsure about the best investing path to take, you may want to speak to a financial advisor. Having an informed outside opinion may help you both feel more confident about your investment strategy.
Once you have an investment strategy you're both comfortable with, document it to help you stay accountable, provide a point of reference and remind you of your goals. You can come back to your strategy and adjust over time if your financial situations change.
3. Navigate differing risk tolerances.
When it comes to investing, everyone's risk tolerance is different. You may prefer a more conservative or aggressive approach than your partner. That's okay, but it may mean taking extra time to compromise or determine individual investment strategies.
The important part is being honest about your risk tolerance and finding investments that you're comfortable with. You don't want to find yourself in a situation where your holdings make you sleepless from stress night after night.
If you favor a more conservative investment strategy and your partner is more aggressive (or vice versa), you might think of it as an opportunity to balance each other's investments. One partner can focus on keeping holdings secure and stable, especially during market volatility, while the other puts their focus on more active trading through the waves.
Invest in your relationship’s future.
Remember, you're on the same team. Talking about money might stir up some nerves — just like those first-date jitters. Fortunately, these conversations are an exciting step to building your financial future together.