Growth | Investment Services

Request an Appointment

The growth phase of investing starts early in life. In fact, you began growing your wealth before you started investing! Investing might seem like an intimidating process, but the sooner you start, the easier it’ll be to begin building a nest egg for your future.

Are you ready to invest?

Since investing always includes some risk, it’s important to have a solid financial foundation before you get started. Here are some key signs that you’re ready to invest:

  • You have a steady income.
  • You have money left over after meeting your financial obligations.
  • You’ve considered the effect of any upcoming personal changes, such as marriage, children, or divorce.
  • You’ve built up your savings, including an emergency fund with at least 3 to 6 months’ worth of expenses.

Investment options

Whether you’re saving for retirement, a new home, further education, or another goal, here’s a quick look at the key types of investments available to help you.


A stock (also known as “shares” or “equity”) is a type of security that signifies proportionate ownership in the issuing corporation. This entitles the stockholder to that proportion of the corporation’s assets and earnings.

Stocks are bought and sold predominantly on stock exchanges and are the foundation of nearly every portfolio.

Stocks (and stock mutual funds) have a high return potential, but the potential risk with stocks is also high. For the average investor, they’re typically considered as part of a long-term investment strategy (such as a 401(k) or Individual Retirement Account) where you have much more time on your side and can afford to be more aggressive and take on more risk. They may not make sense for a short-term investment goal where safety and stability are more of a priority.

Stock investing includes risks, including fluctuating prices and loss of principal.


Bonds are used by companies, municipalities, states, and sovereign governments to finance projects and operations. Owners of bonds are debtholders, or creditors, of the issuer. Bond details include the end date when the principal of the loan is due to be paid to the bond owner and usually includes the terms for interest payments made by the borrower.

Historically, bonds (and bond mutual funds) are known for their potential to generate consistent, moderate returns, which may work best in a medium term investment goal (such as a college fund) where you can take on some risk, but not a lot. In addition, as you get closer to retirement (within 10 years in general), bonds and bond funds may also become a bigger part of your retirement account portfolio if you are looking to go less heavy on stocks but still want some growth potential.

Bonds are subject to market and interest rate risk if sold prior to maturity. Bond values will decline as interest rates rise, and bonds are subject to availability and change in price.

Cash equivalents

Cash equivalent investments are typically money market funds1 and can include U.S Treasury Bills as well. They’re known for consistent, lower returns (but with much lower risk), which may make more sense for a shorter-term investment goal (such as saving for a down payment on a house). As you get closer to retirement (within 5-10 years in general), cash equivalents may also become a bigger part of your retirement account portfolio if you are seeking minimal risk at this life stage.

Treasury bills are guaranteed by the US government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value.

Request an Appointment

What kind of investor are you?

Once you’re ready to start, you’ll work with your CFS advisor to create an investment mix, which is how you decide to use your investment dollars. There are three key factors in choosing your investment mix:

  • Your risk tolerance – the amount of risk you can accept to get the returns you want.
  • Your time horizon – the amount of time your money remains invested.
  • Your investment goal – the amount of money you need to save to make your retirement dream a reality.

Take our risk tolerance quiz to help you understand your feelings about risk and how much you risk you’re comfortable taking.