Investor strategy worksheet

Knowing your goals and your comfort with risk can help you pick the best funds for you.

What kind of investor are you?

Take these steps to find out.

1 Answer each of the questions below.

2 Keep track of each answer’s score (in parentheses), and calculate your total when you’re done.

3 Match your total to one of five investor strategies—conservative, moderate, balanced, growth, or aggressive.

Consider using your investor strategy as a guide when you choose the funds you want to invest in.

  • When do you want to start using the money you save?

    • <3 years (0)
    • 3–5 years (3)
    • 6–10 years (5)
    • 11–15 years (8)
    • >15 years (10)
  • What matters most?

    • Protecting my money (0)
    • Growing my money—at least a little (4)
    • Growing my money—a good amount (7)
    • Growing my money—as much as I can (10)
  • How do you feel about risk?

    • It's not okay if my fund value goes up and down, even if I could make more money over time (0)
    • I don't mind if my fund value goes up and down a little, if there's a good chance I'll make a little money over time (2)
    • I don't mind if my fund value goes up and down, if there's a good chance I'll make more money over time (4)
    • I don't mind if my fund value goes way up and down, if there's a good chance I'll make a lot of money over time (6)
  • The value of one of your funds suddenly drops by 20%. What do you do?

    • Sell it (0)
    • Sell some of it (2)
    • Keep it (4)
    • Buy more of it (6)
  • Over time, you're likely to make more money if you invest in riskier funds. Knowing this, what do you do?

    • Take no more risk (0)
    • Take a little more risk with some of my money (2)
    • Take a lot more risk with some of my money (4)
    • Take a lot more risk with all of my money (6)
  • You have a choice among three funds, with three possible outcomes for the money you invest. Which do you choose?

    • Gain up to 8%, or lose up to 1% (0)
    • Gain up to 15%, or lose up to 6% (3)
    • Gain up to 22%, or lose up to 12% (6)
Bar graph showing 3 possible outcomes of 3 funds where the first gains 8% earnings or loses 1%, the second gains 15% or loses 6%, and the third gains 22% or loses 12%.
  • You're checking up on your savings, and realize you may not hit your goal in time. What do you do?

    • Save as much as possible—and stick with the same funds (0)
    • Save a little more—and put some of it in riskier funds (3)
    • Save the same amount—and put all of it in riskier funds (6)
  • How do you feel about hitting your savings goal?

    • I need to hit my goal on time (0)
    • I'd like to hit my goal, but I'm okay with getting close (2)
    • I'll take my money out later if I really need to (4)
    • I'll change my goal or take my money out later—whatever works best for me and my savings (6)

If you scored

Your investor strategy is

0–7

Conservative

Risk's not for you. Protecting your money is what matters most. Maybe you're close to taking it out, or just feeling cautious.

8–22

Moderate

Risk makes you nervous. Protecting your money matters a lot, but you want it to grow just a little more before you need it.

23–37

Balanced

You can handle a little risk. You want your money to grow, but protecting it is important too.

38–48

Growth

You're okay with risk. You want your money to grow, and you've got time to wait.

49–56

Aggressive

Risk doesn't worry you. Growing your money is what matters most, and you’ve got plenty of time before you need it.