You should consider your goals for the use of your investments, in terms of short-term, near- or medium-term, and long-term. Within short-term goals, you might include such items as travel, large consumer purchases, marriage, or health care-related expenses, and perhaps even current income. Within the near- or medium-term category could be such goals as capital for a home purchase, repairs/renovations on a principal residence, creating a business, or acquiring a second home/rental property. Long-term goals could be such items as funding higher education, retirement income, or passing wealth to heirs. It is important to note that your goals may change, especially short-term goals, as your ideas and outlook changes, so you need to be flexible in establishing goals.