What is an investment time horizon?

Factors that influence time horizon

3 types of investment time horizons

Investment horizon and risk

Asset allocation and time horizon

LearnInvesting 101What Is an Investment Time Horizon? Definition & Overview

# What Is an Investment Time Horizon? Definition & Overview

Sep 12, 2022

·

An investment time horizon is the amount of time you need to hold onto an investment before you sell it. Learn the difference between short, medium, and long-term horizons.

An investment time horizon helps investors understand how much time they feasibly have to reach their financial goals. This can help an investor assess how much time they have before they need to sell an investment, as well as how much risk they can bear. In turn, this information will help determine the mix of investments in their portfolio.

## What is an investment time horizon?

Technically, an investment time horizon is the amount of time you need to hold onto an investment before you sell it. It's typically linked to the amount of time you need to reach a financial goal. It could be a number of months, years, or decades. Imagine a 35-year-old investor saving for retirement, with the goal of retiring at age 65. In this case, their investment time horizon would be 30 years.

## Factors that influence time horizon

Each individual’s time horizon is different. The following factors inform an investor’s time horizon.

• Target date for goals.

An investor’s time horizon largely hinges on how much time they have to reach their financial goals. For instance, if someone plans to send their child to college, and their child is set to start college in 2030, the investor would have a time horizon of 9 years if they start investing in 2021.

• Age.

For long-term goals tacked to major life milestones, age can play a big factor. For example, someone who begins investing at age 25 and would like to retire by 65 would have an investment time horizon of 40 years. If they are 35 and would like to leave the workforce by 70, they have 35 years to build that investment income for their golden years.

Side note: Try Titan’s free Investment Calculator to project your potential investment returns over a period of time.

At Titan, we are value investors: we aim to manage our portfolios with a steady focus on fundamentals and an eye on massive long-term growth potential. Investing with Titan is easy, transparent, and effective.

Get Started

## 3 types of investment time horizons

Put simply there are short-term, medium-term, and long-term investment time horizons.

• A short-term time horizon

applies to financial goals an investor wants to reach in five years or less, such as buying a car.

• A medium-term time horizon

generally applies to financial goals with a timeframe of five to 10 years, such as a down payment on a house.

• A long-term investment time horizon

usually applies to financial goals at least 10 years away, like saving for retirement or sending kids to college.

## Investment horizon and risk

An investor’s time horizon is inherently tied to risk. When an investor has less time to reach a financial goal, they won't have as much time to recoup any potential losses. However, if they have more time to reach a financial goal, they may be more likely to withstand any potential dips in the market. Therefore, shorter time horizons have a lower tolerance for risk, while longer investment time horizons have a higher tolerance for risk.

## Asset allocation and time horizon

Due to the relationship between risk tolerance and time horizon, an investor’s time horizon may impact what types of assets are included in their portfolio.

• Short-term time horizon.

Because investments with short-term time horizons won't have as much time to recover should the stock market take a dip, a short-term investment strategy usually has a more conservative investment approach and contains more stable, less risky investments—think cash, or liquid, cash-like assets. With a shorter time horizon, one might find an 80/20 mix, in which 80% is in cash and the remaining 20% is in securities.

• Medium-term time horizon.

A medium-term investment strategy needs to do two things at once: protect accumulated investments while also aiming to grow these investments. As a result, a portfolio with a medium-term horizon might include a more balanced mix. For example: Imagine an investor saving for a second home they would like to buy in seven years. They might have a portfolio that is 40% invested in bonds, and 60% invested in stocks. If the investment time horizon were a bit shorter, the portfolio mix might be flipped so that it's more conservative, with 60% in bonds or cash and 40% in stocks.

• Long-term time horizon:

A long-term investment strategy can be more aggressive because the investments have more time to ride out any tumbles in the stock market, and short-term losses could turn into long term gains. For example, a portfolio with a long-term time horizon might be 80% invested in stocks—including some growth stocks—with 20% or less in cash.

For investments with any time horizon, as an investor nears their target date for an investing goal, or the end of their investment time horizon, they would shift the portfolio mix toward more conservative investments to minimize risk.

Note: While time horizon and risk tolerance are inherently related, an investor’s overall disposition towards risk is also a factor. Some investors are more comfortable with risk than others, which can influence their portfolio mix.

Disclosures

Certain information contained in here has been obtained from third-party sources. While taken from sources believed to be reliable, Titan has not independently verified such information and makes no representations about the accuracy of the information or its appropriateness for a given situation. In addition, this content may include third-party advertisements; Titan has not reviewed such advertisements and does not endorse any advertising content contained therein.

This content is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. You should consult your own advisers as to those matters. References to any securities or digital assets are for illustrative purposes only and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Furthermore, this content is not directed at nor intended for use by any investors or prospective investors, and may not under any circumstances be relied upon when making a decision to invest in any strategy managed by Titan. Any investments referred to, or described are not representative of all investments in strategies managed by Titan, and there can be no assurance that the investments will be profitable or that other investments made in the future will have similar characteristics or results.

Charts and graphs provided within are for informational purposes solely and should not be relied upon when making any investment decision. Past performance is not indicative of future results. The content speaks only as of the date indicated. Any projections, estimates, forecasts, targets, prospects, and/or opinions expressed in these materials are subject to change without notice and may differ or be contrary to opinions expressed by others. Please see Titan’s Legal Page for additional important information.

Three Things, a newsletter from Titan

Stay informed on the most impactful business and financial news with analysis from our team.

You might also like

How to Invest \$2,000

Investors with \$2,000 have several options: high-yield savings accounts, index funds, actively managed funds, robo-advisors, stocks, and real estate investment trusts.

Understanding Portfolio Construction: How to Diversify and Assess Risk

Constructing a portfolio that minimizes risk while maximizing potential gains is a delicate and ever-changing balance. Learn about the process of creating a portfolio.

What Are Interval Funds and How Do They Work?

Interval funds are investment companies that combine characteristics of both open and closed-end funds. Investors can buy them at any time but sell them at certain intervals.

What Is Return on Investment (ROI)?

Return on investment is a useful basic measure of the profitability of an investment or business project. But it has limitations that investors use to have annual-equivalent returns.

Cash Management

Smart Cash

Smart Cash FAQs

Cash Options

Get Smart Cash

Titan Global Capital Management USA LLC ("Titan") is an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). By using this website, you accept and agree to Titan’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Titan’s investment advisory services are available only to residents of the United States in jurisdictions where Titan is registered. Nothing on this website should be considered an offer, solicitation of an offer, or advice to buy or sell securities or investment products. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Any historical returns, expected returns, or probability projections are hypothetical in nature and may not reflect actual future performance. Account holdings and other information provided are for illustrative purposes only and are not to be considered investment recommendations. The content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a comprehensive description of Titan’s investment advisory services.

Please refer to Titan's Program Brochure for important additional information. Certain investments are not suitable for all investors. Before investing, you should consider your investment objectives and any fees charged by Titan. The rate of return on investments can vary widely over time, especially for long term investments. Investment losses are possible, including the potential loss of all amounts invested, including principal. Brokerage services are provided to Titan Clients by Titan Global Technologies LLC and Apex Clearing Corporation, both registered broker-dealers and members of FINRA/SIPC. For more information, visit our disclosures page. You may check the background of these firms by visiting FINRA's BrokerCheck.

Various Registered Investment Company products (“Third Party Funds”) offered by third party fund families and investment companies are made available on the platform. Some of these Third Party Funds are offered through Titan Global Technologies LLC. Other Third Party Funds are offered to advisory clients by Titan. Before investing in such Third Party Funds you should consult the specific supplemental information available for each product. Please refer to Titan's Program Brochure for important additional information. Certain Third Party Funds that are available on Titan’s platform are interval funds. Investments in interval funds are highly speculative and subject to a lack of liquidity that is generally available in other types of investments. Actual investment return and principal value is likely to fluctuate and may depreciate in value when redeemed. Liquidity and distributions are not guaranteed, and are subject to availability at the discretion of the Third Party Fund.

The cash sweep program is made available in coordination with Apex Clearing Corporation through Titan Global Technologies LLC. Please visit www.titan.com/legal for applicable terms and conditions and important disclosures.

Cryptocurrency advisory services are provided by Titan.

Information provided by Titan Support is for informational and general educational purposes only and is not investment or financial advice.

Contact Titan at support@titan.com. 508 LaGuardia Place NY, NY 10012.