Broker Check

Time for a Portfolio Check-Up?

July 20, 2022

It’s summer. You’ll probably take the car in for a checkup before heading out on a road trip, because you want to ensure the vehicle will get you to your destination. Should you treat your investment portfolio similarly?

The short answer is a resounding “YES.” There are few things more disappointing than having your two-week vacation grounded because the vehicle you were relying on conked out along the way.

Imagine that happening when you are embarking on a 1,500-week-plus vacation… aka your retirement years?

Whether it’s a beach house, spending time with your grandchildren, traveling the world, or indulging in a hobby full-time, your investment portfolio is the “how” you are relying on to see you through. When is the last time you took a step back and reviewed it with a critical eye – one that assesses where you are now and where you want to be at retirement?  If it’s been a while, you are not alone: A recent study indicates that one in five American adults spend more time planning their vacations than managing their finances.1

Even if you carefully selected your investments when opening your account, a “set it and forget it” mentality can be dangerous to your financial well-being. Why? Market movements and economic conditions impact the value and the allocation of your holdings. You change as well: your age, job, time horizon, family circumstances, and risk tolerance are not static. Even your bucket list and goals evolve with time. If you are like a lot of post-covid investors, that’s indeed the case.

There are many things to consider:

Does your current asset mix match your risk tolerance? Market performance can leave you under-or over-exposed to assets that are more volatile than you are comfortable with… or with assets that don’t provide the growth potential you are looking for. You might even need help assessing what your current risk tolerance is.  

Digging deeper into your asset mix: are you properly diversified within your stock/bond/cash holdings? For stocks, you’ll need to look at size (small-, medium-, large-cap stocks); geography (US, global, or emerging markets); style (growth vs. value vs. dividend-paying); high-yield bonds vs. investment-grade, vs. municipals. Cash equivalents… and it goes on.

Not to mention new types of investments you may want to explore: Cryptocurrencies anyone? Then there’s art, real estate, gold, or any number of other options.

What you have is important. So is where your assets are held: for instance, assets in an employer 401(k) plan should be treated differently than holdings in a brokerage account.

It’s important to remember that a checkup doesn’t end with your assets. Your entire wealth management picture should be explored. 

  • Do you have enough insurance protection, including long-term care?
  • Is your estate plan – including beneficiaries – up to date and in line with your wishes today? 
  • What is your retirement income strategy?
  • Are taxes a concern?
  • If you recently switched jobs, does converting your 401k to a Roth IRA make sense? 
  • Are you saving enough? 
  • Are you saving too much? 
  • What’s your social security distribution plan? 
  • Do you have adequate cash reserves to handle an emergency?

If this sounds like a lot of questions, it is. If this seems complicated, it is. That’s why, as with most checkups, it’s best to not conduct it yourself. You may not have the expertise or the objectivity. Leveraging the knowledge of an experienced independent financial advisor is imperative… one familiar with market dynamics and proficient in the tools used to expertly construct a comprehensive investment and wealth management strategy… one who can walk you through your current situation, help you determine where you want to go, and lay out a blueprint to help you arrive there.

Being proactive when it comes to your financial health is key. Give me a call to set up some time to discuss your situation and goals. Let’s get started navigating your way to long-term success.