Of course you do and actually, itâ€™s not as hard as it sounds. So now 2016 has arrived, itâ€™s time to look forward and ask yourself what you need to do this year, to make sure your investments perform exactly as you want or need them to. And hereâ€™s our â€˜12 Pointâ€™ guide designed to make sure youâ€™re on the right track:
- Take stock. Start 2016 with a review of you and your life. What do you want to achieve, when by and what do you need to do to achieve it? Thereâ€™s little point in investing without a clear aim for what you want from your investments and as we said in our recent blog about Exit Strategies, this requires the seamless integration of your personal ambitions and financial needs. Consulting with a certified financial adviser and accredited life planner is key to this process at this stage and should result in a detailed investment plan which will form the touchstone of future decisions.
- Play the long game. Remember that investing successfully requires a long term approach. Evidence gathered over the last 60 years shows that although nothing is set in stone, long term investments consistently pay off.
- Ignorance is not bliss. Just because itâ€™s a long game doesnâ€™t mean you should ignore your investments. If you have a portfolio that you havenâ€™t reviewed in at least the last 12 months then make that a priority for January 2016. Your investments need to be monitored and kept on track and the review should also weed out any under performers.
- Count the cost. This is another good reason behind regularly reviewing your portfolio, in order to make sure that your funds are not being eroded by high or unnecessary management fees, fund expenses or taxes.
- You donâ€™t have to speculate to accumulate. Research shows that those fund managers and investors who try and outsmart the markets can rarely sustain or repeat their gains. If you meet someone who promises exciting or quick returns, treat them with extreme caution.
- Embrace diversity. Diversify your investments, not just in the holdings or sectors you invest in, but globally too and make sure you have the right mix of riskier and less risky asset classes in your portfolio. This can really reduce unnecessary risk, improve overall expected returns and is one of the best ways to stay financially on track.
- Donâ€™t be tempted to go it alone. A financial adviser can create a plan and structured portfolio, tailored to your personal financial needs. Unless money simply doesnâ€™t matter to you, take advantage of their expertise, knowledge and experience rather than chancing your luck on the markets.
- Donâ€™t get sucked in by all the hype. Itâ€™s really easy, with all the financial noise and headlines, to unwittingly follow the herd, either by seizing what looks like a great opportunity or taking evasive action to avoid an anticipated loss. But itâ€™s rarely the right thing to do.
- Look for evidence. There is a wealth of evidence which can used to form the basis of your investment decisions. This evidence is a combination of academic research, independent studies and experience collated over the last 50 years. Ignore it at your peril and makes sure your adviser is â€œevidenceâ€ aware.
- Understand your own psychology. Thereâ€™s a huge amount of psychology behind successful investing from knowing how risk adverse you are, to clinging on to old, under performing investments for subconscious emotional reasons, or to overreacting to market trends. Itâ€™s human instinct, not weakness, but it does put you at risk of making the wrong decision. A guiding, impartial adviser here makes all the difference.
- Donâ€™t ignore your other assets. Your pension, property and other assets all form an important part of the bigger picture, as does how youâ€™ve organised them. Pensions in particular are as fast moving as ever and you need to make sure you keep them all under review.
- Donâ€™t put it off until next month. Start the New Year with a renewed sense of confidence and calm knowing that your life and your finances are working perfectly in tandem and that things are firmly on track. If you put it off until next month, the chances are your financial review wonâ€™t get done and by this time next year, youâ€™ll be no better off.
At Juno Wealth Management, we donâ€™t promise you quick returns and flashy gains and we deliberately havenâ€™t called this blog â€œWant to make more money from your investmentsâ€. We advocate a sensible, low cost approach to investing, based on your personal life plan and an approach that seeks to secure the best possible market returns for you. If that sounds refreshingly honest and reassuring, call us today to make an initial appointment.
- The value of your investment can go down as well as up and the value is not guaranteed.
You may get back less than your original investment.