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The Importance of An Annual Review

Couple Meeting with Financial Advisor

If you’ve taken the time to set up an investment or retirement plan, you want to make the most of it. That means keeping track of your portfolio through an annual review with your investment professional should be high on your list. It’s the ideal opportunity to re-evaluate your goals, adjust your strategies, and make sure your advisor knows what’s going on in your life.

Keep your head out of the sand

Simply put, you can’t set a plan and forget it. Even if you work with an investment advisor, it’s important to keep them informed of any life changes. There are plenty of things that could happen in a year that could affect your investment portfolio. If you answer yes to any of the following, it makes an annual review even more essential:
1. Have your priorities, lifestyles or goals shifted?
2. Are you paying too much in taxes?
3. Is your estate planning up to date?
4. Do you need to add/change a beneficiary?
5. Has your personal situation changed?
6. Have you purchased a high-dollar item?
7. Has there been a death in the family?
8. Do you have a new job?

It could be difficult to determine if your investment plan is still on track without a review. By meeting annually, your portfolio can be adjusted accordingly.

Stick to the plan

Part of our initial conversation with a client includes an investment policy statement that helps provide direction for your investment team. Simply put, it creates the framework for your investment plan based on your individual risk tolerance, needs, timing, and goals.
This is another way an annual review comes in handy. If a client takes on too much risk on their own, we can show them importance of sticking to the original plan. The annual review provides steps to bring the risk back down, or the opportunity to make changes and update an investment plan.
In the end, sticking to the plan usually makes the most sense. Our strategies include a detailed risk analysis and after a plan is put together, we make recommendations tailored to your specific situation.

Paying attention pays off

Your investment goals are a moving target and your plan is a fluid document that will likely need consistent updates. In actuality, that’s a known aspect of any well-prepared investment plan. An annual review tells you how your investments are performing, and it allows you to compare historical returns.

Investment management is also an ongoing process, and it’s difficult to determine if you’re on track without a review and conversation with your advisor. Economic conditions may change the prospects for a particular investment. Working with our team, you may need to rebalance your portfolio to bring it back in line with your goals, and so it fits your current needs if something in your life changes.

If you’re getting closer to retirement, you might want to increase your allocation to less volatile investments. Various investments may also appreciate at different rates. Staying informed with an annual review and working with your investment professional means things can be quickly adjusted.
If you don’t review your investments annually – at a minimum – you won’t know whether you’re on track. Set a specific date each year for a review and it will be a key step on the road to financial and investment success.

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