End of year portfolio planning may seem like a hassle and a bore, but investing in your financial future is not only important, it's essential. Especially with environmental concerns, inflation and rising interest rates becoming more central in our conversations, responsible portfolio planning can be incredibly rewarding for both you and your wallet. In setting clear goals, choosing the best investments, and diversifying wisely, you will be well on your way to achieving long-term financial freedom. So get ready to break out the planners and calculators this December - your wallet will thank you in the new year.
1. Define your goals
Before you dive too deep into the details, make sure you define what your goals are. You could be looking to generate income, build long-term wealth or something else entirely - take a moment to consider what it is you are investing for and map out a plan accordingly.
What are you hoping to achieve? Are you looking to invest for an upcoming event like a vacation or wedding? Or perhaps you'd like to make improvements in diversifying your investments or increasing earnings?
A successful end of year portfolio plan gives you an opportunity to invest in what matters most and set yourself up for success, so take some time to craft that all-important end of year goal to get off on the right track!
2. Review your investments
Now is the perfect time to get crystal clear on your portfolio and make a list of all the stocks, funds, and other investments that you currently hold - making sure nothing slips through the cracks. You could make a long list in a spreadsheet if that's helpful.
Whether you have an extensive collection or only have a few investments, now is the time to look over it all for accuracy and begin planning for potential opportunities. Who knows what the new year could bring?
Not only will this save you time and energy when tax season rolls around (less sorting through mounds of paperwork!), but it'll also help make sure you have an accurate indication of how your investments are performing.
3. Evaluate performance
As end of year approaches, it is important to carefully review each stock in your investment portfolio. Has it ramped up in price or has it dropped significantly? Many times, we tend to become too attached to our investments, especially ones that have had good returns in the past.
However, when it comes down to end of year planning and evaluating performance, it would be wise to consider selling those stocks that didn't quite do so well and investing the money elsewhere. By doing this, you can ensure that 2023 is a better year for your financial portfolio. It's ok to shift things around - investing isn't designed to be set in stone!
4. Review asset allocation
Alongside evaluating the performance, it's also essential to review your holdings. What's your asset allocation looking like? Do you have too much of your money buried in non-cyclical stocks? Maybe you have too many risk-free bonds in your portfolio that aren't giving you high returns to meet your financial goals?
Review. Reflect. Reassess.
The end of the year is a perfect time to ask yourself if you should invest more money in certain areas or diversify into new ones. The answer to this question depends on a few factors, including what type of return you are hoping to see in the near future, or if you prefer to not put all of your eggs into one basket. One thing is always certain though - planning ahead is key.
5. Review fees
As end of year approaches, now is the perfect time to reflect on your current accounts like trading platforms. Have any of your charges or changed? Maybe when you initially opened that account it seemed like the best option, but circumstances can change - don't be scared to shop around for something better.
It's important to beware of trading platforms who will be eating away at your returns under the table. As if lower returns weren’t bad enough, these platforms are renowned for altering their fees constantly – making us feel like we’re playing cat and mouse.
When seeking out a new platform, make sure you look into the hidden fees that lurk beneath and save yourself trouble in the end.
6. Adopt dollar-cost averaging
As the end of the year approaches, it's time to review our investment portfolio and consider whether dollar-cost averaging is an option for mitigating risk and bolstering your investments in the new year.
If you haven't adopted this strategy so far, listen in. In short, it allows you to spread out your purchases over a period of time so that you don't end up paying too much if prices increase. So let's say you have $1,000 to invest. Rather than dumping it in one lump sum into a stock or fund, consider paying $100 every month for ten months.
This way, you can rest assured that not only have you taken advantage of the most promising investments this end of the year, but also created a steady plan for protecting any losses you might face when buying investments in the months ahead.
7. Sort those taxes
As the end of the year approaches, it's important to take stock of your entire investment portfolio and plan ahead for any associated tax responsibilities.
Getting ahead with prepping appropriate documents means far less scrambling later on, and can ultimately save you stress (and money). So get organized and make the most of any end of year tax allowances so you're all ready to go when they're due.
8. Track your portfolio
Don’t be like that end of year shopper that shows up the day after Christmas – looking for the best deals while the shelves are picked clean at the end of year. If you want to be a successful investor, then consider undergoing reviews such as these at intervals throughout the year.
The best way to do this? Review it regularly throughout the year and make any necessary adjustments to ensure it continues to meet your goals. Why wait until the panic sets in at the end of year? Make portfolio reviews a regular activity as you make your way into 2023.
As we say goodbye to one year and hello to the next, it's important to take a moment review your investment portfolio. By taking these simple tips into account as you manage your investments at the end of the year, you can start the new year on the right foot and feel empowered to take the driving seat on your investments for the year ahead. So go ahead, sit down with your coffee and laptop and get ready to give your investment portfolio a little TLC. Your future self will thank you for it.