Whether you are a comparative newcomer or an experienced investor, one of the keys to successful investing is an annual portfolio review. Examining your portfolio regularly serves several purposes, but is especially important during times of market volatility.
How to weather the storm
International markets are experiencing more peaks and troughs than of late, with some major economies slowing or faltering. Closer to home, the dynamics of domestic markets are overshadowed by the prospect of a General Election in May 2015. Uncertainty leads to increased market volatility, which can have major impacts for investors.
Reviewing your portfolio will help ensure that you are in the most suitable asset classes and that your chosen funds are generating an acceptable level of return. Failing to do so means you risk holding on to investments that are underachieving or are no longer suitable for your needs.
During the course of the year, some of your investments will grow faster than others, so you may need to look at the weightings of your various asset classes to ensure that you aren’t exposing your portfolio to a higher level of risk than you’re willing to take. As well as reviewing whether your portfolio meets your risk profile, it makes sense to look at the performance of the individual funds you’re invested in, to see how they have measured up.
If a particular holding has done substantially better than expected, it might be the right time to take some profits and invest them into other assets which have the potential for future growth. Conversely, if a fund has performed badly and shows no immediate prospect of improving, it
could be worth cutting your losses.
What goes up can come down
Investment requires a degree of holding your nerve when markets drop. Experienced long-term investors have learned that markets can be volatile and know that probably the worst investment strategy you can adopt is to jump in and out of the stock market, panic when prices fall, and sell investments at the bottom of the market. A review with your adviser provides a good opportunity to revisit your investment goals too. Marriage, a new house or the birth of a child all bring longer-term financial needs that should be reflected in your strategy. So too can redundancy or divorce. On a happier note, a windfall or salary rise can provide a welcome opportunity to invest more.
Your portfolio will undoubtedly benefit from being regularly reviewed and adjusted to take account of market conditions and life goals; why not schedule a review with us today?
The value of the investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back as much as you put in.