Written by Edward Jones and Submitted by Jeffrey Stark, Financial Advisor
Springtime is almost here. If you’re like many people, the arrival of spring means it’s time to spruce up your home. But why stop there? This year, consider applying some of those same spring-cleaning techniques to your investment portfolio.
Here are some ideas you may want to put to work:
• Get rid of clutter. You probably don’t have to look too far around your home to find things that are broken or simply no longer useful to you. If you poke around your portfolio, you might make similar discoveries: an investment that has chronically underperformed, duplicates another investment or met your needs in the past but is less relevant to your current situation and goals. Once you identify these types of investments, you may decide to sell them and use the proceeds to take advantage of opportunities that may prove more valuable to you.
• Consolidate. Over the years, you may have accumulated multiple versions of common household items — brooms, mops, hammers — which pop up mysteriously in various parts of your home. You might find it more efficient, and even less expensive, if you consolidated all these things in one centralized location. As an investor, you also might find that consolidation can offer you some benefits. Do you have one Individual Retirement Account (IRA) with one financial services provider and a second IRA with another? Do you have a couple of old 401(k) accounts with former employers? And have you scattered investments here, there and everywhere? By consolidating all these accounts in one place, you can cut down on paperwork, reduce fees and, most importantly, unite your investment dollars so that it’s easier for you to see what you have and then follow a single, coherent investment strategy.
• Prepare for turbulent weather. As you know, springtime can bring heavy rains, hail, strong winds and other threats to your home. As part of your overall spring cleaning, you may want to check the condition of your roof, clear branches away from your house, clean your gutters and downspouts, and take other steps to protect your property from the ravages of Mother Nature. And just as you need to safeguard your home, you’ll want to protect the lifestyles of those who live in that home — namely, your family. You can help accomplish this by reviewing your life and disability insurance to make sure it’s still sufficient for your needs.
• Get professional help. You may find that you can’t do all your spring cleaning by yourself. For example, if your carpets and rugs are heavily soiled, you may need to call in a professional cleaner. Or if your tree branches have grown out of control, you might need to bring in a tree trimmer. Similarly, when you decide to “tidy up” your portfolio, you’ll need some assistance from a financial professional — someone who can study your current mix of investments and recommend changes, as needed, to help ensure your holdings are suitable for your risk tolerance, time horizon and short- and long-term goals.
Spring cleaning can reinvigorate your home and your overall outlook. And by tidying up your investment portfolio, you can help gain some of that same optimism — for your future.