Monitoring Your Investment Portfolio

March 13, 2010

So you have gotten with a professional investment counselor. They have given you advice on how to go about putting together your investment portfolio to best suit your needs. Now that you have laid out the money, how do you know what your stocks, bonds and other products are doing?

Investing is not a passive, one-time thing. After you go through the process of choosing where and how much to invest, that is only the beginning. Now the process of helping to manage that portfolio begins.

Remember when you were talking to your investment counselor? They probably asked you questions about your plans for the future, when you would retire and your children. All of your answers helped them to advise you on what types of investments were right for your situation. Also remember not to make many of the basic investing mistakes.

For example, let’s say that you are about five years from retirement age, but you have only been investing in your company retirement fund for ten years or so. You may want to beef up your portfolio to get the maximum amount of return in a short time. There will be some low or medium risk stocks but there will likely be some higher risk investments because they have the potential to return profits equal or greater than their risk.

Timing is only one aspect. If you have young kids and you are just starting out, you have the years available to invest in longer term stocks because you won’t need to access the money for awhile. Also, you may want to consider educational needs for your kids and how to pay for that.

Monitoring your investments gives you the advantage of being able to re-evaluate your needs. As they change, so should your portfolio.

Check your portfolio monthly. You can see how your stocks are performing and what transactions have been made on your behalf by your investment broker. Even if someone else is investing for you, your input is valued as the person whose money is on the line. Read all of your statements carefully.

Ask questions. When you don’t understand how certain investments work or if you’ve seen a financial news story and you are worried about changes in your investments, talk to someone who knows. The more that you know, the more informed decisions you can make for your future.

Watch the financial news and read the newspaper. They always feature helpful information about the latest stock tips and what is happening on Wall Street. Should you add a new stock or drop one? Financial news also gives current interest rates for mutual funds and changes in the bond market.

Investing is important for your financial future. As a competent investor, monitor your investments on a regular basis to ensure that they are still right for you.

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4 Responses to “Monitoring Your Investment Portfolio”

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