Am I Doing the Right Thing With My Investments?

HBO has a popular series they air in the fall called “Hard Knocks.” The aim of the program is to uncover the intricacies and nuances that make training camp in the NFL so fascinating.  They pull the curtain back and give us a peek at the events that lends a revealing perspective to how the football preseason transpires.  In a similar vein, over the past few posts, we’ve given an insider’s view to our investment review process.

This week we profile the final steps involved in our individual portfolio analysis.

The Dreaded Check Engine Light

right thing

One of the more standard ways your car will alert you of a problem is by triggering the check engine light.  Once illuminated, the check engine light can be decoded by running a diagnostic test on the car.

Similarly, when we first meet with clients, we’ll often hear, “I want to make sure I’m doing all I can to get the best investment return.”  By running our version of the diagnostic test each quarter, we spot tune-ups and efficiencies that otherwise may be missed.

Our checklist includes:

  • Handling required minimum distributions
  • Identifying opportunities to fund more tax advantaged accounts (Roth IRA’s, IRA’s or qualified plans)
  • Verifying funds will be available for short-term cash needs
  • Minimizing transaction fees
  • Evaluating if a lower cost investment could fill the role of a current one
  • Determining if any accounts can be transferred for cheaper or better investment options
  • Considering if any other account openings or transfers would be beneficial (college planning accounts/life insurance/1035 exchanges/annuities)
  • Keeping investment allocations in line with your risk capacity and our investment themes

Some of these items occur every year and some every quarter.  Staying on top of each one will keep your portfolio in good working order.

Photo Credit: Robert Couse-Baker

This is the third and final installment of our “Behind the Scenes” series.  It is our hope that this series gave you a more transparent look at our business to better understand the diligence we employ with each client review.

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