Throughout the year you’ve checked on your investments for progress or signs of decline. You’ve noticed gains and losses. But have you thought about your overall investment strategy lately? The end of the year is the best time revisit it. That way you can maximize your tax benefit and get a jump start on your savings plan.
Are you ready to make investment decisions and set priorities for 2019? We’ve compiled a checklist to give you an idea of the steps you should take before you toast to the new year.
- Review Your Investment Portfolio
How did it do over the year? What changes need to be made? First, look at your gain-loss ratio. Your assets may have increased in one area and decreased in another. Being out of balance isn’t always alarming, but you probably want to diversity your assets to manage risk. Before making any moves, remember to consider changes to your life and family circumstances.
As you analyze your portfolio, be sure to compare it to past years and look at the causes for this year’s performance. Take some time to research economic forecasts. Then choose an area that you want to grow whether it be stocks, bonds, or cash alternatives. These topics should also be discussed with your financial advisors as they can provide valuable insight.
Finally, beware of investing in mutual funds at this time of year. They tend to make larger distributions as year ends, and that can affect your capital gains situation.
- Save on Taxes
Your tax strategy is as important as your investment portfolio, and there is a limited time frame to make changes. First, if you lost money on a taxable investment, consider selling those shares to offset any gains. Or, if you have charitable donations on your mind, you can give shares rather than cash for a tax deduction without adding to your taxable income.
As a reminder, contribution limits increased this year, so adjust your 401(k) withholdings and max out any other retirement accounts before tax day. Lastly, if you have access to an HSA, make use of it; only 15 percent of all Health Savings Accounts are maxed out each year.
- Set Goals
What do you see for yourself in the new year? Share your ideas with your financial advisors and discuss new and existing goals. They can suggest an aggressive or conservative approach depending on your situation. Would you like to…
- Increase retirement savings?
- Start contributing to a college-savings plan?
- Save for that once-in-a-lifetime vacation?
What would you add to the list? By reviewing your investments and making appropriate changes, you can be well-positioned to fulfill any number of goals. Our team at Naden/Lean is prepared to help you get there. Contact us with questions.