Checking up on investment goals

I spent some of the Victoria Day holiday weekend spring cleaning, which got me wondering if I shouldn’t look as critically at my investment portfolio as I had behind the stove.

I’ve got this nagging feeling that something’s not right:

  • Am I on track to meet my investment goal?
  • An opinion I heard at a recent economic outlook conference keeps coming back to me: not to hold on to stocks that I wouldn’t buy today.
  • Family income is down: what does this change in my personal circumstances mean to my investment strategy?

Also, I’d really like to know what I’d be worth if I cashed out today.

Given my investment goal to maximize retirement savings in the next 10 years, my real worry is that I won’t be able to recover from the losses dealt out by the economic downturn. Having stood by quietly as my portfolio eroded, shouldn’t I be doing something to build it back up, especially now that the market is rallying?

This worry makes me a very vulnerable investor, I know. It’s never a good idea to base investment decisions on emotion. And when feelings are running high, with excitement or anxiety, that’s the best time to look over the plan with a cool head. Besides, the decline in my portfolio is history: this is the time to take in the lesson and move on.

So, I took some time this week to download the InvestRight Guide to Investing and use it to prep myself for a conversation with my broker.

I’ll be offline for the next couple of weeks, but will report what I learned (and decided) from that conversation when I return. In the meantime, why don’t you join me by downloading the Guide and asking these questions about your own situation:

  • Am I on track with my investment goals?
  • Is my portfolio properly diversified?
  • What can I do to minimize the effect of a change in family income (or any other significant change that might impact your investment strategy)?
  • What does my portfolio performance look like compared to the market?
  • If I cashed out today, how much could I withdraw for myself?