Once a financial plan has been put in place it’s tempting to believe the paperwork can be tucked away in a drawer and forgotten about, never to be looked at again. However, your plan needs to be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure you are on track to meet your objectives, and that the plan is still “fit for purpose”.
The original plan would have been matched to your goals at that stage, e.g. to fund private education for your children, to retire at 60, or whatever your plan was at the time.
A review will first look at whether these goals have changed: perhaps a change of job, birth of another child, or a child leaving home and no longer being financially dependent.
On a regular basis review how your investments have performed and whether the funds you are invested in remain suitable for your risk profile and current objectives.
Many people spend time making a decision at day 1 as to what funds to invest in. But that decision is often never reviewed after that. They look at whether the fund has increased or reduced, but because they don’t know what to compare it to they have no idea as to the relative performance.
Over time your priorities and circumstances change. An investment that was appropriate when you first made the decision may no longer be appropriate some years later.
When you are younger you may be happy to take significant risk since you feel you will not be in need of your pensions and investment for many years. However as you get older you may not be so happy to take that level of risk.
You may have a pension from a previous employer which gave you little choice as to what you could invest in. If you are no longer with that employer you may have other options to transfer your pension to a personal pension with a much greater choice of investment funds.
The whole process of looking after, and improving, your wealth is an ongoing process. Make sure you monitor all your finances on a regular basis so that if an investment isn’t performing or is no longer suitable for whatever reason, then you take the appropriate action to change it.
You don’t want to get to retirement age and realise at that stage your investment hasn’t performed for the last 20 years.
If you need help with reviewing your investments please do call me on 01932 698150 or email [email protected]. Don’t wait until you’re about to retire to consider whether your plan is fit and healthy.
photo credit: Flickr/401(K)2013