Quick Guide to Investing: Monitoring Your Investment

Thoughtful investing is a marathon, not a sprint. Sometimes, even the most prudent investment decisions don’t deliver the most impressive short-term results. So stay the course and keep focused on your long-term goals.

Monitoring your portfolio should be, at minimum, an annual occurrence and consist of:

  • Tracking the overall performance of your portfolio in moving you closer to your investment goals.
  • Assessing the performance of individual asset classes and investments compared to their peer group.
  • Reviewing your goals and allocations to determine if any changes are needed.

From time to time, your needs and/or personal situation may change. That’s why it’s vital you continually monitor and adjust your plan along with your underlying investments whenever circumstances dictate.

5 common reasons to modify your investments

  1. New goals (e.g., saving for a new child or grandchild’s education)
  2. Achieved goals (e.g., paying off a mortgage or tuition)
  3. Rebalancing (bringing your portfolio back in line with target allocations)
  4. Unexpected windfalls or expenses (e.g., inheritances, disability, etc.)
  5. Life changes (e.g., death of a spouse, divorce)

Thoughtfully rebalance

Over time, as some investments perform better than others, your target allocation will drift resulting in your portfolio taking on too much or too little risk for your goals. Maybe over the period of a few years, your stocks have performed so much better than your bonds that your original 60/40 stocks to bonds portfolio is now a 75/25 stocks to bonds portfolio thanks to the growing value of the stocks.

When this occurs, your portfolio should be rebalanced. But since it requires the buying and selling of investments (in the previous example selling some stocks and buying more bonds) rebalancing needs to be done thoughtfully to minimize your costs and potential taxes.

SunTrust SummitView, our goals-based planning approach, makes it easy to keep track of your investments and monitor your progress towards your goals.

Sometimes it’s important to see if your portfolio’s asset allocation has the right balance of assets that have more risk (and potential reward) such as stocks and those that have less risk, such as bonds. For more information, read Staying on Course, or talk to a SunTrust Investment Services advisor by calling 877.962.9032.

 

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