As an investor, you must regularly check your portfolio to ensure it aligns with your investment goals and risk tolerance. This process, known as portfolio review, is a critical tool for potentially optimising investment returns over the long term. The financial markets are constantly changing, and your investment portfolio needs to adapt to those changes.
A portfolio review is a tool that involves a systematic analysis of your investment goals, risk tolerance, and holdings to identify any changes you need to make. For example, if a particular sector is experiencing rapid growth, increasing your exposure to that sector may make sense.
Review your investment goals and risk tolerance
The first step to doing a portfolio review is revisiting and reevaluating your investment objectives and horizon. Are you investing for short-term or long-term goals? Is your investment strategy aligned with your risk tolerance?
If your investment objectives or risk tolerance have changed, it may be time to adjust your portfolio accordingly. It’s also good to check if your asset allocation is well-diversified in different products.
Analyse individual investments and holdings
Once you’ve reviewed your investment goals and risk tolerance, evaluate your performance relative to benchmarks and peer groups. This action will help you identify any underperforming investments that must be sold or reallocated.
In addition to performance, you should also check for any fundamental changes in the underlying companies or sectors. By staying up-to-date on the news and events affecting your investments, you can make informed decisions about whether to hold or sell.
Assess investment costs and fees
Sometimes, investment costs and fees are deceptively cheap and can eat into your investment returns over time. You should evaluate them regularly to ensure reasonable investment costs and fees. Compare your expenses to industry benchmarks and alternative investments to see if you’re paying more than you need to.
Don’t get tricked into thinking that paying 2.0% annually is nothing. For example, you have a 25-year investment account worth $80,000. The investment earns 7% annually, with annual fees of 0.50%. Your total earnings will be approximately $380,000 at the end of 25 years. However, you would pay more than 2.0% annually if you didn’t pay attention to costs. That seems like nothing 2.0% will cost you $120,000, leaving you with only $260,000.
Evaluate external factors and market conditions
We live in an uncertain time. Various factors can easily affect your investment; unfortunately, half of those are out of our control. So, stay informed about macroeconomic trends and events that may affect investment performance. For instance, changes in interest rates, inflation, and geopolitical events can significantly impact investment returns.
Even though market volatility is inevitable, monitoring the stock market’s performance and any fluctuations in the value of individual holdings can help investors make informed decisions about when to buy or sell investments. After all, only 19% of people say they are confident in the market and prepared to invest immediately.
Document your review process and results
Lastly, documenting the portfolio review process could benefit investors in the long term. It’s essential to keep track of all review activities and decisions, including any changes made to the portfolio and the reasons for those changes. For new investors, there’s no harm in being super detailed.
You should consider working with a financial advisor. This advisor will be the one to conduct a comprehensive portfolio review. Besides updating the portfolio, they can also provide valuable insights, such as managing costs and minimizing taxes. That way, they can evaluate the effectiveness of your investment strategies over time and use the information to make future investment decisions.
A regular portfolio review is a critical tool for optimising investment returns. A financial advisor may update their client’s portfolio only once or twice a year, which may be sufficient for some investors.
While conducting a portfolio review can be time-consuming, it’s well worth the effort. By staying on top of changes in the market and reevaluating investment strategies regularly, investors can maximise their returns and minimise risks.
This article does not intend to provide any investment advice. Readers should make their own assessment and seek professional advice, where necessary.