Your Investments: Too much to do – too little time to do it

With all the advances in technology that are supposed to make our lives easier and help us free up more time to do the things that we enjoy doing, it seems that we actually have less time.

Investment graph (photo credit: INGIMAGE / ASAP)
Investment graph
(photo credit: INGIMAGE / ASAP)
How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before its afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flown. How did it get so late so soon? – Dr. Seuss
With all the advances in technology that are supposed to make our lives easier and help us free up more time to do the things that we enjoy doing, it seems that we actually have less and less free time than ever before.
At a previous place of employment, I held a rather senior position, and I had to directly report to my boss who was located in Turkey. He had told me that he was going to the Himalayas for a two-week vacation, and I figured I would have a much lighter workload and made plans to spend some quality time with my children. No sooner than he left, I was already getting emails from him, sent from some kind of handheld device, that he had sent from the top of a mountain.
Needless to say, I wasn’t amused, and neither were my wife and kids.
Never seem to get to it
Between work and raising children and just keeping up with life, people never seem to have enough time to deal with issues of importance. How often do we push off important household chores because we just don’t have time? The same is true when it comes to discussing our financial situation. How many of us put off reviewing our investment portfolio or fail to ever get started because we can’t find an hour or two to get organized and understand what our goals and needs are – and then how to implement a strategy to achieve those goals.
Just do it
While fixing the leaky faucet or the bedroom window may cost us a small amount, not getting our finances in order can be extremely costly. It can mean the difference being able to marry off our children without going into debt,or not having to move in with your children when you retire because you have run out of money. While we all like to procrastinate and promise ourselves that we will “get to it soon,” we never do.
We all find the hour or two to go to the doctor if we are not feeling well, but meeting with your financial adviser takes about as long, and it will help ensure that your financial health is in order. And just like the doctor, continued cooperation with your financial adviser will ensure that your investments remain consistent with your goals. An annual financial checkup should be scheduled to review your portfolio, and make sure that it is still consistent with your needs.
On the same note, make sure that your investment strategy remains current. If there is a change to your financial situation, consider whether your strategy needs to be reevaluated
Plan ahead
Before you meet with an investment adviser, broker or other investment professional, it’s a good idea to map out your financial goals. Using an expert will help you decide how to invest your savings, but you should first have a firm handle of your short- and long-term goals and needs. How much income you will need to supplement your existing Bituach Leumi, Social Security or other pension fund to meet fixed expenses. Do you have children or grandchildren to marry off? Are your elderly parents in need of care?
You need to determine your own budget needs and your ability to tolerate risk first, and then ask your adviser what kinds of investments would best fulfill these goals. Use your adviser as a sounding board. The adviser can tell you if your goals are realistic; if not, you can work together to come up with goals that can be achieved.
Spend a little time and get your finances in order. The earlier you do so, the more time down the road you will have to do the things you enjoy doing.
The information contained in this article reflects the opinion of the author and not necessarily the opinion of Portfolio Resources Group, Inc., or its [email protected]
Aaron Katsman is a licensed financial professional in Israel and the United States who helps people with US investment accounts. He is the author of the book Retirement GPS: How to Navigate Your Way to A Secure Financial Future with Global Investing.