Recently, my husband and I decided to review our money portfolio after being complacent for a certain period of time. We were complacent due to several reasons, some of which are listed below.

• We have become lazy
• We were deep in our comfort zone
• We were too risk averse
• We had differing opinions on how and where to invest our money

The above has caused our money to grow at a steady but snail-pace rate, the returns not significantly higher compared to the inflation rate. Steady growth is good but we would probably outlive the money we have at this rate, which is not good at all. If this happens, we have nobody to blame but ourselves for not doing something to improve our situation.

Therefore, we have started to look into our portfolio again. Our goal is to diversify more and take a slightly higher risk. You see, my husband and I are quite a risk averse couple and we choose to accept a lower rate of return for our investments. We traded “the potential of a higher return but higher risk” for “a conservative return but lower risk” kind of investments. Tweaking our portfolio will not make us rich but we should end up at a better financial position and the money should outlast us instead of the other way round.

Reviewing your portfolio

There are certain or specific times when you should look into your money portfolio. For example
• When there is a major change in your life (e.g. the arrival of a baby)
• When a current investment is performing below par
• When an investment has given you the expected returns or profits and you want to cash out
• When you are paying high management fees and you want to rebalance
• When you spot a better investment you want to put your money in
• When you are getting nearer to retirement

Another major reason is when you need to fund a huge expenses such as to pay for a new property, to pay for your son’s / daughter’s tertiary education, to fund the family’s holiday overseas, to fund your son’s or daughter’s wedding, etc. You need to rethink about the balance of your investments to ensure it continues to generate a consistent return to fund for other future needs or expenses. If you have been getting an average of 10% return from your investments overall, you want to ensure it gives the same return or better.

Probably the only time you do not need to monitor your investment is when you have already met your wealth accumulation target. But then again, after working hard to amass your wealth, you want to ensure it is preserved and continues to grow.

How often do you review your portfolio – monthly, half-yearly, yearly, never?

Jacquelyn is the co-author of the books “Teaching Your Kids About Money” and “Top 93 Personal Finance FAQs in Malaysia” with KC Lau. Jacquelyn is the pseudonym used by Amy Sipagal.


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