Are you a risk-taker or do you play it safe? Do you jump out of airplanes for fun or is getting an extra serving of sprinkles on your soft serve your idea of risk? Each of us can look at our behaviors and determine whether the life we lead is high-flying risky or plain-vanilla safe. But can we do the same for our investments? Can you look at the stocks or funds you own and get a good idea of how risky your portfolio is? The answer is probably no.
We live in a "do it yourself" world. There are television networks and countless websites dedicated to learning how to "DIY" tasks that previously one would pay to have done for them.
Today we’re taking a look at the important topic of Risk in your investment portfolio. What do you need to know about investment risk? How can you be sure that you have the right amount of risk in your portfolio?
Focus on your overall approach during times of short-term volatility.
As an investor, it can be tempting to get caught up in daily news headlines. Consider how news about the election and COVID-19 vaccines have moved the markets over the past several weeks. But having a financial strategy can help you ignore short-term volatility and focus on your long-term vision.
As you know, investing is a process based on your goals, time horizon, and risk tolerance. Interestingly enough, it’s also a process that may help you prepare for life’s financial challenges.
How much should you really be saving for the retirement future you envision?
Making sure you have enough money saved for retirement is one of the top concerns for those of us not independently wealthy. In a perfect world, we will figure out how much we need to live on by calculating our monthly and yearly retirement expenses, factoring in inflation, and computing any additional income like Social Security.
Why are they made again and again?
Much is out there about the classic financial mistakes that plague start-ups, family businesses, corporations, and charities. Aside from these blunders, some classic financial missteps plague retirees.
Calling them “mistakes” may be a bit harsh, as not all of them represent errors in judgment. Yet whether they result from ignorance or fate, we need to be aware of them as we plan for and enter retirement.
Leaving work too early. As Social Security benefits rise about 8% for every year you delay receiving them, waiting a few years to apply for benefits can position you for higher retirement income. Filing for your monthly benefits before you reach Social Security’s Full Retirement Age (FRA) can mean comparatively smaller monthly payments. Meanwhile, if you can delay claiming Social Security, that positions you for more significant monthly benefits.1
Here is what you need to know.
Financially, many of us associate April with taxes – but we should also associate April with important IRA deadlines.
Some things to consider.
During your accumulation years, you may have categorized your risk as “conservative,” “moderate,” or “aggressive,” and that guided how your portfolio was built. Maybe you concerned yourself with finding the “best-performing funds,” even though you knew past performance does not guarantee future results.
What occurs with many retirees is a change in mindset – it’s less about finding the “best-performing fund” and more about consistent performance. It may be less about a risk continuum – that stretches from conservative to aggressive – and more about balancing the objectives of maximizing your income and sustaining it for a lifetime.
Look beyond this moment and stay focused on your long-term objectives.
That truth must always be recognized.
When financial markets have a bad day, week, or month, discomforting headlines and data can swiftly communicate a message to retirees and retirement savers alike: equity investments are risky things, and Wall Street is a risky place.