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CheckUps
Sunday 30, April 2017

Checkups

YaniqueF

When you hear the word checkup I imagine you think about going to the doctor and I sincerely hope you are indeed getting your check ups and doing your executive profiles.  However I am not a doctor and therefore ill-equipped to give medical advice!  However today we will be talking about financial checkups. 

First things first, take an inventory of your holdings.   Get all of your statements together and extract the account information including the account numbers, the name of the financial institution, the investment start date, the most recent balance and if it’s a bond, stock or fund, note the purchase price and input the data in a spreadsheet.  This should include bank accounts, investment accounts, loans, credit cards and insurance policies. 

Secondly, get in the habit of following up on transactions.  When you’ve made a deposit or an investment, either check online to confirm that your account has been updated or if that's not available, call the institution to confirm that the update has been made.  It can be difficult for an institution to correct a mistake after too much time has elapsed.  Your chances of it being rectified are greater when it is a relatively recent transaction. 

Thirdly, update the value of your portfolio.  You need to decide on the frequency that you think is appropriate for your personality type and try to stick to that for the reviews needed for your portfolio.  This varies from person to person.  I have clients who review their portfolio daily normally using online platforms and there are others who really have no idea of their net worth and current positions.   A quarterly update is quite in order, some people do it annually, but there is a sweet spot somewhere there for you.  Don’t allow reviews to make you panic, or worse conduct panic selling.  If the review is showing a beaten up portfolio, talk to your financial advisor and get their outlook on the market.  Of course, this is likely to trigger more frequent updates until the portfolio has normalized.

These steps may sound laborious but in fact when executed they will make your lives much easier in many ways.   I don't like to be too morbid but in the event that you pass on unexpectedly this can make it easier for your loved ones to get a handle on your affairs.  It can protect your loved ones from nasty shocks such as finding out your insurance policy has lapsed.  Don't assume that since you have a standing order in place to pay the premium monthly that it is actually getting done.  As mentioned before, if your lodgment or investment goes to the wrong account you will pick it up quickly.  It's also useful for when you are applying for a loan and you have all your information at a glance. Last but not least, you can be on top of your investments and when something is going south you can have the hard conversation with your advisor and make an informed decision.   Happy investing!!!

Yanique Leiba-Ebanks, CFA, FRM is the AVP, Trading &  Business Development at Sterling Asset Management. Sterling provides financial advice and instruments in U.S. dollars and other hard currencies to the corporate, individual and institutional investor. Visit our website at www.sterling.com.jm Feedback:  If you wish to have Sterling address your investment questions in upcoming articles, e-mail us at: info@sterlingasset.net.jm

 

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