Friday, November 24, 2017


Four Things You Need to Know About Your Retirement Funds in 2017.

October 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Money/Business, Weekly Columns

(Akiit.comIn these uncertain times, making decent returns on your retirement portfolio seems to be getting harder and harder, as even the traditional safe bets now yield lower returns.  How do you build the right asset mix, one that will make more substantial gains without exposing your funds to unacceptable levels of risk? Where’s the line between diversifying and downgrading? Here are four critical things to know about your retirement funds in 2017:

Check Investment Overlaps Aren’t Hurting You

In a rush to diversify our portfolios, many of us end up stretching into multiple funds thinking that strategy holds the answer to insulating against the worst losses and benefitting from combined incremental gains. But if this is your plan, you could be losing out if you don’t guard against ‘investment overlaps’ – or owning the same securities several times across different funds. Use an online portfolio management tool to check and defend against this happening. An international stock fund and a mix of US bonds and stocks generally provide all the diversity you need without duplicating.

Quantifiable Returns Are Everything

Understanding the precise role that each investment plays in your overall portfolio is critical – don’t rely on vague endorsements from others. You need to personally understand the bottom line figures on performance or other relevant research to demonstrate precisely why each option is part of your overall mix. Decide on your individual risk tolerance, and if something doesn’t fit with this, don’t be afraid to trim the dead wood.

Consider Cryptocurrencies

Once the unspoken system of the dark web, crypto-currencies are becoming ever more visible in the above-board world. Although they are still a high-risk investment due to the lack of market regulation, some vast global corporations are now involved in trading the digital-only assets. Looking into possibilities such as become a bitcoin IRA affiliate or investing in a mining pool are increasingly attractive options for the more speculative end of an overall balanced portfolio.

Resist the lure of new asset classes

However, it also pays to be aware that chasing everything new and shiny isn’t always the best strategy either. The work of creating a more diverse spread is a finite task with only occasional tidying up required – if you find yourself chasing after every new announcement from an investment firm, you’re likely to end up without a clearly thought out set of investments. Maintaining overall cohesion is easier with a smaller, tidier portfolio than one that contains a little of absolutely everything. Similarly, if there are some assets within your mix that you have never either added funds to or pulled money from, they are likely to be mostly dormant and therefore not working hard enough for you, so consider chopping them in order to readjust your overall mix.

Just a few simple steps can tip the balance from a weak and unstable over-diversified mash-up to a slick, streamlined, leaner portfolio that trades the strengths of diversification within more sensible parameters. Sometimes, simpler really is best, and it’s certainly a lot easier to manage the performance and introduce small adjustments over time.

Staff Writer; Larry Carter


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