Managing your investment holdings can be an incredibly daunting task when it seems that there are hundreds of different companies, products, and industries out there to choose from.
And each one of them has its own fluctuating stock market value, news stories, and industry trends that you need to keep up with in order to make the best decisions possible about where to put your money.
So how do you even begin to manage all of these investments? You’ll want to start by following these simple steps for effective investment management.
Decide on your portfolio mix
This can be one of the trickiest parts of investing. There’s an old joke on Wall Street: Don’t worry about what you’re going to buy; worry about what you’re going to hold.
For example, a portfolio might have 20 stocks, but in any given year, there might only be 5 or 6 stocks that makeup 80% of your portfolio value.
Find the right asset allocation plan
Every investor’s situation is different, and their asset allocation strategy should be, too. For example, if you’re nearing retirement age and will need money in five years or less, you might want to invest more heavily in bonds than stocks.
If you have more time on your hands—and aren’t as concerned about market performance—you may opt for a risky but potentially high-return portfolio instead.
Create a checklist for rebalancing
Rebalancing is key to securing your portfolio. The idea is that markets will rise and fall and at some point, one asset class or category of investments may become overweight.
By creating a rebalancing checklist, you can rest assured that no investment has gotten out of control while you’ve been busy going about your day-to-day life.
Create an action plan
Knowing which stocks or funds you own, in what quantities, and when they were purchased is important. Keep an organized record of your holdings with a portfolio tracker or notebook.
It’s also a good idea to know how much profit you’ve made on each investment so that you can see where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Creating an action plan helps you stay aware of where your money is invested and helps you identify what additional resources may be necessary for successful portfolio management.