Financial Spring Cleaning

Jun 07, 2019 at 09:27 am by PaigeAtwell


By Jonathan Walker 

It’s “spring cleaning” time! And as such, it’s always a good idea to revisit financial planning goals. As an advisor, I am generally trying to get clients to focus not on the short-term, but what your overall goals are. Whether you are in retirement, close, or far away from it, it’s important to make sure you go “back to the basics.” Here are things you can do to help.

Don’t lose your perspective.

In the last forty-five years, a globally allocated sixty/forty stock/bond portfolio has never had a negative rolling five-year return. Resisting recency bias (thinking about what the market did in 2008, for example) is the greatest struggle for most investors. You don’t have to be irrational long-term but focusing on the short-term is just as irrational. One of the main points of emphasis is remembering why the portfolio allocation was structured and realizing there are bumps (volatility) along the way. Continue to work closely with your advisor to make sure planning goals are still on track.

Turn off the news.

Unfortunately, there is no emotion more powerful than fear. This is why financial TV ratings surge during bear markets. You tune in, get scared out of your wits, get caught up in the hysteria, sell in panic, rinse, wash and repeat. Most clients I talk to tell me they have turned off financial TV shows, and it’s one of the best financial decisions they ever made.

Stop looking at your account.

A research firm found that investors who don’t log into their accounts perform better than investors who login regularly. The best thing most investors could do is lose their password to their account about once every five years. Logging in and incessantly focusing on your portfolio is just about the best way to ensure that you become a victim of recency bias.

Focus on something else.

Excessive activity is the illusion of control during the course of creating inefficient portfolio frictions. But that’s what our survival mentality tells us to do. Get your mind off your portfolio by focusing on hobbies or work. Sitting around worrying about your portfolio isn’t going to help you or your portfolio.

Does this sound familiar to you? If so, feel free to give our Gallatin office a call at 615.461.8653, or check us out at We can set up a free initial consultation to determine if our office can help you with your current situation.

*Advisory services offered through Paul Winkler, Inc. (“PWI”), a Registered Investment Advisor. PWI does not provide tax or legal advice; please consult your tax or legal advisor regarding your particular situation. This information is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed to be a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any securities.

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