What to do when it gets volatile…

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I hope everyone’s been having a fantastic year and today I’m going to share with you 2 Market Volatility Hot Tips.

During times of stress and uncertainty, Warren Buffett recommends keeping a level head. He recommends that buy-and-hold is still the best strategy.

I 100% agree.

Buffet also said, “If investors are trying to buy and sell stocks, and worry when they go down a little … and think they should maybe sell them when they go up, they’re not going to have very good results.”

Bottomline, as long as your investments are in alignment with your goals… stay away from your investment portfolio.

Here are 2 other tips to help you during market volatility:

1. Rebalance Your Portfolio
If there is a prolonged drop in the market, things get more complicated. Re-balance your portfolio when market volatility picks up. An unbalanced portfolio may mean you are taking on more risk than you think, or too little risk which may not be in alignment with your goals.

2. No Rash Short Term Decisions
When you have investment goals with time horizons of over 10 years, it is most likely best to do NOTHING. Consider the appropriate actions to take based on your financial plan and goals.

And like what American stock investor Peter Lynch says, “Your ultimate success or failure will depend on your ability to ignore the worries of the world long enough to allow your investments to succeed.”

So there you have my 2 Market Volatility Tips. Hope they are helpful!

Maximizing Your Return in an Up-Down Market

grafiekomhoog_01There has been a lot of stock market volatility recently and people have been asking me what should they do with their investment portfolio. While no one has a crystal ball and everybody has their own specific situation, there are some general questions below you can ask yourself when the stock market gets a little choppier than normal.

1. Did the goal for the money change?
Maybe you’ve originally invested the money for the long term such as retirement, all of a sudden you change your mind and you actually need this money sooner. If so, then that may mean you need to change the strategy that you have for that money.

2. Did your risk appetite change?
Perhaps you started investing with a gung-ho attitude, believing you can take all the risks to get potentially higher returns. Then that changes and you don’t want to take on that level of risk anymore. This may be a reason for you to review your investment strategy and make some changes.

3. Is your money allocated in a diversified portfolio?
If you could honestly answer ‘yes’ to this question, that you know your money follows an allocation model and you are rebalancing the allocation on a regular basis, then you might not need to make any changes.

Again, everybody’s situation is different – you have different risk tolerance, different goals and different timeframe to hold on to their investments. You need to be aware of what your specific needs are when it comes to investing, do your homework and make sure you’re investing properly.

Simple Financial Tips That Can Make A Difference

tips2018 has certainly flew by and wow.. we’re going into March already? Perhaps now is a good time for us to do a stock-take on our money. Here is a couple of tips on how to keep more money in your wallet this year.

1. Don’t Do Mental Accounting When Building Your Budget
Mental accounting means the behavioural thinking of having different piles of money for different reasons. You might have a “jar” that says this is for emergencies or a vacation, and you’re putting money in there every month – at close to zero interest rate.

Then you also have a credit card debt. You mentally classify it as a different thing and pay your debt with income each month.

Financially, this doesn’t make much sense. Money is fungible, it really is all the same. You shouldn’t have a jar with money sitting in it that’s getting no interest or growth while you still have credit card debt.

The solution is to think about all your money as the same. People like to put cash in different buckets for different reasons, but that’s mental accounting and we need to overcome that hurdle.

2. Prepaying your mortgage
Some people add a little extra to their monthly payments to pay the loan off faster. This brings up a common question – is this a good use of the extra cash?

With current mortgage rates at under 4%, you should not be prepaying your mortgage. In fact, mortgages have really low interest rates and are designed for long periods of payments, and you should stick to that payment.

Prepaying it means you are giving up opportunity to use that money elsewhere – whether it’s paying off credit card debt or just investing it, putting it aside for retirement. If you’d be getting 8% returns on your long-term investments, why put your money in something that’s only 4%?

So from a financial planning standpoint, it’s not a good strategy. Nonetheless, people feel comfortable doing that. I know you want to feel like you’re paying off the house faster, but resist if you can.

3 Investing Myths Holding You Back From Success

investing mythsMany of us are interested in investing but have some concerns. Here are 3 popular myths that could be holding you back from investment success.

Myth #1 You can time the market
Timing the market is close to impossible. And studies actually show that a majority of the investment return that you are going to make over time doesn’t come from buying at the right time or selling at the right time.

But rather, it comes from proper asset allocation and diversification. So stop wasting your time trying to figure out when is the right time to buy and sell, day in and day out. Instead, choose a solid investment strategy, diversify your money and hold for the long term.

Myth #2 You need a lot of money to get started
This is one myth that holds a lot of people back. They think, “I’ll wait till next year when I have more money, then I’ll be able to dump a whole lump sum into the stock market at that time.”

No, it’s very difficult to do this. Instead, start with what you have even if it’s only $50 a month or $100 a month. Figure out how you are going to invest this amount automatically into an investment portfolio. Just set it up, so that it’s happening without you even thinking about it.

Myth #3 You can start next year
Time is absolutely critical when it comes to investing. The more time you have, the less amount of money you need if you are trying to achieve a certain nest egg amount at the end (e.g. retirement).

So if you have this myth holding you back, say “No, I’m not going to start next year. I’m going to start right now.” There’s no better time than now to start and catching up can be very difficult, if at all possible.

Hope you’ll understand now how to avoid these 3 investing myths, and be able to put into place prudent investment strategies and principles that over time, will maximise your income and assets so you could achieve long-term goals such as retirement with ease.

The 7 Deadly Sins of Investing

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There are a few investing errors that many people make — mistakes that are detrimental to their overall investment strategies. Here are the Deadly Sins of Investing that you should avoid…

  1. Not taking your goals into account

Make sure that the investments in your account and their risk levels reflect what you are trying to accomplish. If retirement is 20 years away, and you have your money sitting in cash or bonds, you may not reach your goals. Conversely, if you plan to buy a house in six months, and you have that money invested in the stock market, you might lose your money and not be able to recover the loss in time to buy a home.

  1. Basing your investment strategy on someone else’s risk tolerance

You wouldn’t buy shoes based on someone else’s shoe size, would you? So why would you copy your friend’s portfolio holdings without taking into account your own goals and risk tolerance?

  1. Making too many short-term moves with your long-term money

While buying and selling stock can be fun, it should be done with money that is not intended for your long-term goals. If you are really set on short-term buying and selling, open an account that is just for “play money” and leave the rest of your “serious money” in well diversified, long-term investments.

  1. Having too much money in one investment

If your income depends on your salary from a company, make sure your investments don’t also depend too heavily on the same company. A good rule of thumb is to have no more than 20% of your investments in any one company’s stock — and ideally closer to 10% or less.

  1. Not knowing what you’re actually invested in

You don’t need to know the exact stocks in the index or mutual fund that you have, but you should have a general idea of what is in your portfolio. If you use a financial advisor to manage assets, and you have no idea what they’re doing with your money, ask him or her to break it down for you in simple terms or, graphs and charts.

  1. Basing investment decisions on the news

You can’t predict what’s going to happen in the market based on what you read in the news. It can’t tell you that the stock market is really going to tank tomorrow, and that you should sell everything and go to cash. Research shows that having a well-diversified portfolio that you leave alone is a better strategy than trying to time the market.

  1. Not saving enough

This is crucial. If you aren’t saving enough, it is going to be really hard to get to where you need to be.

For example, say you make $60,000 a year. If you save 10%, or $500 a month, for the next 30 years, with an average 9% return, you’d have around $900,000 to work with come retirement. If you saved 15% and made the same return for the same time period, you’d end up with around $1.34 million. That’s a big difference!

So make a plan to bump up your savings. You don’t have to go from saving 5% of your income to 15% instantly. You can set up automatic increases of 1% every 6 months until you get there.