Lynn Bolin

Head of Communications and Media

September 2016

3 Easy Ways to Spring Clean your Investment Portfolio

Traditionally spring is a time to sweep your old baggage away and give things in your home and life a clean sweep so you can face the future with renewed energy. The same can be applied to your investment portfolio. In fact, every year you should assess whether or not your investments are working for you, and the start of a new season is as good a time as ever. Ask yourself these questions to discover ways you can hit refresh!

#1 Has your appetite for risk changed?

A lot can change in a year. Perhaps you’ve hit the big 5-0 and realise that you need to boost your post-retirement nest egg? Or, you’ve just opened a new business and need to look at more conservative but consistent ways to invest your profits. The best way to work out your risk tolerance is to reassess where you want to be financially in five, 10 or 15 years down the line. This will help you decide what you’ll need to invest to achieve that. Of course, the reward for taking on risk is the potential for a greater investment return, but your financial adviser can re-examine your portfolio to give you an appropriate mix of investments (both conservative and aggressive) that are balanced to help you achieve your goals, without putting all your eggs in the same risky baskets.

#2 Do you know where all your money is?

Everybody hates filing, but this is a really easy and practical way you can re-look your investment portfolio. Those email statements from your suppliers that you leave unopened on your desktop can hold the secrets to your future financial success. Download, print, save them – and then scrutinise them. You may be reminded that you have RAs from previous employers hanging around like loose ends and not working hard for you. Look at how you can consolidate them all to get bigger bang for your buck, but also to make monitoring their returns easier going forward.

#3 Has the law changed?

You may be missing out on opportunities just because you aren’t keeping up with the times. For example, in February 2016 the National Treasury changed the tax-free limits for individuals contributing to their retirement savings, and you could benefit from this. Also, the introduction of the tax-free savings accounts may be something to look at. There are a range of tax-free investment plans available now that ensure you won’t be taxed on any of the growth you have earned.

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