Top 20 Tips from 20 Years
(The Next Five in the Series)
Here are five more strategies for you to consider:
6. Draw your retirement income from stable sources. Savings accounts, laddered CDs and bonds, short-term bond funds, and fixed annuities would be my preferred choices. Which ones will depend on the needs of the individual, but more diversification of monthly cash inflows is usually better. There’s also nothing wrong with using cash on hand. Just don’t draw on investments that fluctuate significantly in value. The point of this strategy is to allow more aggressive and volatile funds to grow while you consume less risky ones.
7. Your investment portfolio should be flexible, liquid, diversified, low-cost, and carry the appropriate level of risk. The components of your portfolio also need to match your time horizon. Absent a true emergency, how long will it be before you need to liquidate and use the funds? A year or less? Keep your money in cash. Five years or less? Consider a mix of cash, bonds, and stocks. Ten years or longer? Consider more stocks.
8. Be realistic about your ability to manage your investments yourself. Everybody needs a customized financial plan that meets their particular needs. Do you have the time, talent, and interest to manage your monies yourself? If any one of these is lacking, then you’ll need to hire an adviser to help.
9. Adviser selection should be based on what you need. Some advisers specialize in one area, while “hybrids” offer more than one product line or service. Go to an insurance agent and you’ll likely get insurance products (e.g., life, long-term care insurance, annuities). A stockbroker will offer stocks and bonds. A portfolio of no-load funds could be an option from an investment adviser.
10. You must like, trust, and believe in your adviser for the relationship to work. If the adviser’s personality, or lack of professionalism, rubs you the wrong way – if you don’t trust him to do what is best for you or he is too much of a salesperson – if he hasn’t shown you he knows what he is doing by way of licensing, credentials, and experience . . . keep looking!
Bonus Tip – If I needed an adviser, I’d go to www.cfp.net to find a local, independent Certified Financial Planner practitioner who offers multiple products and services . . . But, wait . . . That’s me! Why not come in for a complimentary consultation or a second opinion on your investments?