One of the healthiest financial habits for 2019 is to focus on the things you can control. But how do you do that in the financial industry when it’s impossible to control the markets?
First, start by taking a hard look at the reaction and interaction of your current advisor.
Using a volatile market such as the 4th quarter of 2018 is a great barometer to compare reaction and interaction of your advisor or future financial advocate if you are considering a change.
Granted, investors, advisors, mutual fund companies, CFOs, CEOs, and anyone else involved in investments know that markets go up and down for many reasons and controlling those swings is impossible. But if you were a victim of year-end statement shock, as many were, the control was lost a while ago when you realized you were, well, shocked by your year-end statement.
If you didn’t see it coming, then weigh out the signs of communication. Did your advisor relay the data and prepare you for how the volatile market could affect your portfolio? Take control and align yourself with an advisor who establishes strong communication. An attentive team should be scheduling in person reviews once a quarter and at the very least reaching out when a storm is “a-brewing” that could influence your plan.
Next, since volatile markets will happen again, take a hard look at how your advisor, or one you may be considering, reacted to limit or eliminate damage through a down market. Stick with a data driven team that considers an individual’s risk tolerance, studies the economy, and leaves noise out of the decision making.
And finally, as you take control for a healthier financial 2019, make sure your advisor is controlling what they should be. Skilled financial firms reassess regularly how a portfolio is performing. Ask how often and who they rely on for advice.