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Organize Your Investment Closet – by Glory Gray

Organize Investments

At Organize to Optimize, my goal is to free people and businesses from overwhelm by helping them declutter and organize their belongings, physical space, data, and time.

Organize Digitally

Teaching a client Microsoft OneNote – Mar 2018

More specifically, I:

  • help homeowners downsize or rightsize their homes for better comfort and wellbeing;
  • optimize paper and digital workflow processes by creating efficient filing and tracking systems;
  • provide training to use digital or traditional organizing tools smarter;
  • empower and show students and professionals how to manage their time, multiple projects and tasks in a way that will work for their needs and to overcome pitfalls.
However, there are some areas of organizing that other professionals are more proficient at than I am, and investment-portfolio organizing is one of them.

 

Over the past six months I have been attending investment seminars coordinated by Glory Gray, an investment advisor with Edward Jones here in the Nanaimo Regional District. I have appreciated Glory’s approach to transferring knowledge in what she calls a “FUN-cational” format. I am thrilled that she has provided a guest blog post which will have us thinking about how decluttering and organizing can also relate to our investment portfolios.

I learned about investing money from a book called, “The Wealthy Barber.” The path to building an investment portfolio does require the discipline to “pay yourself first.” Saving money for your future comes from developing a consistent money management system, which I detail in my previous blog post on how to effectively organize your finances. But, what do you do with the accumulation of money you start to save?

Investing money with a strategy is where we may need the expertise of investment managers, like Glory Gray. In her blog post below, Glory shares the importance of spring cleaning your investment portfolio and how it can be done in 3 phases.

So, without further ado, it is “Time to Organize Your Investment Closet” by Glory Gray:

Organize FinancesHere on Vancouver Island, the days are getting longer and the temperatures warmer – hurray, it is officially Spring! For many of us, that means it’s time for some spring cleaning. But why stop with sprucing up your living space? This year, consider extending the “spring cleaning” concept to your investment strategy.

You may be wondering, “But how do I tidy my investments?”

The process of organizing your belongings can also be applied to your financial portfolio in that it may benefit from decluttering and re-organizing. This Globe and Mail article provides 10 signs of cluttered investing. Once you have decluttered and organized, there are additional strategies that can provide you greater wellbeing by reducing risk.

Let’s take a look at 3 suggestions for spring cleaning your portfolio:

Declutter

As you go through your home during your spring cleaning rounds, you may notice that you’ve acquired a lot of duplicate objects or things that no longer suit you. Do you really need clothes that no longer fit? or a computer that hasn’t worked since 2010?

You can create some valuable space by getting rid of these items. This principle can also apply to your investment portfolio. Because, over the years you may have acquired investments that are not helping you move toward your current and future goals. These investments may have initially fit into your overall strategy, but no longer do so.

For example, you may have just retired and have a large percentage of your portfolio in the stock of your former employer through stock purchase plans that were only available while you were employed. You could be better off selling a portion of these equities and using the proceeds to diversify into other quality stocks that can provide you dividend income throughout retirement. For more on this topic, see the brief article, “How to Get Your Investments in Shape.”

Organize

During your spring cleaning, one of your key goals may be to get organized. So you might want to rearrange the tools in your garage or establish a new filing system in your home office. Proper organization is also important to investors – and it goes beyond having your brokerage and Group RRSP statements in nice neat piles.

Your portfolio may need to be rebalanced to your personal investment mix. Furthermore, you may have established RRSPs with different financial service companies. By moving them to one provider, you may save some fees and reduce your paperwork, but more importantly, you may find that such a move actually helps you better manage your investments. You will know exactly where your money is going, and it could be easier to follow a single investment strategy.

Consider, with all your RRSPs in one place, it will be much easier for you to manage the required minimum distributions you must start taking when you turn 72 years old. These distributions are not required for TFSAs, but managing your TFSAs in one account will alleviate the risk of going over your annual deposit allotment or a penalty should you return money into your account in the wrong year.

Protect

When cleaning up this spring, you may notice areas of concern around your home – perhaps there’s a crack in your window, your fence is damaged or you need to paint to spruce things up. Similar to your home, your financial independence – and that of your family – also needs protection. Here are several questions that will help you determine if you may require additional products to ensure your family’s financial wellbeing:

  1. Is your life insurance sufficient to pay for your mortgage, college for your kids and perhaps some retirement funds for your spouse?
  2. Do you have disability insurance that can provide you with some income if you become ill or injured and can’t work for a while?
  3. Have you considered the high costs of long-term care, such as an extended nursing home stay?

For a rough estimate of your insurance needs, here is a calculator. A financial professional can help you determine more precisely if your insurance coverage is adequate for all these needs, and can help you make an informed decision.

In addition to insurance, protection may also be gained through tax and estate planning. Take a look at the Edward Jones’ approach to Estate Planning. Whether it is insurance, tax savings, or estate planning there are strategies that will protect you, such as the spring cleaning you do today, will help you prepare for tomorrow.

Contact Glory Gray

Consider putting these spring cleaning suggestions to work. They may help you keep your financial house in good shape for all the seasons yet to arrive. Contact Glory Gray, Financial Advisor at Edward Jones, at www.GloryGray.com to help you Spring Clean your portfolio and keep you focused on your goals.

Glory Gray has over 20 years of experience as a professional advisor and investment banking analyst in both Canada and the United States. She and her husband live in Nanoose Bay, BC.

1 Comment

  1. Donna says:

    Hi, Glory – Thank you for a very thought-provoking post. I enjoy the results of Spring Cleaning my home, but i had never thought of this concept in terms of my investment portfolio. It makes perfect sense!
    Hi, Melody – It is great to meet you here. I look forward to following your blog further.

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