A second opinion or one-time review is a financial health check-up for your portfolio. This will help you to analyze your investments and your overall investment strategy, current risk level, tax efficiency, fund performances, and asset allocation.
Based on the analysis, you can rebalance your portfolio and get investment suggestion from an investment advisor. An advisor will give you a clear insight about your investments and performance, and provide suggestions to optimize your portfolio to your current needs.
Ask yourself the following questions to determine if you need a second opinion:
- Do you think you could be doing better if you changed your investments?
- Are you missing any new opportunities?
- Will your portfolio last as long as you need it to?
- Are you aware of the current outlook for your investment portfolio?
- Is your portfolio meeting your needs?
- Are you uncomfortable with the current investment risk in your portfolio?
If your answer is “yes” for most of the questions, then you should consider a second opinion portfolio review.
Other reasons to have a portfolio review:
- If you are planning to purchase a new investment product
- If you are not sure about your investment strategy
- New tax implications
- If you think your investment advisor/relationship manager is selling you an investment product instead of giving you a proper investment suggestion
- If you are managing your investments by yourself or you don’t have time to review your investments
- When the stock market fluctuates abnormally or during the financial crisis
- At the end of a financial year and/or at six month intervals
- If you think how an investment plan can help you to achieve your financial goal
What are the benefits will you receive from a second opinion portfolio review:
- Portfolio analysis of every investment which may include mutual funds, 401K, IRA, insurance, and other investments.
- Risk level analysis to identify whether the present risk level is appropriate. Your “risk level” is how much risk you are willing to accept to get a certain level of reward; Generally, the level of risk can be gauged by the percentage of the portfolio that’s made up of equities (stocks and funds owing stocks) versus fixed income investments (cash and bonds). As people get closer to retirement, their level of risk should decrease.
- Tax efficiency guidance to increase your post-tax investment returns.
- Investment policy statement (written portfolio optimization plan) that outlines the asset allocation of your portfolio, identifies the benchmark by which to judge how your portfolio is doing, and guidelines on when the portfolio should be rebalanced.
- Itemization of all the expenses associated with your portfolio - the lower the expenses, the more money stays in your account. Fees can include the expense ratio of the mutual fund or ETF; account fees; advisory fees; 12 B-1 fees; transaction charges; mortality and expense fees on a variable annuity; termination fees; and commissions. Investors should be able to identify all of the fees on their accounts and know the reason for each of them.
Many investors don’t completely understand their holdings and tax implications because some advisors aren’t providing their clients the information they need to understand what they own. If this is true in your case, you should have another advisor or portfolio manager review your investments.
Many investors should consider get a second opinion. If these crucial areas of your investment strategy or portfolio management are unclear, you may need to do a bit of digging. Getting another review of your portfolio can help you better understand it, identify ways to improve its performance and possibly lower the taxes you pay on it.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.