Friday, May 29, 2015

Retiring and Managing Your Own Portfolio

The New York Times had a reasonably useful article on what happens when you manage your own portfolio of investments after you retire.  I do manage my own portfolio and was doing that for many years before retirement, so it can be done, but here are a few tips (or hacks if you like modern terminology):

  1. If you did not manage your investments before retirement, don't just start the moment you retire.  Either keep doing it through your financial advisor and/or take courses at your local college before attempting it yourself.  It can be confusing due to all the bad information out there from brokers, fast-money artists, and self-promoting "experts".
  2. Sitting at a computer every day and making trades is not investing a portfolio, it is day-trading. 
    1. Traders do investment transactions every day or week hoping to make money.  They usually fail, badly.
    2. Investors do few transactions and hope to make money over the long term.
  3. Try to keep costs low by using index ETFs and mutual funds.
  4. Keep a diversified portfolio allocated according to your risk tolerance and life situation.
  5. Beware of advice from anyone who gets a commission when you buy or sell securities, particularly securities from their own companies.  They have a potential conflict of interest between their financial success and your financial success.
    1. Brokers or mutual fund salesmen who get a fee when you buy or sell a security, may encourage you to trade in order to increase their commission.
    2. Fee based planners, who get a flat fee for their services, should not have a conflict of interest.
  6. If you do not understand or are confused or nervous about a financial decision, wait.  Consult a licensed financial planner with a good reputation and family and friends before pulling the trigger.
  7. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
As always, do not believe everything you read on the Internet, including this blog.  Get advice from a competent financial advisor before making important financial decisions.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are not moderated prior to posting. Mark