While plenty of people have investment portfolios to their name, just as many struggle to manage their investments effectively.
This issue often stems from a lack of planning, so here are a few tips to help you get on top of your investments and make better use of your money in this context.
Collect & record the relevant data
First and foremost if you want to track your investments cleanly, you need to make sure that you have all the paperwork you need to do this, and also take steps to extract pertinent data points for record keeping purposes as well as general analysis.
For example, it helps to have a spreadsheet into which you enter all of the figures from monthly statements, and often this will come from disparate sources, in which case compiling it will be necessary. Using PDF converter tools can be useful for this purpose, letting you strip out information in a more usable format for compilation and analysis; see PDFSimpli.com for a quick and convenient option for converting PDF to word or other formats.
You will not only need paperwork to assess how your portfolio is performing month on month, but also to keep up with your tax obligations, where relevant. This applies whether you are investing in stocks and shares, or in other assets like property, in which case digitally-driven services like Paperless Pipeline will also be appealing.
Conduct regular reviews
The longer you procrastinate over investigating the progress being made by your investments, the harder it will be to crunch the numbers and plot out the trajectory of your portfolio.
Rather than allowing data to mount up over time untouched, it is better to be proactive about carrying out reviews and schedule these regularly throughout the year. Monthly or quarterly check-ups will give you up to the minute insight that might otherwise be missing, and will also inform any decision-making you decide to do.
Of course it is equally important to avoid becoming overzealous in your reviews of your investments, as obsessing over minor fluctuations is less useful. It is better to take a long term view, yet still be committed to regular stock-taking sessions that are dotted consistently throughout the year.
Be aware of security implications
This is an often overlooked aspect of managing and tracking your investments, but you need to be aware of the security risks that are associated with storing and managing this data.
If you are still making use of paper records in any form, ensure that these documents are both thoroughly protected from physical interference and also disposed of in a way that renders them entirely illegible when the time comes.
If you are using digital solutions to manage financial data, always stay abreast of the latest cybercriminal threats and steer clear of the most common mistakes made in this arena.
Finally, take the time to enjoy the fruits of your labor and do not get too caught up in the numbers game, as your investments should ultimately be used to improve your life.