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How to review your investments in 6 steps

What’s involved in reviewing your portfolio, how often you should do it, and when to consider leaving it to an expert.

Important notes

This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

It’s a good idea to give your portfolio an MOT every so often. But there’s more to it than seeing what your investments are worth.

This article will give you a rundown of how to review your portfolio and how often you should do it.

Doing it yourself isn’t the only option though. If you’re unsure, or if you want to save yourself the time and hassle, you could get an adviser to help you.

MORE ON INVESTMENT ADVICE

Why do I need to review my investments?

If you neglect your portfolio, you might not notice that some of your investments aren’t right for you anymore until it’s too late. Checking in regularly means you can see how they’re doing and if anything has significantly changed.

But it’s not all about performance. As the investments which perform better increase in value, they’ll take up a greater proportion of your portfolio. That means you could be exposed to more risk than you originally wanted.

Part of your review should involve checking you’re happy with the risk you’re taking, how your investments are spread and rebalancing where you need to.

This article isn’t advice. If you’re at all unsure, you should ask for financial advice. Remember, investments and any income they produce can go down as well as up, so you could get back less than you invest.

How often should I review my portfolio?

There’s no strict rule, but we think twice a year is sensible. At the very least, you should be reviewing your investments once a year.

We think this strikes a neat balance between making sure your investments are on track, but also not letting them take over your life.

Investing is for the long term. Most investments should be held for five years or more, so making too many changes could have a negative impact, especially if dealing charges eat into your costs.

You should also review your portfolio if your circumstances or goals change. For example, if you decide to retire or buy a house. It’s also worth checking in if there have been big changes in the markets.

How do I review my portfolio?

Ask yourself these 6 questions:

1. Have your reasons for investing, your circumstances, or your objectives changed?

If they have, you might need to think about changing the way you invest. For example, if you want to start taking an income, you’ll need to put more in investments that pay a dividend.

2. Has your attitude to risk changed?

How we feel about risk changes over time. For example, if you plan to retire in the next few years, you might want to move into less risky investments.

Learn more about risk

3. Look at why your investments might’ve performed differently

Look at the performance of each investment and compare them against their benchmark or sector they invest in. Keep in mind that past performance isn’t a guarantee of future returns.

4. Does your portfolio need rebalancing?

There are a few ways to rebalance your investments. You could sell a little bit of what’s doing well to top up the investments that have underperformed. Or you could invest more into these investments if you have the spare cash or existing regular investing set up.

5. Am I getting good value for money?

Look at any ongoing charges and similar investments that could offer better value for money. But you shouldn’t switch investments just in search of lower charges, as any dealing charges or initial charges could mount up.

6. Have tax rules or allowances changed?

Tax rules can and do change, so you should check whether there have been any since your last review. It could mean changing how you invest, particularly which accounts you use to hold your investments, as some will have different tax rules and benefits often depend on personal circumstances.

More on reviewing your portfolio

Is it time to get advice?

Now you’ve got a better idea of what’s involved in reviewing your investments, ask yourself:

  1. Do I have the time to review my investments?
  2. Is reviewing my investments something I actually want to do?
  3. Do I have the confidence to review my investments?

If you’ve answered ‘no’ to any of these or if you’re unsure, it’s worth looking at financial advice.

Leaving it to an adviser could save you time and hassle in the long run. You’ll be able to rest assured that an expert has given your portfolio the attention it deserves, and made sure that your investments are still right for you.

It’s important to only pay for the advice you need. You could take advice as a one-off if you’re usually happy to look after investments yourself, but just need a hand overhauling your portfolio.

However, if you’d rather have someone look after your investments on an ongoing basis, you could look at yearly reviews or a portfolio management service.

More on investment advice

Talk to us to learn more

To find out how advice could help you, simply book a call back with our advisory helpdesk.

They won’t give you advice on the call, but they can talk you through how advice works, and the charges involved. That way you can get a better idea of whether it’s right for you.

Then if you want to take advice, they can put you in touch with an adviser.

Book a call back with one of our friendly advisers

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    Important notes

    This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

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