We all know how important it is to invest in our futures. For some this may mean investing in new skills so we can earn more money. For others it may mean searching for stocks and bonds that seem likely to bring in the best returns. Still more people will consider investing in property. Some are likely to do all three (and more besides).
This is why you need an investment plan, so you can be sure you are going in the right direction. However it is not just a case of setting up a plan and then forgetting all about it. Just as our lives change direction from time to time, so our investment plans can change too. A plan you set up five years ago with good intentions may no longer be relevant today, so it makes sense to review it from time to time.
How to review an investment plan
Firstly make sure you have the time to sit down and carefully look through the plan. Remind yourself why you set it up in the first place. What goals did you have in mind? What were your aims at the time? Once you remind yourself of the answers to these questions you can see whether they are still applicable to how you live your life today.
The next step is to mark those sections of the plan that are still valid. Not everything will change, and some investments may still prove worthwhile. The trick is to separate the parts that are still working from the parts that no longer prove their worth. By doing this you can narrow things down to the parts that need attention.
What should you do when changes are needed?
You will need to consider whether you can change or stop certain investments without losing money. For example you may only be four years into a five year investment plan that would lose you money if you were to quit now. In this situation it is best to continue for the remaining period and then switch the money into another investment. You can use the intervening time to find something more suitable.
In other situations you may be able to terminate an account or investment with no such trouble. However before you do this it is best to consider the other options you have available. Once you have revised your investment goals and your investment plan, you can focus on where to move your money to. Once you have all the answers you need, you can move ahead and make new investments where required.
You can see how important it is to review your plans every now and then. Even if you only do it once a year it is one of the most important things you can do to keep an eye on the security of your future. Just because something works now, it doesn’t mean it will continue to work in the future. Finding the right investments is always something to work on.