By Michael Aroesty
Believe or not, we are approaching the end of 2017 and it’s time to do some financial housekeeping. Planning early to make some strategic saving and investing decisions before December 31 can affect not only your long-term ability to meet your financial goals but also the taxes you’ll owe next April.
Rebalancing: After double-digit gains in every major index this year, it makes sense to reallocate your portfolio back to its original asset allocation targets. http://www.investopedia.com/articles/financial-theory/11/role-of-rebalancing.asp
Tax Loss Harvesting: 9 years into this bull market, losses may be hard to find within the portfolio, but you will want to take advantage of any that do exist. As mutual funds are set to push out their taxable gains toward the end of the year, you will want to make sure you aren’t at the wrong end of a big tax bill come April 2018. http://www.investopedia.com/terms/t/taxgainlossharvesting.asp
Contribute to IRA’s or Roth IRA’s: Depending on your income level, you will want to take advantage of the tax-deferred growth that can be attained by using these tax-sheltered vehicles. http://www.businessinsider.com/amazing-power-of-compound-interest-2014-7
Take Inventory of Assets: Most people are saving money in various places (Corporate 401k, Bank account, Personal Brokerage Account, 529 Plans, etc.). You’ll need to understand what you have in each of those buckets. Consolidate where you can and be sure to understand if each is working to achieve your goals.
Pay it forward: There have been a lot of tragedies in the news of late, and there are a lot of people who are hurting. Take some of the great fortune you have enjoyed financially in 2017, and give back to those in need. This can be done through cash, check or credit card. Better yet, open a Donor Advised Fund, and make a lasting impact. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donor-advised_fund
All of the above steps are worth doing on an annual basis. Be sure to schedule a year-end meeting with your Financial Advisor to review your current financial standing, goals, and the implications of current and pending economic conditions. Don’t forget to tell them about any life events that took place during the year, including marriage, divorce, a new job or business venture, family changes, major purchases and buying or selling of property.
Smart investing is about managing risk and uncertainty to help maximize the potential return on your investment. An annual, year-end review to evaluate your investment strategy can assist in staying on track for your long term financial goals.
If you have any questions about this article or if you are interested in discussing specifics about your portfolio, feel free to contact me.
Michael Aroesty is Managing Director of Strategic AIM™ Asset Management at
D. B. Root & Company, a Pittsburgh-based wealth management firm. If you would like to contact the author, Michael Aroesty, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 412-227-2800
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