2016 has been one crazy financial ride. From record lows when the year opened to the DOW nearly reaching 20,000 before the last minutes of 2016 tick to a close, now is the perfect time to position your finances for success in the New Year.
Some of you may recall that the first 28 days of 2016 were some of the most dismal days Wall Street had seen in years. Fear crippled the markets and many investors wondered if there was any hope in sight. (CNN Money)
Fast forward 10 months and now investors are dealing with a new reality: record all-time highs. The DOW closed on December 23rd at just under 20,000 at 19,933.81 with the NASDAQ and S&P all showing huge gains as the year quickly races to a close.
As a long-term investor, daily gains and losses in the stock market shouldn’t have much of an impact on your investment decisions, but they can certainly cause you to ring your financial advisor to check in on your diversified portfolios and enjoy a conversation about what the rallying markets may mean for you personally.
Getting your finances ready for 2017 in today’s economic environment isn’t just smart, it’s a natural response to all the known and unknown changes ahead for the New Year. That being said, it’s also important to remain objective when making financial decisions and to not let fear or emotions guide your choices. Here are a few steps you can take right now to ensure you’re on the path to success in 2017.
1. Take stock of where you are and write it down
How much are your investments worth? Now is the time to take a look and see how your portfolio performed this year. Any surprises? Despite the slow start to the year, 2016 has finished up strong.
2. Review your debts
How much debt do you have and how are you doing with paying it down? Are you on track with your plan? This is the perfect time of year to celebrate the progress you’ve made so far to pay down certain debts and reset the game plan for 2017. Remember, it’s always good to pay down your highest interest debts first and then move on from there. Also, with borrowing rates headed up, don’t rush to pay down that low rate mortgage.
3. Assess life changes and transitions
Do you have any major life changes on the horizon this year? Moving? New child? Retirement? If 2017 is going to be a transition year for you, better to get with your financial advisor sooner rather than later to assess your financial situation and make any necessary adjustments to help make your transition as smooth as possible and keep you on track to reach your financial goals.
4. Check in with your emergency fund
Yes, your emergency fund needs a tune up too. Have you drawn from your emergency fund? Do you need to replenish it back to 3 to 6 month’s worth of expenses? Maybe you’re still building it – either way, check in to see where it’s at and make a plan to build up your emergency fund if it’s a little leaner than it should be.
5. Recalibrate your financial goals
To prepare for 2017, now is the time to reset your goals for the coming year. Whether you have specific savings goals, investment objectives, or debt elimination, be sure to you and your family are on the same page about what you’re working towards in 2017. Keep your goals simple and give yourself two to three so you don’t overwhelm yourself. The trick is to set goals that are realistic, trackable, and ones that you’ll be able to hold yourself accountable to.
[Related article: How to Achieve Your Goals]
Reviewing your investments and making adjustments, revisiting your pay down plan for any debts you’re working through, planning for life transitions, giving your emergency fund a checkup, and recalibrating your goals are all areas a financial advisor can offer tremendous value to you and set you up for financial success.
Regardless of where the market are performing on any given day, setting yourself up for financial success at the start of the New Year begins with you and your personal situation. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your financial advisor to go through this exercise together.
- Mar 4, 2019 The Problem with Federal Spending - and How It Impacts You Mar 4, 2019
- Feb 11, 2019 The Best Way to Handle Stock Market Ups and Downs: Get Used to Them Feb 11, 2019
- Jan 14, 2019 2 Important Tips on How to Manage the Household Finances as a Couple Jan 14, 2019
- Dec 3, 2018 Can Money Buy Happiness? Dec 3, 2018
- November 2018
- Oct 31, 2018 Lake Road Advisors Announces New Partnership with Vestwell Oct 31, 2018
- Oct 22, 2018 6 Biases That Can Impact Your Financial Behavior Oct 22, 2018
- Oct 8, 2018 Open Enrollment is Coming: Are You Adequately Covered? Oct 8, 2018
- Sep 24, 2018 What Today’s Economy Means For Investors Sep 24, 2018
- Sep 10, 2018 Recent Grad That Can’t Find a Job? Here’s What to Do Sep 10, 2018
- Aug 20, 2018 How Your Financial Planner’s Network Can Help Aug 20, 2018
- Aug 6, 2018 These 2 Accounts Offer the Best Tax Advantage and Here’s Why Aug 6, 2018
- Jul 23, 2018 The Big Difference Between a Fee-Only & Fee-Based Financial Advisor Jul 23, 2018
- Jul 9, 2018 Why Titles Mean Little and Designations Mean Everything Jul 9, 2018
- June 2018
- May 21, 2018 The 5 Most Common Estate Planning Mistakes Parents Make May 21, 2018
- May 7, 2018 Here’s Why You Need to Think About the ROI of Education May 7, 2018
- April 2018
- Mar 26, 2018 Get Beyond The Price Mar 26, 2018
- Mar 12, 2018 Index Funds and Passive Fund Management: Understanding the Opportunity Mar 12, 2018
- February 2018
- January 2018
- Dec 11, 2017 The Psychology of Saving Money: Why some do it successfully and others struggle Dec 11, 2017
- Nov 27, 2017 Why Your Child's 529 Plan Should Be Direct Nov 27, 2017
- Nov 13, 2017 Get on the Road to Financial Success with These 4 Behaviors Nov 13, 2017
- Oct 30, 2017 Know the Lingo - the daily market recap and how it affects you Oct 30, 2017
- Oct 16, 2017 The 3 Unbreakable Rules for Financial Success Oct 16, 2017
- Oct 2, 2017 Follow These Steps When Selecting a Financial Advisor Oct 2, 2017
- Sep 18, 2017 Why You Should Choose a Fiduciary as a Financial Advisor Sep 18, 2017
- August 2017
- Jul 24, 2017 How Am I Doing? Jul 24, 2017
- Jul 10, 2017 Do I Pay Off (Student Loan) Debt or Do I Invest Instead? Jul 10, 2017
- June 2017
- May 29, 2017 Diversification: The Right Way to Manage Risk May 29, 2017
- May 15, 2017 Having A Tough Conversation & Helping Your Aging Parents May 15, 2017
- May 1, 2017 What Everyone Should Be Doing Post-Tax Season May 1, 2017
- Apr 17, 2017 Want to Raise Financially Savvy Kids? Try These 5 Steps Apr 17, 2017
- Apr 3, 2017 Inflation: What Every Investor Needs to Know in 2017 Apr 3, 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- Dec 26, 2016 5 Steps to Get Your Finances Ready for 2017 Dec 26, 2016
- Dec 12, 2016 How Much Should I Invest In My Company Retirement Plan? Dec 12, 2016
- Nov 28, 2016 How About What Not To Do With 401(K) Contributions Nov 28, 2016
- Nov 14, 2016 Keeping it All Together: How to Balance Personal Financial Goals with Running Your Business Nov 14, 2016
- Nov 1, 2016 Nervous About The Election And Your Investments? Nov 1, 2016
- Oct 16, 2016 30-Somethings: Why are You Wasting Time Following the Stock Market? Oct 16, 2016
- Oct 3, 2016 Will 30 Year Old's Ever Get To "Retire"? Oct 3, 2016
- September 2016
- Aug 8, 2016 Why Budgeting Doesn't Need to Be a Dirty Word Aug 8, 2016
- Jul 18, 2016 What Does a Financial Planner Do? Jul 18, 2016
- June 2016
- May 16, 2016 It's Urgent, But Is It Really Important? May 16, 2016
- April 2016
- March 2016
- February 2016
- January 2016