An investing checklist for the new year
With last year done and dusted and a new one up and running, it’s a good time to do a bit of a “stocktake” and think about what kind of investing you’d like to do this year.
So with all this in mind, here are some things to think about when you’re reflecting on last year and making plans for this one.
Check in with yourself 🕵️
Sit yourself down and have a think about your current situation compared to last year. Specifically:
Your money situation
Has your pay changed? Have your expenses changed? Your income is where your investment money comes from—it’s essentially the “engine” of your investing. So think about whether your engine is faster or slower than it was last year. If your income or expenses have changed, then it may be a good time to review how much you invest.
It’s also worth thinking about how often you have money coming in. If you used to get paid monthly, but now get paid fortnightly, you could sync your investing with your pay schedule. To do this, you could consider setting up an automatic payment to land in your Sharesies Wallet the day you’re paid, and an auto-invest order to place the orders for you.
A goal can be as simple as investing to grow your wealth, or something more specific like investing towards a home or retirement. To see if your investment goals have changed, some questions you could ask are:
Am I still happy with the goal(s) I set?
When do I want to achieve my goals?
Do I have any new goals?
Thinking about your goals makes it easier to determine your investment horizon. For example, if your goal last year was to buy a house in 10 years, and this year you decide you actually want a house within the next 5 years, your investment horizon is now shorter. And you might want to review whether your investments are suited to this new time frame.
Your risk appetite
It’s also worth thinking about whether your risk appetite has changed. Changes to your confidence levels or your financial situation may mean that you prefer more or less risk than you did before.
Check in with the wider world 🌏
When it comes to share market conditions or the wider economy, there’s no way to predict exactly what will happen in the year ahead—but you can look at what’s currently happening. Some questions to get you started are:
What’s going on in the global economy and local economy?
What industries are thriving or struggling?
If you’re not sure where to look for answers, our Shared Lunch podcast with BusinessDesk is one place you could start. It features regular industry deep dives and conversations with experts.
Once you better understand your personal situation and the current market landscape, it’s time to…
Check in with your portfolio 🔎
Maybe you’re quite familiar with your investment portfolio, or maybe it’s been a while since you last checked in on it. 😅 Now’s as good a time as any to review the current state of your portfolio. Keep in mind:
Diversification — How is your portfolio spread across different investments? Is your portfolio allocated the way you want it to be? Is it diversified?
Investment performance — Have your investments performed as expected? Have market conditions changed anything fundamental for the investment? Do you still believe in your investment’s long-term future?
Volatility — Has the value of your investments and portfolio fluctuated more or less than the overall share market? Is it what you expected? Are you comfortable with the risk you’re taking on and the level of volatility in your portfolio?
Decision time ⌛️
Think about all that you’ve learnt and decide if you want to make any changes to:
How much you’re investing. Run the numbers and decide whether the amount you’re investing still makes sense.
How often you’re investing. Are you investing just when you feel like it? If you already are or planning to invest regularly, does setting up an auto-invest order make sense for you?
What you’re investing in. Are you mainly investing in companies, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), or managed funds? Does your current portfolio suit your risk profile and investment horizon?
If you don’t end up making any changes, that’s fine too! But it’s important to sit down and have a think every now and then—and what better time to tick that box than now?
Ok, now for the legal bit
Investing involves risk. You aren’t guaranteed to make money, and you might lose the money you start with. We don’t provide personalised advice or recommendations. Any information we provide is general only and current at the time written. You should consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice when considering whether an investment is appropriate for your objectives, financial situation or needs.