How To Review Your Investments in 15 Minutes

The end of the year is a super busy time.

Between the parties, the decorating and the shopping, there's little time for anything else.

But this is also the time of year when you need to review the family finances.

Example? Your 401k or other investments.

Let me show you a quick three-step review process you can do between egg-nogs.

Step one? Check your performance.

How have you done this year? Compare your returns to indexes that represent similar investments.

In other words, if you're in a stock mutual fund, compare what you've gained to what a broad market index, like the S&P 500, has gained. If you're in bonds, there are bond indexes you can use. You can also compare your funds to other similar funds.

Step two: see what you're paying in fees. If it's a 401k, ask your employer for a list of all the fees you've paid. Hopefully you're not paying more than one percent, but again, you can compare your funds to others to see how those fees stack up.

Step three: make sure you've still got the right asset allocation. In other words, the percentage you have in stocks, bonds and cash. Make sure you're not taking more risk than you bargained for.

Bottom line? Back when I was an investment advisor, there was a saying: most people spend more time planning their vacation than their retirement. So before year-end, look over your investments. Because spending a little time now might just give you more money to spend later. Want more tips and information? Go to and search for Investment Review.