Recent global events such as the earthquakes in Christchurch and Japan, and the unrest in the Middle East, have really got people thinking about their investments and when is the right time to re-evaluate an investment portfolio. Should it occur as a result of a high profile natural disaster, global unrest or a personal traumatic event? Or should it occur as a result of a premeditated decision to regularly review our financial circumstances?
We are all tempted to make decisions during emotional events, and the recent earthquakes and political unrest are no exception. However, this is often not a good time to make decisions about an investment portfolio, in large because we don't always get accurate information about these events and it's difficult to predict the impact these events will have on the market.
Our preference is to take a logical and rational approach to investment portfolios, to regularly review them with a financial adviser, and not just when a global disaster happens. A well structured portfolio will be diversified so global events should not have a long-term negative impact upon the performance of the portfolio. Any short-term impact should be limited to the equity component of investment portfolios, and shouldn't affect the liquidity component (this is where you have funds set aside for quick access).
A regular review should address whether your need for access to cash has changed (i.e. your liquidity requirements) and/or your risk profile has changed. For example, if your priority is to save for your retirement in 10 years, then a global disaster should not necessarily trigger you to make a change to your portfolio. However, if your priorities change and you decide to purchase a home in the next six months, your liquidity needs have effectively increased and you may need to make changes to your portfolio. In this case a global disaster should trigger you to talk to your financial adviser about the best course of action.
Remember that long-term investments will hit highs and lows, and it is inevitable that global disasters will play a role in this. If your short-term investment goals change, or if you are worried, then talk to you financial adviser before making any decisions. Review your investment portfolio regularly and speak to your financial adviser if you have any concerns. Most importantly, don't let your emotions rule your decisions.
If you want assistance with this please call us on 0800 447 347.
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