Get in the Game: Leave Armchair Quarterbacking for the Super Bowl
We’re often passionately involved in our favorite sports teams and landmark face-offs; we cheer our favorite athletes, check their stats throughout the season, and wait to see who emerges victorious. If only investors could turn that gridiron dedication into vigilance in their own financial futures.
If each time you checked a score, you also opened a statement or checked your portfolio online, just imagine how ahead of the game you could be! If instead of focusing on NFL point spreads, you tried speculating on your own financial over/under, you’d be taking a more strategic approach to your investment game plan.
Here are a few ways to stay off the sidelines and get in the investing game:
- Use this weekend to touch base with your broker. Drop him or her an email or leave a phone message and request some one-on-one coaching, especially if it’s been 12 or more months from your last contact. If you never hear back, be ready to throw an investment flag.
- Check your roster. Use FINRA’s BrokerCheck to look up your brokers and advisors and to check out their recent playbooks. Review any reported disciplinary actions carefully.
- Skip the Hail Mary and actually OPEN your statements. It’s tax season, so you should be getting them now anyway, which makes it an ideal time to return to the basics. Here are some key plays to look for that could indicate a bad broker or bad investment.
- Go Long! Compare your investment documents and statements from this year to the past three or five years. Look for patterns of unusual investment activity, such as big losses, unapproved transactions, or large fees that don’t make sense. Consider the documents in light of what you were initially promised or initially understood about your accounts, and make sure the promises meet the reality.
Enjoy the Big Game this Sunday! It’s sure to be an exciting match up down in New Orleans. Just make sure you also take some time to be your own MVP and not the underdog.
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