FINRA wants investors to get off on the right financial foot in 2016 and offers investors these six tips for the new year:
- If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there. Are your goals current, or have they changed? Setting clear, prioritized goals – each with steps to achieve the goal, a price tag and a time frame – will help guide your investment approach.
- Focus on your financial security. Take advantage of day-to-day opportunities to help build your finances for the long term, such as benefiting from tax breaks for college savings or retirement; paying your credit-card debt on time and in full; and setting aside some funds for the unexpected.
- Understand the impact of higher interest rates. Yes, the Fed raised the federal funds rate and might do so again, but that alone might not change your investment strategy. There are several factors to keep in mind as you consider what action, if any, you need to take regarding rates.
- Track and rebalance your investments. Whether you work with a broker or adviser, or you trade on your own, you should always monitor your investments to prevent minor mistakes from turning into big problems. In particular, evaluate whether it’s time to rebalance your portfolio in view of your current goals and the changing investment environment.
- Know your investment professional. Understand what the different types of investment professionals offer to help you achieve your goals. Whether you’re looking for a new broker or investment adviser or just want to re-check the credentials of your current financial pro you can use BrokerCheck to obtain registration, disciplinary history and more on brokers, investment advisers and the firms that employ them.
- Protect your money. Fraud is a growing threat, but can be avoided. Know the basic techniques of scammers and strategies to deal with them, such as how to end the conversation or ask questions and turn the tables on fraudsters.
And here’s a bonus tip: Be sure to check your retirement safety net. Starting in 2016, new rules close loopholes that allowed married, two-income retirees to use certain strategies to increase the amount they collect from Social Security.
If you or someone you know has lost money as a result of an investment or Ponzi scheme, please contact Richard Frankowski at 888-741-7503 to discuss your potential legal remedies or complete the contact form.