The recent market drop has shaken many investors, but those not keeping a close eye on their portfolios could stand to lose so much more.
It can be easy to let investments fall to the bottom of one’s priority list, especially if they are in long-term and relatively stable portfolios, however this could be dire when market chaos ensues and investors aren’t quick on their feet. David Woodward, MD of Woodward Financials, shared exclusively with Express.co.uk just what “lazy investors” stand to lose if they don’t put their finances first.
He commented: “Implications of putting your investments on the back burner could be dire.
“When it comes to your finances, being slow out of the starting blocks could mean you’re trailing in last place.
“When it comes to investment returns are disastrous if you have not protected your family in the event of a calamity.”
Woodward Financials is a team of active investment managers, meaning they are constantly observing, monitoring and adjusting client investments as needed.
However, this doesn’t mean that their clients are able to be lazy in their investment strategies, after all it is their finances at stake and investment managers cannot do anything without their clients consent.
A consequence of this is they are left watching, as Mr Woodward said: “Recently we were approached by a new client and waiting to get some information in order to manage their investments. Soon after the initial engagement the markets dropped and we still have no control of their investments.
“The client is still invested but not actively managed meaning the delay has resulted in their portfolio dropping 5 percent which could have been avoided.”
Five percent may not seem like much, but savvy investors will understand that in a long term investment this has cost the investor dearly and Mr Woodward explained that the investor has essentially lost £155,000 over the next 40 years through this five percent.
A frustrating but all too common event for financial advisors as they are forced to watch investment portfolios drip away while investors take their time deciding what to do.
Mr Woodward continued: “We look at our clients’ investments every single day, how many times does someone look at your investments?
“Wouldn’t it make sense, to spend a little time looking after that hard earned cash. Where is the sense in putting off a financial review, it should be at the top of someone’s to do list not the bottom?”
Mr Woodward suggested some thought provoking questions for those that are only starting to notice different aspects of their own personal finances:
“Who is actively looking after your pensions or investments? Just because you have a pension or ISA invested in funds it doesn’t mean it’s actively invested. Do you really think the fund you invested in 12 months ago is still the best fund to be in now?”
Family wellbeing and insurance
“Do you have a mortgage? A decreasing term policy to pay off your family home or a life insurance policy or even death in service? That’s a good start but what about the lost earnings of the deceased? Are they the main breadwinner? How will the retirement provision for the surviving partner be affected, holidays, bills, school fees, car replacements, property maintenance? Have you thought about the real longer term consequences?”
“Have you considered if the main earner was unable to work through injury or critical illness? Do you have income protection or a policy that pays a lump sum? Is it enough to cover the mortgage and day to day living expenses? If not, give some thought to how quickly your life could spiral out of control, repayment defaults and adverse credit is just the tip of the iceberg, it could even lead to a relationship breakdown especially when most households are one-month from losing their home or falling into serious debt.
“How quickly do you think the bank will call in your overdraft or cut off funding if they discover a business partner or director has recently died? Do not wait to find out, have a Keyman policy in place.”
Mr Woodward advised that not knowing all of the answers may seem scary but is usually a good indicator that one needs external expertise, and that doesn’t count a friend that once had a mortgage or consulting Google.
“Would you go to a car showroom and ask for the cheapest car, or would you be looking at the car that is right for your needs? Ask an independent financial adviser (IFA) or Woodward Financials and they will tell you exactly what you need.”
“A good IFA can do a lot for you, they could save you from paying huge sums of income tax, mitigate capital and inheritance tax through prudent financial planning, they could bring your retirement forward with no detriment to your retirement goals or income, plan for long-term care, these are just a few areas that an adviser can help you with, but most of all give you flexibility security and choices in life,” he suggested.
“IFAs are there to help you, to guide you through a minefield of jargon, products, and services that you may be unfamiliar with, their job is to recommend and explain at a level that you understand so don’t feel intimidated, just make sure they are independent and make that enquiry.”