Hey Taylor: I feel like my investments underperformed last year and I’m wondering if there are any changes I should make. Anything in particular I should move on or watch out for? — Dan
Hey Dan: 2018 was a strange year, especially as the stock market was concerned. A bad year by many accounts, though there was plenty of money made before it all crashed in the fall.
Instead of trying too hard to right the ship, I’d just focus on some of the investments that can keep your portfolio diversified and deliver good returns over time.
■ Real estate. It might not be the easiest to add to your holdings, but it’s always a great thing to have. Whether you want to buy a vacation home, apartments to rent or property that’s held within a self-directed IRA, you do yourself a serious favor by investing in real estate.
Keep in mind that an investment property isn’t one you’re going to spend 25 years paying off — this needs to be a low-debt venture so you can start reaping the rewards and building up equity. If you feel like too much of your retirement is tied up in stocks and bonds, real estate could be the change you’re looking for.
■ Small businesses. Another great alternative to owning shares in publicly traded companies is owning a portion of a small business in your community. This has been one of my favorite investment strategies, both because of the returns and the reward when you help someone else grow their business.
You can do this type of investing through peer-to-peer lending platforms or by finding a company that needs a little extra cash flow and becoming an angel investor. You’ll want to target businesses you believe in that work in sustainable industries (health care, construction and development, energy).
If this interests you, take some time to research small business investing to figure out how it might work with your financial plan.
■ Stick it out with stocks. There will be good years and there will be bad years with the stock market. If you react too strongly to the bad years, you’ll likely miss out on the good ones. A balanced portfolio should keep things from really tanking.
I recently posted an article at GoFarWithKovar.com about some of the 2019 trends we’re seeing with the markets; that piece might help you identify what you want to change within your retirement account, as well as give insight as to why certain things should stay the same. Seems like you survived 2018, so you don’t need to be afraid of 2019.
This is a great question, Dan. Even if you don’t change a thing about your investments, it’s always good to consider ways you can add to your assets. Hope the coming year is a prosperous one.