"Once you have experienced what it's like to have a truly ordered house, you'll feel your whole world brighten. Never again will you revert to clutter."
- Marie Kondo, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Fun fact: What do Donald Trump, Madonna and Justin Bieber have in common? All three are born in the Year of the Dog, which according to Chinese astrologers means they will have a tumultuous year ahead.
This week marks the beginning of Chinese New Year, a time to spring clean, 'sweep the dust', put away old things and bid farewell to the past year. We should take this time to clean up our investment portfolios, and make room for good fortune.
It's a three-step process:
- Get your house in order by consolidating your accounts so that you can get a holistic view of your investments as one portfolio. How many Apple shares do I actually own? How much fixed income exposure do I have? How did I do last year? Viewing each account separately can be problematic because you could end up having the same investments in different accounts, or too much invested in a specific asset class.
- Start sweeping from the top-down, and assess whether your portfolio makes sense (or ever made sense) given your investment goals and risk tolerance. What should my target asset allocation be? How much emerging market exposure should I have? If you haven't done this in the last five years, you are now five years older (and wiser) and five years closer to that dream home purchase or retirement.
- Spring clean and let go of the old - it's time to part with the clothes you keep hoping will make a comeback one day, like that fashionable small-cap mining stock circa 2010. It's a good time to declutter - less can be more. Owning a multitude of funds may seem like the path to diversification, but not if the funds hold similar investments.
Don't leave your portfolio in the dark gathering dust. Give it a good sweep to welcome the year ahead. You can reward yourself with pineapple tarts and bak gwa afterwards. Our team here at Endowus wishes you a healthy and prosperous Year of the Dog!