56% of Americans are simply guessing at how much they’ll need for retirement, according to a study by Northwestern Mutual in 2019. And when the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies asked last year, half of all millennials believed saving $300,000 or less would be sufficient for retirement.
Making smart investments by keeping up with market trends each year can significantly boost your gains year over year. Financial professionals can be a great source of information and confidence when determining which trends are worth our time and which might fizzle out.
So it was surprising when, a study conducted by CNBC and Acorns found only 17-percent of Americans said they use a financial advisor, while a third of respondents said they obtained financial advice from social media.
To bridge the gap, we asked four financial experts to suggest their smart investment moves for 2022.
Consider Global Investments
Grant Bledsoe (CFA, CFP) sees many new clients come to him with almost all their stock and bond holdings in U.S.-based organizations. He believes this could be a mistake.
“January is a great time to take a look at your current holdings and rebalance them to include more Non-U.S. based holdings. They provide valuable diversification benefits, and with sky-high U.S. market valuations right now, they could perform better over the next 5-10 years.” If your portfolio heavily favors U.S.-based stocks, you should consider moving some of those assets.
Rethink Individual Stock Holdings
According to Robert J Loyd (CPA), the types of stocks that have made money over the last two years are unlikely to see the same results in 2022. Many stocks that flourished over the past two years have done so because they were better suited to make money during a pandemic.
As 2022 moves forward and we begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel, these tailwinds could become headwinds.
“Stimulus programs are not getting renewed, the Federal Reserve is about to embark on a rate hike campaign, and inflation is at 40-year highs. High inflation and the Fed’s policies to stop inflation are going to be major drivers for investments in 2022.” The energy sector is where Robert suggests putting your money for 2022.
Reassess Bond Investments
Typically speaking, bonds are investments for those with a low-risk tolerance or who will need the money to spend within the next five years. However, Blaine Thiederman (MBA, CPA) thinks most investors should rethink the money they have invested in bonds for 2022.
“Nearly every total bond market index is down about 4.5% from January 14th of 2021 through January 14th of 2022, one of the index’s worst years ever and with no end in sight.” He also believes Non-U.S based stocks will see more significant growth in 2022 when compared to U.S.-based stocks.
Make Sure Your Money Should Be Invested
Stephani McCollough, the founder of Sofia Financial, offers two sound pieces of investment advice. Her first piece of advice, make sure you don’t need the money you are investing to pay for something soon. There is always an inherent risk when investing your money.
There are no guarantees that your investment won’t lose value in the short term. Being aware of potential early losses is even more critical with the swings we’ve seen in the market.
“If you’re talking about money, you need to buy a new car this year, or for your kids’ tuition in 2 years, you should not invest that money. Remember that investing involves risk, which is the reason it can give you a better potential return than savings – over the long run. Investing is a long-term game.
If I were to invest that tuition money today, there are zero guarantees that it won’t have gone down in value when I write the check to my kid’s school. So that money should be in a savings vehicle, not invested.” When not needing your investment money for five years or more, you can open yourself up to more investment options.
Understand Your Investment Accounts
Stephanie’s other advice is to understand all your different investment accounts. Each type of account can be taxed at different times and in different ways. There can also be restrictions on using your various investment accounts.
“You can own the exact same investments in a brokerage account, a 401(k), a Roth IRA, and maybe even a Health Savings Account (HSA). But they have very different implications regarding how much money you can spend and when. So I suggest you take an inventory of what you own and in what type of account.”
Rebalancing is Different For Everyone
As we’ve seen, experts have different opinions on how to rebalance your portfolio. They also have differing views as to the best time to update your portfolio.
My first expert, Stephani McCollough, believes it depends on how close you need your portfolio as income. “If you’re younger, I think once a year is totally fine. However, when you’re a couple of years out from retirement (or the time when you’re going to need to use some of your investment money), you want to be rebalancing more often.”
While Stephanie has a more personal approach, another expert generally relies more on market conditions.
Robert Lloyd has a different approach to rebalancing. “It depends on the market environment. In 2020, there were 2-3 times to rebalance. In 2021, you could have made do with just one. When there is more volatility, there is a higher need to rebalance as asset classes go on sale.”
Making smart investing moves in 2022 will mean different investments for different people. Before making any investment moves, keep your personal goals and situation in mind and find a professional you trust to help guide your decisions.
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