July To-Do List
July is a perfect time to take a closer look at your portfolio and evaluate current investments and holdings. While the first half of the year has passed, you might have a better understanding of the market course and expectations for the rest of the year. In addition, mid-year is a good time for portfolio corrections if you feel like you have gotten off track. At PG Capital, we suggest starting by re-evaluating your plan and goals and reflecting them on your investment portfolio. Once you have done it you should check your portfolio’s assets allocations, whether your saving and spending rates are aligned with your plan, and if there are any significant changes in your holdings.
Conduct a cost audit. While it might sound simple, it is an important part of your investment plan that often gets overlooked. By regularly checking the costs you are paying for the entire thing to work, you might be able to identify expensive products or services and substitute them. Because investors rarely write checks for the financial services and products they are getting, such payments get unnoticed but lead to substantial expenses over time. As a result, these expenses negatively affect the performance of your overall portfolio. Spend some time reviewing such expenses and trying to identify if you can avoid or reduce some of them. For example, you could substitute a mutual fund for similar or almost identical ETFs with a much lower expense ratio.
Conduct a tax audit. Yes, the tax season just ended recently, so you may think it is not necessary, but let us reassure you that it is. Since by now, you should have a 2020 tax return ready and on hand, you can get a clear understanding of how your investments impact the taxes you pay. You should examine your tax returns and see if you are taking the maximum advantage of your tax-sheltered options, such as 401(k)s, IRAs, and HSAs. Reassess your decision regarding Traditional and Roth contributions to your savings accounts. Examine your taxable holdings and the amount of capital gain they generated recently. Perhaps, it could be a good idea to start switching to the municipal bond market to avoid capital gain taxes and minimize your tax exposure.
Overall, July is that time of the year when you want to evaluate your plan performance, expenses, and taxes your holdings generate.