How do I manage my own investments
Q. I have been investing for the past four years, mainly in mutual funds. I want to have some more control and open a discount brokerage account, but I am wondering where I look for the best advice on investing both long and short term.
A. Investing for the last four years must have been interesting depending on the type of investments you purchased during that period.
You probably had great success and perhaps a few disappointments. Whatever your experience, you now have an idea of the nature of the markets.
Having more control over your investments is not a bad thing, but you need to have something else: Time.
Remember, mutual funds are managed by experts who spend a significant amount of time researching the markets and making decisions to change and rebalance the funds as much as possible to ensure that your investments perform well. They are not always right, but they are very experienced and knowledgeable.
The decisions to manage your funds or have someone else manage them for you do not have to be mutually exclusive. You can have both.
Ask yourself a few questions:
What is the purpose for the investments?
How much time do you have for these investments to grow before you need to draw on the funds?
Do you have the knowledge to manage the investments?
Do you have the time to research the markets and keep up to date with the necessary information to make great investments decisions?
In terms of opening a discount brokerage account, there are many different avenues to acquire information about investments.
There is a wealth of Information on the internet but no guarantees. You will have to do your own verification. Taking an investment course such as the Canadian Securities Course is also recommended.
My recommendation is to only take a portion of your investments for the discount brokerage account. Ensure that you choose an amount that will not significantly impact your goals in case they do not perform to your expectations. Leave the remainder with the experts until you become an expert yourself.
Visit your local bank and speak to a financial advisor who has the experience to help you make your decision. You can also open the discount brokerage account at the same time.
- Chris Alexander, MBA, , BBM, PFP, FICB