Business

It takes resolve to meet your financial resolutions By Carol Plaisier

Are you keeping all of your New Year resolutions?

Many people have already fallen into familiar patterns, and their resolutions, which seemed so achievable and significant a short month ago, have fallen by the wayside. Often, the difficulty with resolutions is that the period leading up to the time of resolve contains an over-abundance of the very item you are determined to change.

On the other hand, a desire to be financially secure or to make 2011 the year you will save more or learn about your investments, is not a resolution, but a continuous journey that involves knowing where you are currently and where you want to be years from now. This journey is often called a financial plan, and, similar to other plans, it needs to be reviewed at least annually, and tweaked or rebalanced depending upon current conditions.

Here are six top financial tips that you can follow all year:

• Ensure that your advisor contacts you on a regular basis. This can be semi-annually, quarterly, annually or another period of time that you both agree on. Monthly statements and online access will give you the numbers, but no explanation, discussion of current market conditions, review of your current holdings or determining if you are well positioned for the coming year.

• if only one of a couple is managing all of the finances, it is important for the other spouse to become involved. Both of you should attend meetings with your advisor whenever possible. Too often, a death or divorce leaves one spouse with very little knowledge or experience regarding finances.

• Take some money off the table for yourself. Set up or increase monthly withdrawals from your bank account to an investment.

• In addition to paying yourself first, the above strategy will encompass dollar cost averaging into your portfolio. This is a highly effective option, especially when the markets are as volatile as they are currently.

• Talk to your advisor to get the answer to the following questions: should I invest in RRSPs or TFSAs (tax free savings accounts). Should I pay down my mortgage or invest? If you don’t have a mortgage or are unable to invest in RRSPs anymore, maximize your TFSA contributions and review your investment options to ensure that your money will last your lifetime at your desired lifestyle.

• Take action — invest early and often, learn more about your investments, obtain professional advice, even for a second opinion. Self-directed investors also find that a second opinion can be informative and beneficial, especially if one spouse is not involved whatsoever.

We are currently in an economic climate of uncertainty, volatility, hardship for individuals and companies, and, also, an opportunity to invest.

All in all, no financial new year’s resolutions required, just a resolve.

Carol Plaisier, CFP®, Investment Advisor with Dundee Securities Corporation, can be reached at the DundeeWealth office in Parksville (250) 248-2399, or by e-mail: cplaisier@dundeesecurities.com. Web: www.carolplaisier.com.

This article was prepared by Carol Plaisier, CFP®, FMA, AMP (Accredited Mortgage Professional) who is an Investment Advisor with Dundee Securities Corporation, a DundeeWealth Inc. Company. This is not an official publication of Dundee Securities Corporation and the author is not a Dundee Securities analyst. The views (including any recommendations) expressed in this article are those of the author alone, and they have not been approved by, and are not necessarily those of Dundee Securities Corporation.

Dundee Securities Corporation, Member-Canadian Investor Protection Fund, is a DundeeWealth Inc. Company.

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