by Salman Ahmed

At Steadyhand, we must sound like a broken record when advising clients. It’s usually “stay the course”, “do nothing”, or “stick to your SAM” (strategic asset mix).

Trust me, we’re not lazy. We have good reasons for being so repetitious. There are times, however, when you DO need to rethink your plan.

Lifestyle change: Taking up lawn gnome collecting isn’t the kind of change I’m referring to. Think major changes: upcoming retirement, marriage, divorce, kids, house sale or job loss. These changes alter the goals of your portfolio, therefore, should be accompanied with a review your investment plan.

Literally pulling your hair out: A falling market is a good time to rebalance. It’s also a great time to assess how you feel about your plan. A few jitters when you see your portfolio drop in value is normal. Sleepless nights, depression or acts of aggression, however, mean your portfolio isn’t right for you. Conversely, you may have thought you would have sleepless nights, but instead stayed cool through a market dip – potentially, your portfolio needs more equities.

Big purchase: If you’ve decided to make a large purchase within the next three years, we recommend you keep an amount in cash or cash-like investments. Markets can be extremely volatile in the short and medium term and we don’t think it’s worth taking the risk of missing out on an important purchase.

Mission accomplished: We hope all of our clients succeed in meeting their investing goals. Some of you will have more than you need and want to earmark money for kids, grandkids, relatives or charities. In this case, you need to consider their time horizon and risk profile, rather than just your own.

These changes don’t happen often, but when they do, it’s worth giving us a call to discuss potential adjustments to your portfolio. It may be one of those few times we’d be happy if you ignored our usual advice.