profile

Taylor Schulte

Part 1: Bringing Order to Your Investments

Published 4 months ago • 3 min read

Hi Reader,

Today I'm sharing part one of a three-part series on investing.

(I'm also sharing a free PDF checklist at the end: "What Issues to Consider When Reviewing Your Investments")

This series will walk you through how to transition from a chaotic collection of assets into a well-structured investment portfolio.

Each part will explore the separate planning pieces involved in minimizing the taxable impact of a desired transition...

...while successfully moving toward a more orderly portfolio.

Part One: The Beauty of Being Organized

When it comes to investing, my message has long been loud and clear:

Build a well-structured portfolio to maximize returns while mitigating taxes and managing risk.

💥 Shape it to meet your unique needs, goals, and desires.

💥 Keep a lid on the costs.

💥 Stay on target over time (i.e., avoid making irrational changes).

But...

...what if you’ve been investing for a while and don’t yet have that well-structured portfolio?

It stands to reason:

The more wealth you accumulate, the more chaotic your assets and accounts can become.

What begins as a manageable assortment (hopefully) grows.

That’s a good “problem” to have, but the sheer volume can eventually overwhelm your organizational efforts.

Then what?

Fortunately, it’s never too late to bring order to your investment universe.

In this first installment in my three-part series, I'm providing some sensible solutions to this perennial challenge.

Specifically, I'm sharing the initial steps you can take to move from random results to a more organized approach.

Step #1: Take Stock of What You’ve Got

The best way to get started is to determine where you stand today.

What do you currently own?

Where are you holding it, and why?

⭐️ Bonus points if you can determine how much your current holdings are costing you in both transparent AND hidden fees.

Step #2: Decide Where You’d Like To Go

Next, it’s time to plan (and document!) what your orderly investment universe looks like, and how you expect to get there.

Having a plan in place can feel incredibly empowering if your investments have gotten out of hand.

You can stop taking potshots at your wealth and begin aiming at your unique, personal targets.

Strategy:

  • What return do you need to reach your goals, and how much risk are you willing to take to achieve them?
  • Do you have the time and temerity to take on more investment risk to achieve higher returns?
  • Or are you better served with a more modest approach (i.e., less “exciting” but less likely to fall apart in a pinch)?

Target:

  • If you could start with a clean slate for creating your “perfect” investment portfolio, what would that look like?
  • How much in stocks vs. bonds, international vs. domestic, small cap vs. large cap?
  • What are the best asset classes and securities to invest in to achieve your desired goal?

Tactics:

  • Which of your current investments no longer make sense for your plans?
  • Which might be replaced with better-managed, lower-cost equivalents?
  • What pieces are missing from your portfolio?

Step #3: Proceed as Planned

If you’ve accumulated a vast clutter of capital, you’re likely to want to do some remodeling:

Selling unnecessary (or overpriced) positions, buying others that are a better fit, and streamlining duplicate assets and accounts.

In a tax-free world, you could proceed at full speed.

But in many cases, when you sell positions for more than you paid for them, there can be a tax consequence.

And blindly triggering additional taxes could bump you into a higher tax bracket, increasing your tax rates across a wider swath of your total annual income.

How do you pursue a tidy transition, given the challenges involved?

I'll be sharing more in Part 2 ("Transitions and Taxes") next week!

In the meantime, grab my freshly updated checklist:

👉 What Issues to Consider When Reviewing Your Investments


New Subscriber?

📖 Get caught up on past emails: Stay Wealthy Newsletter Archive

And then hit reply to this email with any questions.

I read and respond to every message 😊

Stay wealthy,

avatar
Taylor Schulte, CFP®

Taylor Schulte

Retirement and tax planning tips...in plain English.

I'm the host of the Stay Wealthy Retirement Show and founder of Define Financial, an award-winning retirement and tax planning firm. When I’m not helping people lower their tax bill, you can find me traveling with my wife and kids, searching for the next best carne asada burrito, or trying to master Adam Scott’s golf swing.

Read more from Taylor Schulte

Hi Reader, Whenever an asset class performs well over a short period of time, investors inevitably start asking whether or not they should buy some (or more) of the high performer. Given the recent performance of Bitcoin, Ethereum, gold, and silver, I wanted to share some thoughts on these assets. The Past It's difficult to provide a detailed historical analysis of Bitcoin and Ethereum because they are relatively new (2009 and 2013, respectively). However, their performance since inception...

4 days ago • 2 min read

Hi Reader, There's often a disconnect between what we think is happening in the economy and what is ACTUALLY happening. I think of this as the difference between facts and feelings. In today's email, I'm sharing: How consumers currently feel about the economy What the actual economic data says Why the disconnect between facts and feelings exists Before we dive in...did you catch this week's podcast episode? Dividend Investing (Part 3) In this week's episode, I'm discussing Stock Buybacks...

11 days ago • 3 min read

Hi Reader, Today, I’m sharing five of my favorite investing and economic charts from the past month. These charts cover topics like: The Futility of Forecasting Emerging Market Stocks Predicting Interest Rates...and More! Let's dive in.👇 #1 - Predicting The Future Is Hard An inverted yield curve is widely touted as the mother of all “recession indicators.” In other words, when the yield curve "inverts," it indicates that a recession may be near. 💡 What Is An Inverted Yield Curve? It's when...

18 days ago • 3 min read
Share this post