Rebalancing is one of those simple things that investors should do at least once per year. Rebalancing your investment portfolio can have a really positive impact on your long-term returns. Not rebalancing your portfolio can lead to some nasty consequences that we definitely want to avoid.
Rebalancing regularly will keep your portfolio’s risk level on target. Rebalancing can also help you avoid a lot of behavioural biases that can impact investor returns. And good rebalancing rules will help you buy-low and sell-high (which is exactly what we want right?!)
For small, medium, or large portfolio’s rebalancing should happen at least once per year. We rebalance three times per year in January, May and September. We do this as part of our tri-annual financial check-in. It’s easy to do and very beneficial. Rebalancing your portfolio can help increase your long-term investment returns and at the same time decrease your risk.
We’ve had two major rebalances in the last 5 years. During the last large decrease in Canadian equities we had to sell bonds to buy Canadian stocks. And more recently, after a big increase in stock market values, we had to sell equities to buy more bonds. Now after the recent changes in the market we will probably need to rebalance our portfolio again.
Rebalancing is something we look forward to, we know that rebalancing is a good thing for the reasons listed below. When we rebalance it means our investment plan is working the way it should and it’s a good indication that we’re on track for our long-term plan.
I have a confession to make, I’m a financial hoarder, or close to it.
What is a financial hoarder? And why does it matter? A financial hoarder is someone who keeps extra bank accounts, investment accounts, budget categories, credit cards etc. The more financial “stuff” you have, the more you likely it is that you’re a financial hoarder.
Understanding this is important because it can affect how you manage your finances.
Just like how physical clutter in your home can affect your ability to move and think, your financial clutter can also have an impact on how you manage your finances. The more financial “stuff” you have the more mental energy you’re going to devote to it. This can lead to financial fatigue where you just give up entirely, and that’s not good.
The simpler your financial life, the easier it is to manage, and the more likely it is that you’ll have success with your finances.
When I do the quiz below I’m close to being a financial hoarder. Let’s do a quick tally…
Sometimes you have to take a risk. Not all risks are created equal though. Some risks have rewards that greatly outweigh the potential downsides. These risks can pay off big-time down the road, but its important to pick the right ones.
When it comes to personal finance there are lots of risks (and lots of rewards!). Taking a few strategic risks can do wonders for your long-term personal finances. But it’s important to understand the trade-offs.
Almost nothing in the world of personal finance is risk free (except maybe a guaranteed deposit with an insured bank) but there are four financial risks that can be worth taking.
If you understand the potential downsides, these financial risks can have a huge positive impact on your finances.
Disclaimer: Always understand your own risk tolerance before taking on any financial risk. Your health and happiness is worth more than a bit of financial gain. Understand the pro’s and con’s before taking on any risk.
Routines add structure and discipline to our lives. They make things easier. When we’re in a good routine things seem faster, easier and more efficient. We know exactly what to expect and how to do it.
Creating a routine for your finances is a great way to add structure and discipline to your financial life. It makes you more efficient and happy with your finances (and who doesn’t want that?).
Anyone who has spent too much time managing their finances knows how quickly you can feel burnt out. This is called budget fatigue and it’s a very real problem. It’s when you spend so much time and effort managing your money that you end up making worse spending decisions because you’re just so tired.
Having a routine helps you manage your finances more efficiently. It’s one of the easiest ways to improve your finances for the long term. Your routine can include things like budgeting, investing, saving etc.
For years and years, we’ve been on a 4-month personal finance routine. We review our finances only three times per year. How’s that for efficient!
We review our finances once in mid-January, once in mid-May and then once in mid-September.
During these reviews, we sit down and look at our spending, our budget, our investments, our contributions and we see if we need to rebalance or not. We also talk about the next 4-12 months, what special expenses we can expect, and if we should make changes to our regular budget.
During these financial “check-ins” we also review our long-term financial goals. We check to see if we’re on track or if we need to make changes to either our expectations or our savings rate.
Having this routine has improved our personal finances immensely and I recommend everyone create a routine for their finances so you can experience these benefits too.
There are four main ways our personal finance routine has helped improve our finances…
How many transactions to does the average person make per day, one, two, three or more? For the last eight months I’ve been averaging about 1.3 transactions per day but I suspect the typical person averages closer to 2.
Since the beginning of January I’ve been religiously tracking my spending. This has been a departure from my normal budgeting routine but it’s been extremely interesting because of how much detail I now have on my spending habits.
For the longest time, I was an anti-budgeter. I would set a savings goal and then each month I would put away enough money to cover my savings goal plus any fixed expenses, then I would leave the rest in my checking account and spend freely. Over time I created good spending habits and most months I would have a bit left over.
Personally, I found the anti-budget to be a great balance between managing my money and my time. I could hit my financial goals but didn’t have to spend much time tracking expenses.
This all changed when I came across this super simple way to track your spending. You don’t need to give Mint all your passwords, you don’t need to pay YNAB a monthly fee, all you had to do was use Google Forms and Google Sheets to setup your own semi-automated spend tracking.
Adding a new transaction didn’t mean opening a spreadsheet, you could do it right from your phone. Tracking your spending took just 10-15 seconds after each transaction.
So, since January I’ve been tracking every transaction I’ve made and one thing I find super fascinating is how many transactions I make.
Where do I want to spend my time? Not managing my finances, that’s for sure.
If you spend more than 30-minutes per week managing your finances then you need to simplify! That includes budgeting, paying bills, making debt payments, and moving money around.
Spending a lot of time managing your finances can actually be bad for your net worth. It zaps your energy and leads to bad financial decisions. Spending a lot of time on your finances can lead to budget fatigue and makes it more likely that you’ll make an impulse purchase.
Simplifying your finances doesn’t have to be difficult. It might require a bit of time up-front but once you’ve made a change you’ll immediately start to see the benefits.