If you’re looking for this year’s hottest personal finance trend, you’ve come to the wrong place. As we enter a new year with new resolutions, the allure of novel tips, tricks and fads is hard to ignore. Many of these trends bear fruit for savers. Some are doomed to crash and burn (think: Tulip mania). Rather than try to pick the winners, I prefer to reflect on fundamentals.
So what are my top personal finance tips for 2018? Look no further than 2017 and 2016. Today we’ll revisit some of our favorite past posts that will get you on track for the new year.
- Rebalance your accounts. Markets have been on a roll, but don’t let your asset allocation get out of whack. You could end up with an overly-risky portfolio or a pile of un-invested cash. Need a refresher? Here’s a piece we did on the importance of rebalancing.
- Strengthen your Balance Sheet. Save early and save often; make sure to take advantage of employer sponsored retirement plans. Keep an eye on your expenses and make a plan to tackle debt. Boosting your savings and paying down debt will kick start your net worth and improve your financial health.
- Cover your Risks. There are a lot of things we insure against: accidents, liability, catastrophe, long term care, and death. Be sure to review your existing insurance policies for adequate coverage limits and cost competitiveness.
- Prepare for the Worst. Most attorneys will tell you: anyone over the age of 18 can benefit from basic estate planning. Unfortunately, this aspect of financial planning is often ignored or delayed (guilty as charged). If you haven’t already, talk to an attorney about drawing up the appropriate documents.
- Honor your Instinct. Your decisions, plans, and actions must fit within the parameters of your emotional balance sheet. Excessive risk and draconian savings plans may produce short term results, but they won’t be sustainable in the long-term. Find the right balance between a quantitative and qualitative fit, and alter your course as needed.
What’s my point? When it comes to personal finance, as with fashion and music, trends come and go – but the best financial advice is evergreen. New year, old me. Here’s to 2018!
Disagree? Do you have a tip or trend that has boosted your financial health? Contact us and share your experience.