Between her book and her Netflix special Marie Kondo became something of a phenomenon, inspiring families across the globe to eliminate excess household items in exchange for simplicity and peace-of-mind.  We live in an era of excess; accumulating material items without developing a way to organize. 

The same principle applies to finances. When was the last time you sorted through your portfolio of digital and paper records that track your debts, expenses, savings, investments, and insurance? If you are like most Americans, chances are you have a file cabinet filled with outdated paperwork and a digital file on your computer or “in the cloud” with miscellaneous financial records.

It’s easy to lose track of the bigger picture.  When our investments become untidy, they start to feel impossibly complicated. This can have negative repercussions, as we delay important decisions, or fail to make them at all.

Take some time to sort through the items in your financial repertoire.  Here are a few easy ways to tidy up your finances and reveal opportunities for change and improvement.

Review Your Retirement Accounts

Are you still holding onto several different 401(k) plans with old employees? Have numerous IRA accounts? Take a hard look to see if it makes sense for you to consolidate these funds into one account. Reporting all retirement assets within one account means less tangible and mental clutter to manage.

Review Your Investment Portfolio

Consolidate or eliminate duplicate investments, and check on your overall rate of return for your assets. Duplicate investments can lead to you to have a larger share of a sector or company than you might be comfortable with. Can you do better?  Should you take more or less risk?  The organization of your accounts can be one easy step toward investor confidence.

Review Your Insurance

Many times, we hold onto paperwork that is no longer needed simply because we are afraid to get rid of it.  If you’re not sure if you really need to hold onto each insurance premium notice, double check with your advisor and see what you can eliminate to slim down your files. 

Check Your Credit

How many times do you quickly scan your credit card statements without reviewing each charge?  Did you ever sign up for something on a monthly billing cycle, but pay for a product or service longer than actually needed?  Clean up by eliminating those unnecessary recurring charges.

Find a Big Picture Advisor

Make sure you find an advisor who understands the full scope of your financial picture and can align your investments with specific retirement goals. A good advisor can declutter your portfolio, help you avoid overpaying taxes and help ensure you’re properly diversified.

On a personal note, I am excited to announce that Planning Solutions Group is now part of Wealth Enhancement Group. I firmly believe this partnership strengthens our capabilities, deepens our resources and improves our ability to focus on your big picture.

This article originally appeared in Living on the Lawn.

Robert Carson is Senior Vice President, Financial Advisor at Wealth Enhancement Group. Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Wealth Enhancement Advisory Services, a registered investment advisor. Wealth Enhancement Advisory Services, Planning Solutions Group and Wealth Enhancement Group are separate entities from LPL Financial.

Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk. Investing involves risk including loss of principal.

Robert H. Carson

Robert H. Carson

Senior Vice President, Financial Advisor

Robert joined Wealth Enhancement Group during the 2019 partnership with Planning Solutions Group, where he was a Managing Partner for the firm. He specializes in providing comprehensive financial planning strategies, with an emphasis on estate preservation, business succession planning and asset management.