The festive review

2 min read

‘Twas the eve of the new year, and portfolio files
Were reviewed and adjusted to required lifestyles.
Goals were updated, and risk concerns too,
In hopes for our finances to carry us through.

The lead up to Christmas and the New Year is many things. Feverish socialising with friends and family, a celebration or a relieved farewell of the year that was. It can be a time of resolutions, too. While we’re not suggesting you need to make complete life changes, it can be a great time to review your finances, from investments to health insurance, and make sure they continue to work for you for the coming year.

Reasons to review now

1. A lot can change in a year

Your life may look completely different compared to Christmas last year. You might have unexpected medical expenses for you or a family member. There might even be a new family member. Or perhaps you changed your job. In any case, this might mean your financial goals and needs have changed and a review will help you see if your investment strategy and current insurance can still help you meet them.

2. Setting yourself up for the new year

Reviewing your financial situation during the often costly festive season can help you budget during that time – and also plan for the next year. A little pain now for less stress next year. You might find have more than you expected or less. Or perhaps you need to factor for expenses from this year coming into the next and income from your investments might help with those. Regardless of the outcome, it’s nice to start the new year with certainty and confidence over your finances and goals.

3. Using the seasonal lull

Typically the festive season can be a time for some calm in markets, with some companies winding down or having Christmas closure periods and investors resting some of their focus. This can make it a better time to assess what parts of your investments have worked well over the year without trying to see through large volatility spikes and allows you to make any changes you need at a quieter period.

Questions to consider

In starting your review, you might want to consider some of the thoughts below.

1. A compilation of all your finances including investments, savings, credit cards, insurance, mortgage and any other assets.

2. Changes to your financial situation including your job and salary, a new relationship or baby, new loans or a mortgage, or costs of caring for family (including elderly relatives).

3. Any health changes for you and anyone you support financially which may see you needing to cover a range of future costs outside of insurance.

4. Your lifestyle goals extending from what you need to basically cover your needs to wish list items and luxuries.

Making changes

Your financial adviser can help you assess whether your investments still meet your goals and needs, and if changes need to be made. For areas like health insurance or credit cards, it can be worth using the variety of online comparison services around to see what might work best for you. Contacting your provider directly is often a good way to see if you can get a better offer than your current one if you are otherwise happy with their services.

Regularly reviewing your finances is an important way of managing your future – and using the festive season to do it might just help you ward off a new year financial hangover (we make no recommendations on the other kind).

For more information, please contact your financial adviser

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This information is current as at 29/11/2016.

This information has been prepared by BT Financial Group, the wealth management arm of the Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL and Australian credit licence 233714. The information provided is an overview or summary only and it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon as such. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. This information has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness having regard to these factors before acting on it.