Knowing what you have will be helpful to you in evaluating your financial situation today. But if you want to help yourself make progress toward your goals for tomorrow, you'll also want to consider another organizational technique: Consolidating your assets.
Specifically, if you have some stocks here, a couple of certificates of deposits (CDs) there and some IRAs at still another place, you might consider consolidating them with one financial services provider. With all your investments in one place, you can possibly reduce the fees and paperwork associated with maintaining your accounts. And when you eventually start taking withdrawals from your IRA and 401(k), you may find it easier to calculate these required distributions if they're coming from just one provider, rather than multiple sources.
But most importantly, when you consolidate your investments with one provider, you'll find it easier to follow a single, unified investment strategy. A qualified financial advisor can look at all your assets and determine if you've got redundancies in your holdings and if you need to increase your diversification. (Keep in mind, though, that diversification, by itself, can't guarantee a profit or protect against loss.) Furthermore, once a financial advisor knows your situation, he or she can recommend strategies that are appropriate for your objectives, risk tolerance and time horizon.
Get Organized Week lasts only seven days. But by using this time to begin organizing your finances, you could see benefits for years to come.
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Edward Jones Financial Adviser Michael Quinn submitted this column. Quinn's Edward Jones office is at 25 Railroad Square, Suite 201, Haverhill. He can be reached at 978-372-8453.