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Financial Focus: Investing Rules of the Road

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Your investment goals are as unique as the route you take to reach them. But regardless of your course, we believe these 10 “rules of the road” can help you get where you want to be.

Develop your strategy - Your financial professional gets to know you – your long-term goals, investment time frame and comfort level with risk – before recommending a strategy that’s tailored just for you.

Understand risk - As a rule, the higher the return potential, the more risk you’ll have to accept. A financial professional can help you understand your comfort level with risk and how much you’re able or need to take.

Diversify for a solid foundation - Your portfolio’s foundation is your asset allocation, or how your investments are diversified among stocks, bonds, cash, international and other investments. Your mix should align with your goals and comfort with risk.

Stick with quality - Quality is one of the most important aspects to consider. Although it may be tempting to buy a popular investment, it may not fit with the rest of your portfolio, and it may be riskier than you expect.
Invest for the long term - Despite stories of fortunes made on one or two trades, most successful individual investors make their money over time, not overnight.

Set realistic expectations - Determine the return you’re trying to achieve – which should be the return you need to reach your goals. Then you can base your expectations on your asset allocation, the market environment and your investment time frame.

Maintain your balance - Your portfolio’s mix could drift from its initial objectives from time to time. You can rebalance to reduce areas where your investments are overweight or add to areas where they are underweight to remain on track to reach your goals.

Prepare for the unexpected - Unforeseen events could derail what you’re working to achieve. By preparing for the unexpected and building a strategy to address it, you’ll be better positioned to handle the inevitable bumps along the way.

Focus on what you can control - Base your decisions on time-tested investment principles such as diversifying your portfolio, owning quality investments and maintaining a long-term perspective.

Review your strategy regularly - The one constant you can expect is change. That’s why it’s so important that you and your financial professional review your strategy on a regular basis.

Think of your financial professional as your navigator on this journey. By working together to regularly review your strategy and make the adjustments you need, you can have a clearer picture of where you stand and what you need to do to help reach your goals.