Keep track of your investments

Review your investments regularly to make sure you’re on track to reach your financial goals and you’re comfortable with the investment risks.

Find out how to review your investments’ performance and what to do if you’re not getting the returns you expect.

Monitor your investments regularly

How often you review your investments will depend on:

  • your financial goals

  • how long you’re planning to invest

Defensive versus growth assets

Defensive assets include savings accounts, term deposit and fixed-interest investments like bonds. When you receive a statement, check income (for example, interest) is being paid and the value of your capital hasn’t changed too much.

Growth assets include property, shares and managed funds. They are more volatile and it’s best to review them once or twice a year. For example, for shares, around the time semi-annual and annual reports are released. Over-tracking may lead to over-trading. This can result in selling when markets fall and not sticking to your investing plan and investing time frame.

Make sure your investments are diversified, and leave them to ride out the downs. For more about defensive and growth assets, see choose your investments.

Review your investing plan

It’s important to review your investment plan once a year. Check your investments are still in line with your financial goals, risk tolerance and investing time frame.

Ways to monitor your investments

You’ll need to monitor different investments in different ways.

Shares

Key ways to monitor your shares:

  • Set up a ‘watch list’ for the shares you own. You can do this through the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) or your online broker platform. This will help you track share prices, dividends and price sensitive announcements. 

  • Review semi-annual and annual reports. These tell you about the company’s performance, important changes, and expectations for the coming year.

For more information, see keeping track of your shares.

Property

To monitor an investment property’s performance:

  • Use real estate websites to review the prices of similar properties that have sold.

  • Monitor monthly housing price updates published by CoreLogic and the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

  • Monitor auction clearance rates online or in newspapers. These tell you the percentage of properties sold at auction and show the strength of the property market.

If you invest in a real estate investment trust (REIT), monitor it the same way you monitor shares.

Investment performance warning signs

It’s difficult to tell if an investment will perform poorly. But there are warning signs that you can look out for.

Financial and accounting problems

Watch for mistakes, delays and media controversy over financial accounts. Genuine errors happen, but repeated accounting issues can be a sign of more serious problems.

Management problems

Frequent changes of a company’s board, directors and management can be a warning sign. Another sign can be directors and managers selling their shares in the company.

Company announcements will show changes in a company’s management and director holdings. You can find these on the ASX, the company’s website or through your online broker platform.

Published statements

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and the ASX can ask issuers of investment products to publish statements clarifying or correcting information given to investors. These public statements can be a sign of issues within the company or their reports, so read them carefully.

Keep an eye on ASIC media releases.

When to sell your investments

It’s important to not panic and sell an investment when the price has fallen. Before you sell an investment, take the time to review it. Check if it can still help you to reach your financial goals and if you’re comfortable with the risks involved. If you are, it may be better to hold on until the price rises again.

Your financial adviser will be able to assist at any point if you have any queries regarding your investment portfolio. Contact us on 1300 667 529 to discuss your investment strategy.

Source:
Reproduced with the permission of ASIC’s MoneySmart Team. This article was originally published at https://moneysmart.gov.au/how-to-invest/keep-track-of-your-investments

Important note: This provides general information and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account.  It’s important to consider your particular circumstances before deciding what’s right for you. Although the information is from sources considered reliable, we do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek qualified advice before making any investment decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, we do not accept any liability (whether under contract, tort or otherwise) for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person.  Past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns.

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