How To Audit Your Own Investments
4. How are your investments performing? You can find out how well your funds are performing by reviewing your statements. With the exception of my work plan, all our accounts were upfront about the funds' performance. I could find out how well it did from its inception, the past 10 years, five years, and one year, as well as since I had started participating in that particular fund.
My work plan's statements and website told me only that I had invested in Fidelity, but not which funds. I am sure I have a record of it somewhere, but thanks to my “ignorance is bliss” mode, I have no idea where. They did include the performance of each of Fidelity's funds, but I need to call our plan to figure out which funds I am invested in so I can properly analyze my investment portfolio.
5. How are your investments performing compared with other investments? By following the instructions in this post, you can evaluate an individual investment.
I plugged the ticker symbol (CWGCX) for the fund I mentioned earlier (Capital World Growth and Income Fund). If I am evaluating Morningstar's comparison correctly, its expense ratio is greater than the category average, plus it's performing in the top 72 percent of funds in its category in the last 10 years. Nice. I really mean not nice, of course. I tried another fund with a different firm. This time the fund was in the top 55 percent.Answering the investment questions So, have I saved enough so far? Some sites recommend that a 35-year-old (which I am not there yet) should have saved one time's annual earnings. I have saved more than that, actually. However, my husband has saved about half of what he needs. Because we consider all the money as our money, no matter who earned it, it averages out that we have enough saved in retirement so far to match our household's annual income. To decide if we are diversified enough and whether our investing portfolio is appropriately risky, I need to determine which Fidelity fund(s) I have. But I can start with what I know now. Of our entire investable assets, 25 percent is in cash, 0.5 percent is in individual stocks, and the rest in mutual funds. Of the 75 percent in mutual funds, about 45 percent is in funds that have moderate risk while the other 55 percent is found in more risky investments. For our age, I think that's too much in cash (although we have some significant expenses coming up). I suppose we could also invest in riskier options since we have a few decades to go before we need the money.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV