Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PERSONALFINANCE -

money and in­vest­ments. As a re­sult, it is im­por­tant to con­sult a trusted fi­nan­cial ad­viser who can help you to avoid mak­ing emo­tion-driven in­vest­ment de­ci­sions and in­stead com­mit to a long-term fi­nan­cial plan, Wil­son says.

Your ad­viser will be able to help you eval­u­ate dif­fer­ent as­set man­agers based on their track records and in­vest­ment philoso­phies be­fore mak­ing your de­ci­sion.

“Your suc­cess as an in­vestor will de­pend on you find­ing the right bal­ance of risk and re­turns, with­out al­low­ing emo­tion to cloud your judg­ment. Your fi­nan­cial ad­viser will also help you to com­pile a port­fo­lio with rea­son­able fees,” Wil­son says. 3. Di­ver­sify. You should di­ver­sify among as­set man­agers and dif­fer­ent in­vest­ment ap­proaches. “That way, if mar­kets do crash, your eggs are not all in one bas­ket,” Wil­son says. It is also im­por­tant to be in­vested in dif­fer­ent types of as­sets to min­imise your in­vest­ment risk.

“If you are con­cerned about mak­ing the right in­vest­ment de­ci­sions at the right time, you could con­sider choos­ing a multi-as­set port­fo­lio, where the as­set man­ager has full dis­cre­tion over the bal­ance of as­sets. They would then do the tim­ing on your be­half,” she says.

“For ex­am­ple, good as­set man­agers will start re­duc­ing eq­ui­ties on a mar­ket high and in­vest in­stead in the other as­set classes, so that when the mar­ket cor­rects you will not be ex­posed to the down­turn. This takes the re­spon­si­bil­ity of tim­ing the mar­ket away from you, mak­ing it easy to in­vest at any time.” 4. Leave your money to grow. You need to take a long-term view with your money, so unit trust in­vest­ments should be made for pe­ri­ods of five to 10 years, or longer.

“Short-term in­for­ma­tion in­flu­ences stock prices only in the short term; over the long term, this volatil­ity fiz­zles out. It is there­fore vi­tal that you give your money a chance to grow,” Wil­son says.

She sug­gests that you check your in­vest­ment state­ments once a year, but only be­gin to con­sider chang­ing your in­vest­ment af­ter three years, when you can bet­ter eval­u­ate your man­ager's overall per­for­mance.

“How­ever, keep in mind that your man­ager may be do­ing ex­actly as promised. He or she may, for in­stance, be un­der­per­form­ing mar­kets when they are run­ning in or­der to pro­tect your cap­i­tal when mar­kets are fall­ing,” she says.

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