As each year fades into the next, the financial “experts” seem to be everywhere in the media.  They present their recommendations as to how to invest for the year ahead.  But think of the absurdity of it all.  For instance: how can anyone give meaningful advice to a large number of investors, with each having different needs and resources; what crystal ball enables them to predict next year’s financial markets; and have they built contingencies into their recommendations for unforeseen changes in trends?  And, Don’t look for a report card, by the way, on last year’s predictions.  You surely won’t find it!

There are certain tax and retirement planning moves that you might discuss with your own professional advisors, such as:  taking capital gains if you have losses, from prior years, to reduce or offset this year’s gains tax; increasing your contributions to tax-deferred retirement plans; taking advantage of balances in your medical flexible spending account (which you might lose) by buying new eyeglasses, a CPAP for sleep apnea; physician-prescribed shoes for diabetics, etc.  Such examples as these, however, are not investment advice, per se, rather they are just common sense personal finance ideas.

When it comes to investment planning, a portfolio review is always a good idea.  Do so, in consultation with anyone you seek advice from; but, there is nothing special about any date or time of year.  For procrastinators; however, Year-End, a major birthday, the build-up to filing your tax return, a year or two before retirement, etc, might provide that necessary nudge to get your finances in order.  Whatever you do, however, don’t wait until its too late to get your house in order!



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