When Is It A Good Time To Change Your Investment Strategy?

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When Is It A Good Time To Change Your Investment Strategy?

If you’ve spent any time looking at Malaysia’s current economic conditions, you’ve probably come across news that have caused you to worry about the future. Everything from our currency weakening against the US dollar, experiencing one of the fastest rises in inflation rate in five years at 2.8%, to a possibility of a long stock market downturn.

With so much market volatility, you’ve probably ended up wondering whether you should reassess your investment strategies and maybe change them to keep up with how the market’s doing.

How do you know if you should change your investment strategy? We have a quick checklist to help you get started.

Is it time to reassess your investment strategy?

Here are 4 questions to ask yourself first before making any big changes to your investment portfolios.

  1. Has your financial situation changed drastically?

When your financial situation changes, due to significant life events, then it might be a good idea to re-evaluate your investment strategy to see whether it is still in line with your new financial responsibilities.

Some of the significant events that might require you to consider adjusting your investment strategy include:

  • Marriage. Should you have joint investments or keep your individual ones? Are you a DIY investor or prefer using a financial advisor? It’s important to find a middle ground that both you and your partner agree on, especially when it comes to establishing financial goals together.
  • Starting a family. Having a child will have a significant impact on your financial goals. It might mean starting a fund for their education or investing in certain unit trust funds that can compound and grow that they can then use later in life.
  • Career change. Whether it is changing jobs, getting a salary increase or a huge bonus, these events may be a good time to contribute more to your investments. However, if you are in a situation where your income has been reduced, you might need to update your investment portfolio to ease your financial burden.

In other words, you should ensure that your investments are still aligned with your life goals.

  1. Has your risk tolerance changed?

As you move from your 20s to your 30s, 40s, and eventually 50s, your ability to take on risk might change along with it. At every stage in life, you need to know if you are comfortable with the risk levels of your investments.

You might not be able to take on high-risk investments when you’re in your 20s because you’re struggling financially and will need to opt for more conservative types of investments such as unit trust funds or maybe focus on savings.

When you reach your 30s or 40s, odds are you’ll be financially stable and can take on higher-risk investments such as stocks to achieve higher returns. Once you’re in your 50s, switching to medium- or low-risk investments might be better as you prepare for your retirement.

  1. How is the market influencing you?

Changing your investments based on how the market is doing is never a good idea, especially if there’s a possibility of a recession. Of course, it’s understandable that you might panic a bit because of how badly the market is doing and that might lead you to make rash decisions.

In times like these, instead of rushing to change your investments, you need to figure out if you are okay with how volatile the market is and how volatile it might get in the short term.

  1. Are your investments underperforming/overperforming?

Here’s the thing with a long-term investment horizon: you can’t be too concerned when you start to experience a bad day, week, month, or even a year of underperforming investments. The whole point is to keep the growth consistent so that when you retire, you’re able to do so comfortably.

Before making any big changes to your portfolio, it might be a good idea to talk to your financial advisor to figure out why your investments are performing the way it is. The same principle applies when your portfolio is doing well or overperforming.

It is natural to have doubts and wonder whether you are on the right track when your investments are underperforming or even when they are overperforming. When do you hold or sell? Are you spreading your risks properly or are you investing too much or too little?

Whether your investments are underperforming or overperforming, you still need to be able to track and benchmark your investments.

Tracking your investments through EPF i-Invest

To figure out if you should change your investment strategy due to changing life goals, risk tolerance, market trends, or even based on your investment performance, you need reliable data and good research tools. If you are an EPF member and have invested your savings using EPF i-Invest, you may also want to know how your investments under the Members Investment Scheme are performing given the volatile economic conditions today.

As EPF Members, you are eligible to invest under MIS

Under the Members Investment Scheme (MIS), EPF Members are eligible to invest a part of their EPF Account 1 savings in unit trust funds and private mandate portfolios if they have met the Basic Savings requirement. These investment products are offered by authorised institutions and have initial sales charges that are capped at 3.0%.

Tracking the performance of your investment and comparing it against reliable benchmarks such as the Lipper ratings and benchmarks can give you a better understanding of how your current investment strategy is doing and whether you need to change or not.

Plus, the last thing you would want to do is to make uninformed financial decisions, especially in a recession or inflation, when it comes to your investment.

Did you know? EPF’s i-Invest platform has various investment tools and information to assist you. The platform has been enhanced and new features have been introduced recently that make it easier for you to track the performance of your investments.

What’s new with EPF i-Invest?

New and improved i-Akaun app
The i-Akaun (Member) app has been enhanced with new i-Invest functions such as an enhanced investment holding page, the ability to make transactions, an investor suitability assessment, and information on approved units trust funds and which institutions offer them.

Track investment performances
You can now get investment performance details through i-Invest’s Historical Investment Performance Dashboard, the first of its kind in the domestic fund management industry. Investment returns are presented at the fund/private mandate level, institution level, and overall portfolio level to allow you to make appropriate comparisons.

Suitability Assessment
The assessment profiles your risk tolerance, which will enable you to conduct more informed investment decisions.

Simulate your investments
A new investment tool that lets you simulate investment objectives based on 5 key parameters.

Benchmark your investments
i-Invest now incorporates unit trust funds’ Lipper benchmarks as part of the information available to members so that you can quickly see how your investment is doing against similar funds.

It’s now easier than ever to start investing and keep your investment strategy in check with EPF i-Invest. Head over to the EPF i-Akaun page to start investing or download the app on Android or iOS.

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