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A lineup of investment moves worth considering

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Posted: Friday, July 6, 2012 8:49 am

Next week, Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game is scheduled to be played in Kansas City. Whether you’re rooting for the American or National League, you’ll no doubt admire the ability and athleticism exhibited by these tremendous ballplayers.

Of course, any all-star team is made up of players who bring different talents to the game. And this same approach — of combining a collection of skills toward one common effort — can be found in other endeavors, one of which is investing.

Here, then, is one possible lineup of investment moves to consider:

• Diversify. All investments have both benefits and risks. As an investor, your goal is to help maximize the benefits and minimize the risks — and one of the best ways to do this is by diversifying your money across a range of assets.

Diversifying can help you reduce the impact of market volatility that might affect your portfolio if all your money was tied up in one particular asset class, and that asset went through a “down” period.

Keep in mind, though, that diversification, by itself, cannot guarantee profits or protect against loss.

• Rebalance. Even without your taking significant actions, your portfolio can evolve in ways that may not be to your liking.

For example, if some of your more aggressive investments appreciate greatly, they may eventually constitute a larger percentage of your holdings than you had planned — and in doing so, elevate your overall risk level.

To prevent this from happening, you should meet with your financial advisor periodically to “rebalance” your portfolio.

• Seek quality. Many people latch onto “hot” investments, only to be disappointed when they “cool off.” Instead seek quality vehicles — the ones that generally lose the least ground when the market is down and recover more quickly when the market rallies.

When you invest in stocks, for instance, look for those companies that have strong management teams, competitive products and good business models. When you purchase bonds, look for those with high ratings from the independent rating agencies.

• Stay invested. It’s tempting to “take a breather” from investing when the financial markets are volatile. But if you stay on the investment sidelines, you may miss out on the beginning of the next market rally.

If you’ve built a diversified portfolio of quality vehicles, it may be easier to stay invested.

• Know your risk tolerance. If you find yourself constantly fretting about the market’s ups and downs, to the extent that your worries are affecting the quality of your life, you may have a portfolio that’s unsuited to your risk tolerance.

Conversely, if you’re dissatisfied with the growth of your investments, you may be investing too cautiously, which could be a concern when you’re striving to reach long-term goals, such as a comfortable retirement.

Ultimately, there’s no one “right” way for everyone to invest, but you do need to match your portfolio’s composition with your individual risk tolerance and time horizon.

Your financial advisor can help your find the “lineup” of investment moves that is right for you. Put it to work soon.

• This article was written by Edward Jones for use by Ahwatukee Foothills Edward Jones Financial Advisor Joseph B. Ortiz, CRPS. Reach Ortiz at (480) 753-7664 or joseph.ortiz@edwardjones.com. Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist and CRPS are registered service marks of the College for Financial Planning.

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