Wisdom Wealth Strategies Logo

Portfolio Organization: Cut the Clutter

Get the latest expert financial tips and advice + access to our free financial checklists.

Recall the last time you tackled a long-overdue organizing project. Perhaps it was your closet or the junk drawer in the kitchen that seems to catch all the miscellaneous things that aren’t easily put away. Wasn’t the feeling of having everything in its proper place empowering and calming? The knowledge that you freed yourself of everything you didn’t need, and you now only had the things that serve a purpose in your life was so satisfying, right?

When it comes to investing, being organized is just as important. We strive to help investors build a well-structured portfolio to capture available market returns while managing the risks involved. We shape it to meet your individual goals and risk tolerances and work to make it cost-conscious. Then, we help you stay on target over time.

That’s all well and good, but …

What if you’ve been investing for a while, but you don’t yet have that “well-structured portfolio”?

It stands to reason: The more wealth you accumulate, the more chaotic your assets and accounts can become. What begins as a manageable assortment grows. That’s a good “problem” to have, but the sheer volume can eventually overwhelm your organizational efforts.

Then what?

Fortunately, it’s never too late to bring order to your investment universe, just as it’s never too late to clean out the junk drawer or clear your closet of unneeded items.

Let’s explore some sensible solutions to this perennial challenge, starting with initial steps you can take to move from random results to a more organized approach.

Step One: Take Stock of What You’ve Got

A great way to get started is to figure out where you stand today. What do you currently own? Where are you holding it, and why? Bonus points if you can determine how much your current holdings are costing you in apparent and less-obvious fees.

Step Two: Figure Out What You’d Rather Have

Next, it’s time to plan—and document—what your orderly investment universe looks like and how you expect to get there. Having a plan in place can feel incredibly empowering if your investments have gotten out of hand. You can stop taking pot shots at your wealth and begin aiming at your tailored targets.

Strategy: How much risk and expected return are you shooting for? Do you have the time and temerity to take on more investment risk, hoping for higher returns? Or are you better served with a more modest approach—less “exciting” but less likely to fall apart in a pinch?

Target: If you could start with a clean slate for creating your “perfect” investment portfolio, what would that look like? How are assets divided between stocks vs. bonds, international vs. domestic, and so on? What would be the best funds or securities for achieving your aim?

Tactics: Which of your current investments no longer make sense for your plans? Which might be replaced with better-managed, lower-cost equivalents? What pieces are missing?

Step Three: Proceed as Planned

If you’ve accumulated a vast clutter of capital, you’re likely to want to do some remodeling: selling unnecessary or overpriced positions, buying others that are a better fit, streamlining duplicate assets and accounts, and otherwise rearranging your financial furniture.

Challenging? Perhaps. Impossible? Definitely not. If guidance seems prudent, we welcome your call.

Download our Free Financial Planning Worksheets

Join our mailing list to receive your 2024 Tax & Financial Planning Guide, as well as your Net Worth Statement and Spending Plan.