Keep track of your investments

Here's an excerpt of a great article from Best Life Magazine Online written by Jeff Wuorio
Six Key Money MovesA 20-minute review like this one, done monthly or at least quarterly, will give you peace of mind from knowing exactly where you stand financially and allow you to adjust accordingly with swiftness and confidence.By: Jeff Wuorio Most men treat their investment portfolios the way they treat loose change: The money's all scattered around, tucked away here and there; some of it's right where we need it, and some of it's under the sofa cushions. Consider your own portfolio. Chances are, you've spent the past 15 or more years investing, securing assets, and building substantial wealth. But do you really know what you have, where it is, and how it has performed? With stocks you can't even remember buying and money-market funds with various brokerages, it's easy to join the throngs of disorganized, careless investors. Just 21 percent of active investors regularly review account statements, read prospectuses, check out the backgrounds of their brokers, and have a financial strategy, according to a poll of 2,000 people conducted for the federal Securities Investor Protection Corporation. Not staying on top of your finances is a major source of mental (and marital) stress. Who needs that? Here's a simple strategy to organize your financial life and improve the health of your wealth in just 20 minutes.
KNOW WHERE YOU AREReview Sit down at a large table with all of your financial statements, and list your assets on a legal pad. Be as exhaustive as possible: Review such holdings as money-market funds, 401(k) earnings, and college savings accounts. Count Add up the number of mutual funds you own. According to the Investment Company Institute, the average American investor holds four mutual funds. How many do you own? Double that? Triple? That's a red flag that your portfolio may be spread too thin. And you may find you have duplicate investments with several brokerages. Consolidate If, for example, you own several money-market funds in different brokerage houses, take a few minutes to move all of those liquid assets under the same roof. It takes just a phone call or Web order. Not only will you find your assets easier to track, but you may also save some money on annual fees. For instance, Schwab charges $45 per quarter for basic accounts worth less than $10,000 -- evidence of how maintenance fees from a few investments scattered about can add up. Look to consolidate other holdings, such as stocks, funds, and bonds, so they're less expensive and less time-consuming to follow.
GET RID OF PAPERHave your account statements delivered via e-mail rather than snail mail. It takes just a few minutes to authorize paperless delivery, and it's a smart choice. Why? First of all, you'll save time by avoiding bales of paper statements that you'll eventually have to shred. If you can download your electronic statements into a financial-planning program (a solid one is Quicken 2006), tracking progress and potential problem areas becomes much easier and more time-efficient. Second, now that identity theft tops $52 billion annually, digital transactions are safer than paper ones. According to a recent study by Javelin Strategy & Research, of

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