My 7-point portfolio checkup tool

Monday, January 9, 2017|Investing for the Long Run|
  • Adrian Mastracci Portfolio Checkup

Many things are regularly checked during our lifetime, so why not start off on the right foot and apply that same principle to the investment portfolio?

A new year typically prompts investors to make changes to the nest egg. Hopefully, well thought out changes that benefit the outcomes.

I’ve designed a simple portfolio tool and I invite you to start using it. Perhaps, strive to accomplish a process of lasting value at the start of each new year.

I recommend a few methodical steps that assess your nest egg. A high level check of the family finances provides great value.

Over time, walls of worry often cloud decisions on three or more fronts. Such as fears of low returns, rising health costs and running out of money.

Think of revisiting what turns your retirement dreams into realities. Financial checkups are indications of how portfolios can fare in the long run.

My portfolio tool reveals cracks in a wide variety of financial foundations. Particularly for investors who make high demands on the nest egg.

You need to know early so you can initiate swift, corrective actions. The analysis is a straightforward group of ‘Yes/No’ answers.

Let’s probe your nest egg on these seven vital portfolio issues:

Portfolio Issues Your Replies
1. Are your goals being achieved within the current plan? Yes ▢ No ▢
2. Are you saving enough to reach the retirement targets? Yes ▢ No ▢
3. Are your retirement projections up to date? Yes ▢ No ▢
4. Are you investing within a comfortable mix of assets? Yes ▢ No ▢
5. Are you able to tolerate all portfolio risks incurred? Yes ▢ No ▢
6. Are you happy with the direction of the portfolio? Yes ▢ No ▢
7. Are you receiving objective planning and investing advice? Yes ▢ No ▢


I suggest that a fitting portfolio has at least five ‘Yes’ replies. Now to assess your portfolio financial health:

Number of “Yes” Replies Your Portfolio Health
6 to 7 Robust portfolio
4 to 5 Needs some tweaks
2 to 3 Urgent attention required
0 to 1 Pursue a new plan


Apply my concise suite of checks to establish a sense of your direction. They are also early warnings that highlight portfolio weakness.

Any one of the issues can impact your financial progress. For some, two or more “No” replies can inflict severe outcomes.

These remedies provide added portfolio strengths:

  • Revisit your targets and projections every couple of years.
  • Make certain your game plan is logical and sensible.
  • Prune some investments if you own too many.
  • Reduce excess complexity from your nest egg.

Ensure that your family nest egg delivers on expectations. Actions that turn ‘No’ into ‘Yes’ replies improve your portfolio pillars.

I think one superb habit is to administer my 7-point checkup tool annually. Historical trails you create are useful comparisons over the long term.

About Adrian Mastracci, Discretionary Portfolio Manager, B.E.E., MBA  My expertise in the investment and financial advisory profession began in 1972. I graduated with the Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from General Motors Institute in 1971. I then attended the University of British Columbia, graduating with the MBA in 1972. I have attained the “Discretionary Portfolio Manager” professional designation. I am committed to offering clients the highest standard of personal service by providing prompt, courteous and professional attention. My advice is objective, unbiased and without conflicts of interest. I’m part of a team that delivers comprehensive services and best value in managing client wealth.

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