While the fact that we’re already calling time on another financial year should come as no surprise to anyone, it is a reminder as to how quickly the fiscal calendar is drawing to a close.
It also means there is a limited time remaining for anyone investing in shares to take stock of their current circumstances and make any last-minute investment decisions that might place you in a more informed position entering the new financial year.
It’s important to be prepared, before it’s too late. That is why EOFY is an ideal time to assess your shares, investment strategy and goals. Don’t get caught off guard, start planning today.
Here are five tips for ASX investors to prepare for the new financial year.
Assess your financial position and the performance of your shares
Now is a good time to take stock of the performance of your portfolio. Most fund managers will analyse their performance on a financial year basis and there is little reason that investors shouldn’t do likewise. After all, if you generate income while investing in shares you will need to declare this in your tax returns.
Analyse individual holdings and the amount of any gains or losses that have yet to be realised. In some instances, you might be sitting on losses that could prove helpful to manage your tax obligations. You can learn more about this in our dedicated guide to tax-loss selling. Consider which shares have held their own? Which shares have struggled?
It’s also an appropriate occasion to do some budgeting. You can decide whether you have surplus funds available for investing in shares or whether you are ‘overweight’ on equities.
Benchmark your portfolio’s performance
Once you have assessed your overall financial performance for the financial year, it makes sense to benchmark this. Benchmarking allows you to compare how you have performed relative to other key performance levels. For example, there is little net-benefit to investing in shares if you consistently underperform key benchmark indexes. Meanwhile, consistently outperforming the market over the long-term, including during a bear market, is a reassuring sign.
As a starting point, you might wish to benchmark your overall performance against key indexes like the All Ordinaries, ASX 200 or S&P 500. In fact, you might even choose to hone this further by focusing on specific sectors.
On top of that, you could look at how your super fund has performed throughout the year. Each superannuation provider will typically detail their monthly performance throughout the year. You can also benchmark using SelfWealth Premium community insights, where you can conduct advanced portfolio analysis and view how your portfolio has fared relative to your peers.
Prioritise your goals for the year ahead
Once you have an idea as to whether your portfolio’s performance has met your expectations, it’s time to begin planning for the financial year ahead. Set yourself a list of goals or targets that you can work towards achieving. Start prioritising what matters to you and what you hope to achieve out of your shares, investment strategy and goals.
Most of all, make sure that these are ‘SMART’ goals. That is, they should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound. It is no use setting yourself a vague goal or open-ended timeframe to achieve a desired return. This is because of opportunity cost and the fact that you could probably achieve better results elsewhere, including through passive investing in shares.
Review your investment strategy and rebalance your portfolio
In light of the goals that you set, it is then worth asking yourself whether your existing investment strategy is best-suited to help you realise those goals.
For example, if you are looking to transition from a high-growth oriented portfolio towards more modest and sustainable returns, then you will likely need to reconsider your approach to investing in shares. You might realise that ‘defensive’ blue-chip or health care stocks are more appropriate to help you realise this goal compared with say, tech shares.
Your shares, investment strategy and goals should all be in alignment as part of a unified trading plan. Once you have an understanding what your goals are, create your investment strategy and select the stocks that are leveraged towards that thesis. You may need to rebalance the ‘weight’ of certain stocks in your portfolio or change them altogether.
Leverage useful tax-time tools
Last but not least, consider tools that will make it easier to monitor the progress of your shares, investment strategy and goals.
SelfWealth Premium unlocks the power of the community’s best investors, by allowing you to view their portfolios, see what and when they’ve traded and the subsequent impact it has had on their portfolio. Best of all, if you are earning income from investing in shares, the membership subscription is tax deductible.
Sharesight is another tool offering investors comprehensive tax and performance reporting, including the ability to track dividends, corporate actions and general day-to-day price fluctuations. You can even connect your SelfWealth trading account with Sharesight so that it automatically captures all your trading activity.
While EOFY can be a chaotic time for many, treat it as an ideal time to assess your shares, investment strategy and goals in hope of continually improving.
SelfWealth Ltd ACN 52 154 324 428 (“SelfWealth”) (Australian Financial Services License Number 421789). The information contained on this web site is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a financial adviser. Taxation, legal and other matters referred to on this website are of a general nature only and should not be relied upon in place of appropriate professional advice.