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Consolidating accounts leads to clear financial strategy

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Rocky Speight

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BY ROCKY SPEIGHT

Monday, November 19, 2018

None of us can completely control all the things that happen to us.

Yet when it comes to achieving your long-term financial goals you do have a great deal of power — as long as you follow a well-defined financial strategy. One way to help build and maintain such a strategy is by consolidating your financial accounts.

Over the course of their lives, many people pick up a variety of financial accounts. They might have a few IRAs, some old 401(k) plans, an insurance policy purchased many years ago or a variety of stocks, bonds and other investments.

If this describes your situation, you may want to think about consolidating. Having a variety of accounts may run up a lot of fees. You’ll also have lots of paperwork to keep track of, including several different tax statements. If you don’t think you’d ever forget about your own money, consider this: Over $40 billion in unclaimed cash and property, including 401(k)s, pensions and IRAs, is awaiting return to the rightful owners, according to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators.

Beyond reducing your possible fees, paperwork and potential for lost assets, consolidating your accounts with one provider can give you a centralized investment strategy, one that can help you in the following ways:

Diversification — If you own several different financial accounts, you might have many similar investments. Duplication can be harmful, because if a market downturn primarily affects one type of asset, and your portfolio is dominated by that asset or similar ones, you could take a big hit. But if you have all your investments in the same place, a financial professional can review your holdings and recommend appropriate ways to diversify — while diversification can reduce the impact of market volatility on your portfolio, it can’t guarantee profits or protect against all losses.

Staying on track — With all your accounts in one place, you’ll find it easier to keep the big picture in mind and make the moves necessary to help you progress toward your financial goals.

Avoiding mistakes — If you own several separate accounts, you could see a loss in one or more of them and overreact by selling investments that could still be valuable to you. But with a consolidated investment platform, you can see more clearly that the impact of a loss may be small, relative to the rest of your holdings.

As we’ve seen, consolidating your investment accounts with a single provider can have several advantages. So think carefully about bringing everything together – you may find that there’s strength in unity.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by Rocky Speight, a local Edward Jones financial advisor in Rocky Mount.

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