Ways Consolidation Can Enhance Your Financial Situation
If you find your financial situation becoming too complicated, with a multitude of investment accounts at various institutions, consolidation may be the solution.
Consolidation involves bringing together all your investments into one overall plan or strategy, greatly reducing the number of individual accounts you hold. This approach offers several key advantages, including simplified finances, better coordination and reduced fees.
The benefits of consolidating your assets:
Easier estate settlement process
Having investment and bank accounts spread among many different financial institutions will make your estate settlement process administratively more difficult for your executor/liquidator and potentially more costly. By consolidating assets, you have peace of mind knowing that after you pass away, your surviving spouse or other beneficiaries will have one point of contact that you trust who will manage their overall assets to ensure they have adequate income.
Consolidation also enables you to manage your investments more effectively, helping you structure your investments to generate the retirement income you need. In retirement, you will have many different income sources, such as government pensions, employer pensions, Locked-in Retirement Savings Plans, Registered Retirement Income Funds, non-registered income and part-time employment income. If you have one advisor managing your investments, it’s easier for that advisor to determine how and in what order you should be withdrawing from all the different income sources to maximize your after-tax retirement income.
More efficient retirement income planning
Consolidation can also provide peace of mind by reducing risk. In many cases investors decide against consolidating their assets with one advisor, thinking that they can “diversify by advisor.” The idea is that if one advisor doesn’t do well, the other might. Unfortunately, this is a myth. By dividing your investments among multiple advisors, you actually make it more difficult to properly manage your investments and achieve the appropriate level of diversification. Since each of the advisors doesn’t know what the others are doing, it often results in over-diversification, conflicting advice and needless duplication of your investments. Furthermore, it’s difficult to know how your investments are performing overall by having your assets spread among more than one advisor.
Peace of Mind
Off the top of your head, do you know how many accounts you have, including registered and non-registered accounts?
Brief quiz on whether you should consolidate
Do you know your combined rate of return from all your investments?
Do you know the combined percentage of each type of investment (stocks, bonds, cash, mutual funds, etc.) you own?
Do you know the combined percentage of each type of investment income (interest, dividends, etc.) all your investments are earning?
If you answered “NO” to any of these questions, you will benefit from consolidation. If you answered “NO” to three or four of these questions, consolidation is a must.