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Focus on long-term goals: Expert - Metro US

Focus on long-term goals: Expert

Building a long-term portfolio isn’t as hard as you might think, as long as you have the right tools to help you along the way.

While short-term gains can be an attractive prize to pursue as a direct investor, it’s the long-term goals that will determine your overall financial future and having a healthy, robust portfolio is the best way to achieve those goals.

Jason Storsley, president and CEO of RBC Direct Investing, says the best place to get started is with RBC’s online guidance and planning section, which lets you set up tailored learning plans that illuminate every stage of the investment process for you in a personalized way.

A learning plan will let you focus on those elements of the investment process you want to pursue, be they more basic concepts or advanced-level strategies meant for experienced investors.

“Our guidance and planning section is a great place to increase your confidence and there’s something for everyone,” Storsley said.

Once you’ve decided to embark on a long-term portfolio, you’ll want to ensure an effective asset mix — that’s where RBC’s innovative asset mix calculator comes in.

Available to RBC direct investors, the calculator takes the guesswork out of building an asset mix by taking into account each investor’s individual needs and suggesting a specific investment profile tailored to that investor. It’s like having your own personal investment adviser on deck to guide you directly down a path that suits your needs.

“You don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket, so understanding what your asset mix should be is the starting point for any level of investor,” Storsley said.

Mutual funds and exchange traded funds can give you instant diversification, yet picking the right choices for you can seem daunting because of the sheer number of funds out there. Using RBC screeners, you can quickly sift through thousands of funds by setting search parameters that can narrow down your list to just the ones that fit your needs.

Whether you’re searching for income funds only, Canadian-only funds, the funds that have exhibited the best performance over the past five years, or you want to narrow the universe of available funds down in some other important way, RBC screeners give you a plethora of options for finding the right fund for you.

For more adventurous investors looking to manage their investments in a more personal way, RBC Direct Investing offers all the tools necessary to self-manage your portfolio more directly, with equity research from Morningstar, Standard and Poor’s, and RBC Capital Markets just a click away, ensuring you will always have the right information to make informed decisions about your long-term portfolio.

Once your portfolio is up and running, Storsley says it’s important to regularly keep tabs on the changes that occur as the market shifts or as a company progresses. Be ready to make any necessary or worthwhile changes you see.

“As things change, make sure you make changes within your portfolio,” Storsley said.

Take stock of how your portfolio is performing and look for places where you can rebalance your portfolio to make it a better fit for your overall long-term strategy.

“Rebalancing gives you an opportunity to sell and take advantage of areas of your portfolio that may have performed particularly well and reduce risks in other parts of your portfolio,” Storsley said.

To ensure your investments are being monitored even when you’re away, RBC offers a powerful email alert system that can be set up to let you know when any conditions determined by you change with one of your investments, such as when a stock you hold drops to a certain price, for example.

You can keep multiple watch lists for stocks with up to 30 stocks per list and see at a glance how a particular sector of your market is performing. With a wide variety of programmable triggers, email alerts from RBC make sure you’re never out of the loop.

• Clarification: RBC Direct Investing clients must be the age of majority in their province of residence to open an RRSP or any other kind of online investing account. There is no minimum age requirement to open an RBC Direct Investing Practice Account.

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