Many people choose a "do it yourself" DIY investment strategy. My advice is "know thyself." Here is a partial of list of considerations before choosing a DIY portfolio implementation:
- Do you have the time, inclination, desire, confidence, and competency to develop, execute, and maintain a portfolio strategy? If "yes," continue reading to make sure.
- Are you completely versed on all aspects of investment management and financial planning to the point where you could do it successfully for other people for a fee?
- Are you aware of the pitfalls and particulars of mixing ETFs and mutual funds (or moving from one to another)?
- Do you know the difference between a market order and a limit order and when to use each?
- Do you know what time of day is best and worst to place ETF trades?
- Do you know the liquidity (average volume, bid/ask spread) of the ETFs you will invest in and how this may affect placing trades?
- When investing additional funds or making withdrawals, do you know how to calculate how much of each fund to buy and sell?
- Do you know what it means to "overbuy an IRA" and how to prevent it from happening?
- When withdrawing funds, do you know which account to pull money from?
- When selling funds in a non-IRA account, do you know what tax basis method to use and how to minimize your taxable gains?
- To maximize your charitable giving tax benefit, do you know which securities to gift and how to ensure your giveaway gain is maximized?
- Do you know the pros and cons of an "asset location" strategy and if you decide to implement one, do you have the acumen to manage different account "pieces?"
- Do you know how and do you have the discipline to rebalance your accounts on a set periodic schedule?
- Do you know what tax loss harvesting is? (and when and how to execute it?)
- Do you know the ins and outs of the Internal Revenue Code and how to optimize your long-term investment, retirement, and financial plans in light of the code's obscene complexity?
Let me be frank: I've done this full-time for thirty years. If you haven't, I can help you. But first you must acknowledge and agree that you need my help and that it's help worth paying for.
If that's not you, no hard feelings; thank you for visiting my website and I'm glad you were able to disqualify me as an adviser this early in the process.