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At the start of the year, focus is often turned to health, wealth and happiness, as the toast goes. And while you’re hitting the gym or catching up with old friends, what are you doing to create a stronger financial plan? This is a great time to check up on goals and make sure your investment strategy is strong enough for the long haul.

Identify Goals and How to Get ThereIt’s likely you have multiple financial goals with different time horizons, and it’s important to create different investing strategies for each goal. Lay out short- (paying off credit card debt), medium- (purchasing a home or new vehicle) and long-term (retirement) financial goals, and the saving strategies you have in place for each. If retirement is 20 to 30 years away, you could develop a more aggressive portfolio because you have more time to save.

Did You Know?

In 2013, for the first time ever, more families turned to the Internet than any other source for investment information.

Don’t Invest It and Forget ItThe markets ebb and flow regularly, and while
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it’s not a good idea to check investments constantly (you might get over-excited during good conditions, or completely spooked during a moment or turmoil), you also shouldn’t ignore them entirely.

Tip
Your Allstate Personal Financial Representative can help you get the new year off to a good start by reviewing your financial strategies.

Set a calendar reminder for the one to two times per year you dig into these accounts. A good way to measure how well your portfolio is faring is to compare it to a benchmark index. If your portfolio’s performance closely resembles its benchmark, then chances are it’s performing as expected. If your investments are consistently not doing as well as a benchmark, you may want to consider making some changes to get back on track.

Be Ready for When Goals ChangePriorities shift, and so will your financial goals. But a solid investment strategy with some careful planning can help you navigate any twists and turns. Reviewing your investment priorities and approaches gives you a chance to alter the assets and risk in your portfolio in a way that keeps you moving toward the goals that matter.