Six Key Things to Understand From Your Statement

6 Key Things to Understand on Your Investment Statement

July 10, 2018

How closely do you look at your Investment account statement?

Your statement can tell you a lot about your investments. The following key elements of your statement contain important information that can help you assess the health of your portfolio.

Account summary

Your statement should include a summary of investment performance during the statement period. Typically, the summary also shows the total value of your account for the beginning and the end of the period. This snapshot of your portfolio's performance can help you assess whether you're making progress or need to take a closer look at investments that may not be performing well.

Some investment managers offer consolidated account statements that can serve as a single source of comprehensive information for most or all of the investor's financial holdings even though the accounts may be in different names.

Your income

Your statement may include information on withdrawals, deposits, dividends, and interest income. This is important when trying to assess performance. For example, if you took a large distribution during the period the market value at the end of the period may be less than at the beginning however the change was not a result of poor investment performance.   Bond investors also might see the detailed maturity dates of their bonds listed in this section.

Your portfolio

Check your account details to confirm that the names and amounts of individual assets held are accurate. If investments are categorized by asset class, use this information to help you determine whether your investments are well diversified. This section may also include additional information, such as bond insurance ratings, that can help you make decisions about your investments.

The details

Your statement should include explanations and/or definitions of terms, codes, fees, and account types, as well as new or revised legal information and fee details.

Investment objective

Your statement might include a description of your investment strategy -- for example, moderate, growth, etc. Confirm that any such description reflects your current goals and update it if your objective changes.

Trade protocol

Review the details of any trades you've directed during the quarter by checking the original trade confirmation against the information in your brokerage statement. Trade confirmations list the date and time of the transaction, the quantity of shares bought or sold, and the price at which you bought or sold a security. Don't wait. Report any inaccuracies to your broker as soon as possible after you've reviewed your statement. Some investment advisors attempt to limit their liability for mistakes by requiring notice of a mistake within 90 days of your receipt of the statement.  At least once a year, visit your financial professional to discuss your progress.

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