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Resolved: Three Tasks

Kyle McIntosh

MY FIRST RESOLUTION for 2022 is to clean up my investment portfolio. While my garage and my closets are in good order, I shudder when I review my brokerage account.

Over the years, I’ve accumulated close to 20 mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. Overall, I’ve done well with these investments—most of which are based on stock market indexes—but it’s an unnecessary hodge-podge. By the end of the year, I plan to sell a majority of these positions and consolidate the proceeds in a target-date fund. I value the simplicity of target funds, with their regularly rebalanced mix of U.S. shares, international stocks and bonds.

My second resolution for 2022 is to update my life-insurance strategy. When my son was born in 2007, I purchased a 15-year term policy. That policy expires in June 2022. First, I need to consider whether I should continue to carry life insurance. Given the increase in our savings over the past 15 years, life insurance may be an unnecessary expense. If I do opt to keep coverage, I’ll weigh whether it’s prudent to continue with term insurance or shift to a whole-life policy. This latter wasn’t on my radar in 2007, but my basic understanding of whole-life insurance tells me it could be worth considering.

My third resolution is to create an investment roadmap for my wife. I periodically update her on the value and composition of our portfolio. Still, she’d be hard-pressed to take over management of our investments. My plan is to create a document that describes our accounts, including our brokerage, retirement, custodial and 529 plan accounts. I’ll also document our passwords—in a secure manner, of course—and provide the numbers for her to call if she needs to talk to someone about the accounts.

A final note: Thank you to those readers who have provided insightful comments on my 2021 articles and blog posts. I’ve learned a lot from you—especially regarding hybrid and electric vehicles—and I look forward to getting more feedback in the year ahead.

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