3 Smart Reasons to Streamline Your Financial Picture

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By Alex Fishman - January 22, 2019

You want your account balances to grow over time, not your account paperwork. After years of accumulating assets, you might be keeping money in more places than you intended. And if you don't have a habit of regularly reviewing your entire portfolio, you could lose track of some accounts altogether.

1. You Can't Manage what You Can't See

Can you name all the companies that hold your investments? Do you know what kind of investments types and vehicles you own?

If you're like most people, you have money with several investment firms, banks, or former employers. When your assets are spread out, it can be hard to ensure your investments are working together to meet your goals.

2. Focus on the Big Picture

Keeping track of your money—managing it properly—takes time, effort and knowledge. Consolidation can make that process more efficient.

Streamlining your portfolio gives you a clearer view of your financial picture and can help you make smarter, more informed investment decisions.

  • See how your assets are allocated
  • Make better diversification and rebalancing decisions
  • Spot gaps and avoid duplicate investment types
  • More easily manage risk as your situation changes and markets fluctuate
  • View your entire portfolio on one statement, if you consolidate with one company

3. Consolidation Isn't a Sacrifice

Streamlining your portfolio doesn't mean sacrificing diversification or investment choice.

Investing your money with multiple firms or in different product types (stocks, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, etc.) may increase the overall complexity of your portfolio, but it's not the same as diversification. True diversification means spreading out your money over multiple asset classes that respond differently to market changes.

Many investment firms offer a broad range of asset categories on their own. They may also offer brokerage services that allow you to bring in and manage outside investments.

Is Consolidation Right for You?

You can move your investments under the umbrella of one firm, combine retirement money into one account type or transition from several companies to a few—whatever you need to get a more accurate view of your portfolio. Here's how to get started.

Consolidation Checklist

Find your money

Identify all your investment accounts—IRAs, 401(k)s, college savings, brokerage, etc.—and the companies that hold them. You might have more than you think; previous employers' retirement plans are often overlooked. You may also have beneficiary accounts after settling a family estate.

Locate your statements

You might have electronic statements for some, paper for others. You may also notice that you pay closer attention to some accounts, either because of the account type or because of the way the statements are delivered.

Ask yourself how often you aggregate all your statement balances (with software or an advisor) to evaluate performance and see how your assets are allocated. Additionally, it's a good idea to add up how much you pay in fees for each account.

Put it all together

If accounting for your money and statements is difficult (or impossible), your portfolio could benefit from a consolidated view.

Even if you're not ready to move your money, financial aggregation tools can get you started by showing all your financial information side-by-side. Add bank accounts, investments, 401(k)s and more for a convenient snapshot of all your finances, not just retirement money. Learn more.

Alex Fishman
Alex Fishman



Do People Really "Misplace" Their Money?
It happens all the time. Americans lost track of more than $7.7 billion in fiscal-year 2015 alone.1

While much of this lost property is for small amounts—bank accounts, uncashed checks, wages, or insurance policies—hundreds of millions of dollars in retirement investment accounts goes unclaimed as well.

• 70,000 people have lost track of $400 million in retirement pensions.2
• An estimated 33,000 401(k) accounts are abandoned every year, leaving $250 million behind.3

See the Big Picture–With Our Help

A consolidated portfolio could be a better fit for your financial goals. Talk to one of our experienced Investment Solutions Consultants.


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      1 National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, 2018.

      2 Defined benefit pensions. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, pbgc.gov, July 2018.

      3 "Why people are abandoning their 401(k)s." Marketplace.org, December 8, 2017.

      The opinions expressed are those of American Century Investments (or the portfolio manager) and are no guarantee of the future performance of any American Century Investments' portfolio. This material has been prepared for educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, investment, accounting, legal or tax advice.

      Investment return and principal value of security investments will fluctuate. The value at the time of redemption may be more or less than the original cost. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

      Diversification does not assure a profit nor does it protect against loss of principal.

      Private Client Group advisory services are provided by American Century Investments Private Client Group, Inc., a registered investment advisor. This service is generally for clients with a minimum $100,000 investment. Call us to determine the level of service that is appropriate for you. The advisory service provides discretionary investment management for a fee. All investing involves risk.