In this episode of Motley Fool Answers, Alison Southwick and Robert Brokamp want to help you get rich quick. Well, richer, without investing a lot of your time, even if you'll have to wait to see results.
For his final suggestion, Brokamp offers a few ways you might be able to put your assets to work for you a bit more energetically.
A full transcript follows the video.
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This video was recorded on Jan. 9, 2018.
Alison Southwick: What is the seventh and final thing that our listeners can do?
Robert Brokamp: And that is get a better return on your portfolio, and this could be the most powerful thing depending on how much money you have. If you have $100,000 in your account and you could get an extra 1-2%, that's $1,000-2,000. That said, it's easier said than done, in a lot of ways.
One way that you could be getting a slightly higher return is because the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates, it is easier to get a little bit more on your cash. A lot of us have a lot of cash sitting in our bank accounts earning nothing. It is easier, these days, to get 1.0-1.5% going to a high-yield account or maybe a short-term CD. That's worth doing, especially if you have several thousand dollars in cash.
The other way to do it is to look at your investments, particularly your mutual funds. It's been a particularly tough time for actively managed funds to beat index funds, so I don't think that you should just automatically get rid of an actively managed fund if it has underperformed over the last year or two. But if you have a fund, and the expenses are 1-2% a year, and it hasn't beat the market over three to five years, it might be time to reconsider that fund. That's one way to save 1-2%, which falls to your bottom line. That means you'll have that money in your portfolio this year, but then you earn more on that every year. That's really the gift that keeps on giving.
Southwick: What about loads? Are mutual funds with loads still an issue these days? Is that something we should look out for?
Brokamp: It is. It's more likely to happen if you go to a financial advisor who works for a traditional brokerage. Edward Jones, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and those types of folks. A load is a front-end commission, usually. It can be what's called a back-end load if you sell out of that fund within a certain number of years. They're also often a company with insurance products like annuities.
Southwick: Those can be like what? 4% or 5%?
Brokamp: Right. To the degree you can, it's almost always better to avoid that. It's difficult, because that's the way some financial advisors work. Some of them are very good and that's just the way you have to do it. I have a situation with my sister-in-law who inherited some money. Her financial advisor charges loads, and so she was very uncomfortable investing the money because of that. I told her she had to be comfortable doing it on her own and going to a place like Vanguard, or just accepting that that is an expense of doing business with this financial advisor and hopefully that financial advisor provides enough value to compensate for the load.
Southwick: Above and beyond.
Engdahl: I know another way to improve your portfolio returns.
Brokamp: What's that, Rick?
Engdahl: A little thing called Motley Fool Stock Advisor.
Southwick: Yes, of course. Stock Advisor. For those of you who may be new to the podcast, The Motley Fool has a newsletter that comes out once a month called Stock Advisor. It offers advice on how to get started investing. We make recommendations on what stocks to invest in. Am I legally allowed to say that Stock Advisor has done really well?
Engdahl: I think so. We say it all the time.
Brokamp: That sounds good.
Brokamp: It's done well.
Southwick: We'll stop there. It has. It's gotten pretty gosh darn good returns. I don't know if the SEC can come after me for that. I'm sorry. Can you please define "gosh darn good" returns for us, ma'am? What, exactly, percentage-wise, are you talking about there?
Anyway, if you do want to learn more about Stock Advisor, or even subscribe to Bro's newsletter to get more Bro [his is called Rule Your Retirement ], you can go to Fool.com and learn all about how to subscribe and get more Foolishness in your life.