If you're counting on your trusty brokerage to help you plan sufficiently for your golden years, think again.
According to a recent report from Corporate Insight, which monitors financial services companies, brokerages aren't doing a good enough job when it comes to retirement planning. It noted "only two thirds of the firms tracked ... offer some type of retirement planning tool, and just over 10% of those allow clients to import actual accounts and positions for a look at financial stability and growth based on market simulations, as opposed to generically selected rates of return." In other words, if you're looking for meaty information on your personal financial situation, it may not be easy to find at your friendly brokerage.
The kinds of services that might be helpful include being able to model the growth of your portfolio -- especially if you can automatically import the contents of your portfolio into a modeling tool. You can still tackle this on your own, though -- perhaps by estimating how quickly you expect your various holdings to grow over time. Wal-Mart
If you start with smaller companies, as Tom Gardner does in our Hidden Gems newsletter, you might expect faster growth. Don't let this be your only planning, though.
Here's a sampling of some very useful articles from past issues:
- In the June 2006 issue, newsletter editor Robert Brokamp addressed international investing, re-recommending an international mutual fund that advanced some 50% since he first mentioned it back in December of 2004.
- In another issue, Robert explained why we may want to plan on withdrawing 4% from our nest eggs during each year of retirement, if we want to make the money last.
- The October 2005 issue delved into dividends and offered some recommended dividend payers. (Robert also discussed dividends in this article, mentioning firms such as Johnson & Johnson
(NYSE:JNJ), 3M (NYSE:MMM)and Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG).
These articles may also be of interest:
- Can You Retire in 2016?
- Prepare for a Gruesome Retirement
- $1 Million May Not Be Enough
- 9 Retirement Killers