Bigger Picture

Rebalancing Your Life And Portfolio

Man, time flies.

I won’t say that it seems like just yesterday we were bringing Roman home from the hospital, but it doesn’t seem that long ago that he was just 5 years old. Now, he’s turning 9 and about to start the third grade; each year goes by just a little faster and before I know it, he’ll be heading off to college. Half of his “living at home” life is over and in the same amount of time I’ve been able to see him each day, he’ll be forming his own life and starting his own life, although if I’m lucky, it might just be working his way up at RLS Wealth Management.

Cherish The Moment

I know saying to cherish the moment is a bit cliche, but every once and a while, I get a sign from above to slow down and appreciate life and people more. For whatever reason, Roman’s birthday is the most recent reminder. The last 6 months have been filled with forming memories with Ang and the boys with our trip to Michigan, late summer nights outside, a trip to Notre Dame for the Liverpool friendly match, and playing “don’t let the ball stop bouncing” with the boys and neighbors. BUT, it has also been filled with work–running RLSWM, creating content, beginning to consult with advisors, and a couple of other exciting projects. I think I’ve done a good job balancing everything, but if I were to go back and re-evaluate, I’m sure I could be more present.

There’s nothing wrong with drifting back toward something you were trying to improve upon and move away from; the important thing is can you recognize it and refocus–dare I even say rebalance?!?


You should have expected a brief connection to financial planning.

We’re more than halfway through the year and overall, the markets have done well–actually, they’ve done pretty damn well! But, some areas have done better than others and there’s a good chance your portfolio might be slightly out of balance; a basic fundamental of investing is rebalancing your accounts, which is just the act of bringing your allocations back to their original breakdown–bringing them back in balance.

How about an oversimplified example: Let’s say your portfolio is supposed to have 30% international exposure (not a recommendation), but thanks to the US performance year-to-date, your overall international exposure is down to 22% (fictitious number chosen to illustrate). Rebalancing your portfolio would require you selling the parts of your portfolio that have done the best, now exceeding their desired allocations, to bring your international exposure back to 30%. Selling your “winners’ to buy more of your “losers” or “trailing positions” may seem counterintuitive, but it forces you, the investor, into “buying low and selling high”…and who hasn’t heard that old adage?

Desired portfolio: 30% International 70% Everything Else

Current portfolio: 22% International 78% Everything Else 

Rebalance: Sell 8% of Everything Else, Put Into International

Don’t overcomplicate this process; you can go down the rabbit hole of rebalancing to try to find the optimal time to rebalance, how much drift you allow, how many times a year to rebalance, and the list goes on. Pick your rules, or consult with your financial advisor, and automate it–most platforms, 401(k)s included will allow you to set up a regular rebalancing schedule so you don’t have to manually do it yourself. Automation is your friend!

For most investors, the act of regularly rebalancing is more important than the specific rules used–the more complex you make it, the less likely you are to actually do it.

Rebalancing Life

Once you finished scheduling the rebalancing of your portfolio, go back and see what areas in your life need to be rebalanced:

  • Time with family
  • Better nutrition
  • Hitting the gym
  • Saving more
  • Being in the moment

Take your pick–but make sure it’s YOUR pick and no one else’s. For me, it’s making sure I make the most of the next 9, 12, and 16 years (and beyond) with Roman, Leo, and Silas. It’s making sure I continue to support Ang with all of her endeavors. It’s making sure I’m giving my parents and sister the relationship I want to have with the boys when they get older. It’s making sure I continue to find the time to take care of myself physically and mentally.

Once all of these are in balance, then comes the professional goals.

What are you going to be rebalancing in your life?

Oh, and Happy Birthday Roman!


Disclaimer: Nothing on this blog should be considered advice, or recommendations. If you have questions pertaining to your individual situation you should consult your financial advisor. For all of the disclaimers, please see my disclaimers page.

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