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Mark Delgadillo: Make the New Year a Financial Success

Fine-tuning your investment strategies can help you reach your goals

As you begin another year, energize investment strategies that may help you reach all of your financial goals. Consider the following steps to help take you along the way.

» More, more, more. Consider investing some of your raise into your workplace 401(k) plan’s mutual funds*. Or, if you contribute the maximum allowed by the plan, consider opening and contributing to a traditional or Roth IRA if you are eligible.

For 2010, you may contribute up to $5,000 (total for all IRAs combined) into either IRA, with another $1,000 contribution allowed if you’re age 50 or older. These annual limits include all contributions made to all IRAs in a single year. (Distributions taken before age 59½ may be subject to a federal tax penalty.)

» Contribute at least the minimum. If you don’t contribute at least the amount your employer matches to your retirement plan account, you’re leaving money on the table. Re-evaluate your budget to find the extra dollars.

» Tune up your investments. If you don’t rebalance automatically, check all of your investments at least annually. When you don’t rebalance your investments, your portfolio can present more — or less — risk than you prefer. This happens when one asset class gains appreciably while another declines in value at the same time, affecting your asset allocation.** Note that rebalancing may create tax consequences that you should discuss with your tax professional.

Re-evaluate your risk tolerance. Do you feel the same way you once did about your investments’ risk? Can you afford the current level of risk if, for instance, you are nearing retirement? Work with your registered representative to develop an investing strategy that’s right for you.

* Because mutual fund values fluctuate, redeemed shares may be worth more or less than their original value. Past performance won’t guarantee future results. An investment in mutual funds may result in the loss of principal. Mutual funds involve risk and are offered by prospectus only, which you can get from your registered representative.

Carefully consider investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the investment company before investing. The prospectus will include this and other information; read it carefully before investing. Investing involves risks and there is no guarantee that any one strategy protects against a loss in a declining market. You should consult with your financial professional regarding your particular situation.

** Asset allocation won’t guarantee a profit or ensure against a loss, but may help reduce volatility in your portfolio.

Crowell, Weedon & Co. takes pride in its tradition of providing profitable investment with sound advice and guidance, enabling clients to achieve personal investment success. With about $8 billion in client assets, it has provided financial advisors to individuals, families and many leading businesses for more than 77 years.

The future is unpredictable. Crowell, Weedon & Co. can help you prepare and plan for it. Crowell, Weedon & Co. Santa Barbara is located at 111 W. Micheltorena St., Suite 200, in Santa Barbara. Click here or call 805.618.3160.

— Mark Delgadillo is a financial advisor for Crowell, Weedon & Co., 111 W. Micheltorena St., Suite 200 in Santa Barbara. He can be reached at 805.618.3160, or click here for more information.

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