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CALGARY – A long life span of various tasks, good times, difficult times, movements and errors can result in an investment portfolio that looks like a mess in the basement.

Your goal in working life to collect as many assets as possible to build a nest egg for retirement ends with your labor income when the retirement day finally arrives.

Now, investing experts say, making your messy stocks, bonds, mutual funds and opportunities you can’t miss – and understanding them so that they last at least as long as you do – is your most important task.

“Many people, especially those who live here in Alberta, have had many different jobs throughout their careers,” said Willis Langford of Langford Financial Inc., a retirement income adviser in Calgary.

“So they can come with a TFSA (tax-free savings account), RSP (pension savings plan), they can have an LIRA, which is an embedded pension account, they can have a defined benefit plan, a defined benefit plan, plus they have unregistered accounts .

“And technically they could be anywhere in multiple airlines with financial institutions throughout Canada.”

While returns are vital in accumulating investment assets, tax planning and risk management take precedence when retirement becomes a reality, Langford said.

“If you have things in your action plan that do not fit, you have a murmur, you have bought things over the years and nobody can remember why, you have to do something about it,” said Adrian Mastracci, fiduciary portfolio manager in Vancouver for Lycos Asset Management.

“Very often people come in and have 30, 35 mutual funds. I have no idea how someone can take care of 30, 35 mutual funds. Or even 15.”

Messy portfolios are often characterized by missing written plans, non-existent savings projections, too many scattered accounts and too many or too few different investment categories.

They may contain investment funds where the costs and exit costs are unclear. Or different funds that contain the same types of securities.

Both Langford and Mastracci recommend finding a reliable adviser to view the entire portfolio and to advise on how to clear it up.

They recommend choosing someone who is paid, not commissions, to get the most impartial recommendations.

The result must be a schedule of actions designed to provide maximum revenue and tax efficiency with the least amount of risk over the expected remaining life of the customer.

“How you take income from those sources determines how much tax you pay during your life. If you don’t do it right, you pay more than necessary, “Langford said, adding incorrect tax planning can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The consultant should be chosen for what he or she can do for you, Mastracci said. Different clients need different services, depending on the size and complexity of their investment portfolio.

A good retirement planner should also be able to help the client track down investments that he or she has lost by tracing employers and going through records, he said.

He presented the example of a 65-year-old customer whose goal is an income of $ 100,000 a year for the rest of his life.

That can mean 20 or 30 years or more, and that’s where math becomes complicated enough to test even the smartest non-professional investors.

“There is a good chance that your portfolio will not receive any savings from you, the client, for that period,” warned Mastracci.

He added, “Sometimes you have to tell the customer something he doesn’t want to hear.”

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on January 16, 2020.

Then Healing, The Canadian Press