Investments to Avoid

Investments to Avoid

May 16, 2017

It’s a new year, and a fresh opportunity to reevaluate your investments. Whether you are just starting out or are a seasoned investor, it is helpful to take a step back and review what makes up your portfolio. Taking into consideration the current political and global atmosphere, with the US election and unexpected Brexit vote, the market will inevitably be affected. How much of an effect is yet to be seen.

Morningstar’s Analyst Ratings

In response to the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule, Morningstar launched an Analyst Rating system. This system applies to 300 exchange-traded funds globally to help advisors comply with regulatory pressure and make decisions on investment products and funds that ultimately give their clients the best chances of meeting their financial and retirement goals. (1) This rating system is an excellent tool to help guide investment strategy and ensure alignment with expected performance goals.

The rating system is similar to the Olympics with a gold, silver, and bronze designation going to the top fund contenders, as well as a neutral and negative rating. Funds with a medalist designation are expected to outperform relevant peers, including both mutual funds and ETFs, on a risk-adjusted basis over a full market cycle. (2) Take advantage of this tool by researching Morningstar fund designations before investing. With tools like this at our fingertips, it has never been easier to research and invest with peace of mind.

What to Consider

With the uncertainty of US and world politics, geographical diversification is a smart move, as well as a balanced spread of asset classes in your investments. Spreading into different asset classes keeps you from being overly-exposed in one class if the market takes a hit. Real estate can be a continuing source of both income and portfolio diversification. (3) Hearing “invest in real estate” may have you thinking back to the 2007 housing collapse, but if real estate is a small part of a your overall portfolio, it is a solid investment that can add tremendous value.

How I Can Help

Does all of this sound complicated, and frankly overwhelming? I am here to take this off your plate—or at least help turn it into more manageable bites. At Gallant Financial Planning we know that your financial health and well-being sets the tone for your daily life.

I can help rebalance your portfolio by assessing your asset class allocations and overall investment strategy. As an independent, fee-only Registered Investment Advisor, I serve in the highest fiduciary capacity, putting your needs and goals first. To get started, set-up an introductory meeting by emailing me at or calling (301) 461-8492. I would love to help you kick-off 2017 with a solid investment strategy.

About Debbie

Debbie Gallant is a financial advisor and the founder of Gallant Financial Planning, a fee-only Registered Investment Advisor firm. Along more than two decades of experience, she has advanced training and education in holistic and comprehensive financial planning, having received the Chartered Financial Consultant®, Registered Life Planner, Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor®, and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designations. Specializing in client-centered financial life planning, she works closely with her clients to develop personalized strategies that address both short-term and long-term needs. Based in Rockville, Maryland, she works with clients throughout Maryland and the metro Washington D.C. area as well as those who have moved to warmer climates. To learn more, visit or connect with her on LinkedIn.