Tips for Reading Your Investment Statement

From a big-picture view of your whole portfolio, to a focused look at the individual assets that comprise it, your investment statement offers a wealth of useful information. Here are some things to consider when you’re looking at those numbers.

Investment Statement Overview

The goal of the investment statement is to understand where your investments are and if you’re on track for your goals. This means you may want to read your statements in context with a financial plan.

The first page of your EP Wealth Investment Statement is a topline summary of your current asset allocation and recent factors affecting any change in its value. Pie charts depict, by percentage and dollar value, the breakdown of your portfolio into the major asset classes of equities, fixed income and other, as well as the breakdown into the sectors, such as small-, mid- and large-cap stocks, within those classes. The Components of Change table shows your overall portfolio’s beginning and ending balances for quarter to date, year to date and the previous 12 months. For each period, you’ll be able to see how your contributions, withdrawals and investment gains contributed to the final value.

The next two sections of your statement—Performance Summary and Portfolio Holdings— give you a detailed picture of how specific sectors have performed year to date, and the contributions of the individual assets within those sectors.

What You’ll See In An Investment Statement (And What You Won’t)

Your investment statement spells out the quantities and dollar values of the various assets in your portfolio and how they add up to create your overall asset allocation.

However, the investment statement won’t show how your investments fit into your overall financial plan. This is why we recommend clients create a financial plan that helps align investment strategy and allocation with an individual’s goals.

Performance Summary: A Sector-by-Sector Look

How do the current percentages and values of the various sectors in your portfolio compare to where they stood at the end of the preceding year? The Performance Summary section of your statement shows you. Column by column for each sector, you’ll see:

  • Value (e.g. 12/31/17) – The balance with which you ended last year
  • Purchases – How much new money you invested
  • Sales – How much money you took out through sales of shares
  • Current Value – What this asset was worth on the statement date
  • Weight – The percentage of your total portfolio this asset class or sector represents
  • Net Investment Gain – The change in value of the investment
  • Income/Expenses – Dividends or other transactions that alter the value
  • Return – The percentage change in the asset’s value, before taxes

Portfolio Holdings: Drilling Down to the Details

Lastly, we come to the section of your statement that gives you a deep view into the inner workings of your portfolio. Grouped by asset class, the Portfolio Holdings table provides seven important pieces of data for each individual asset:

  • Weight – The percentage of your total portfolio this asset represents
  • Cash Invested – The amount of money you invested excluding dividends and capital gains
  • Cost Basis – Total of new money and asset-generated income reinvested
  • Value – What this asset was worth on the statement date
  • Unrealized Gain – A paper profit (or loss) caused by assets that have changed in market value but not yet been sold for cash
  • Cumulative Income – Total income generated by the asset from the initial investment date
  • Current Yield – Annual return due to an asset’s dividends or interest payments, as a percentage of its current value

The Rewards of Knowledge

The better you understand your Investment Statement, the easier it becomes to work with your investment advisor to discuss the performance of your portfolio in light of your goals, current market conditions, and your financial plan. There’s also the satisfaction that comes with being knowledgeable about a topic that is important to your financial well-being and that of your family and everyone who is important to you.

If you’d like to know more, feel free to contact your personal EP Wealth Advisor.

 

 

Material contained in the EP Wealth Advisors Investment Statement should serve only as supplemental information to your custodial statements. The pricing enclosed in this report might differ from that denoted by the custodian, for, among other reasons, this report is inclusive of accrued interest and we report trades as of the trade date and not the settlement date. Custodial statements should be viewed as the official statement of your portfolio. Custodial statements must be delivered on a monthly basis. Please verify that you are receiving monthly custodial statements and contact us if you are not.

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