If you were too stressed or lenient with your investments last year, it’s high time to change your habit or mindset when it comes to investing. Rekindle your relationship with derivatives and numbers, bolster your trading plan, and be comfortable with investing.

Speaking of plan, that is the very first thing you need to do. We are talking about retirement plan here. Based on BlackRock’s 2015 Investor Pulse survey, only 14% of Americans have an established and formal retirement plan. If you want to last through your golden years at the very least, figure out the amount of retirement income you wish to earn and formulate an investment strategy suitable for your needs and goals. You can tap the assistance of a financial advisor or read resources online.

Study your statements. Sadly, just 28% of Americans read and review the performance of their investments periodically, and less than 20% are aware of the amount of income generated from their holdings. Take note of the following areas:

  • Asset Classes - Break down of the percentage of asset classes held by an investor

  • Expense Ratios - Costs and fees of the fund that can affect returns

  • Market Performance - Gains and losses of a portfolio in proportion to the performance of key indices such as the S&P 500

No need to go through these statements weekly or monthly. Especially if you are investing for the long term, evaluate it quarterly, bi-annually, or annually once or twice in a year to ensure you are on course to achieve your financial goals.

Be informed. Pore over yourself to financial books, news magazines, or newspapers. Keep abreast of the events encompassing the market and the world as it can affect your returns in one way or another. Keep your eyes on the goal, though. You can book an appointment with an advisor to answer all your questions pertaining to investing. Remember, knowledge is power.

Make financial makeover one of your resolutions this 2016. Map out and/or modify your trading plan. Read and digest the retirement account statements. Empower yourself. Most importantly, know yourself from an investor’s point of view.