How do your financial priorities stack up with our pyramid?

Make sure you're not geeking out about small-bore investment problems while giving short shrift to the game-changers.

Christine Benz 17 August, 2018 | 5:00PM

The pyramid is a useful shape to convey how to allocate your time and resources, including when you're investing. At the bottom of the pyramid are the activities that you should spend the most time and energy on because they have the biggest impact on your results. Meanwhile, at the top are tasks that, though worthwhile, will have a smaller impact on your bottom line.

The following investment pyramid can help guide priorities for new investors. It can also assist in keeping more experienced investors on the right track. After all, the more you know, the more likely you are to geek out about small matters such as whether to own a high-yield exchange-traded fund or an actively managed fund. In so doing, it's possible you'll lose sight of game-changers such as your saving and spending rates and your total asset allocation.

Here's a look at the investment pyramid I would propose, ranging from what should be investors' top priorities -- the base of the pyramid -- to the least important ones. If you have a finite amount of time to devote to your investment activities, this can help guide the way.

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About Author

Christine Benz

Christine Benz  Christine Benz is Morningstar's director of personal finance and author of 30-Minute Money Solutions: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Your Finances and the Morningstar Guide to Mutual Funds: 5-Star Strategies for Success. Follow Christine on Twitter: @christine_benz.

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