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02/12/2019 12:53 EST | Updated 02/12/2019 13:20 EST

The 6 Things Smart Investors Always Do

Presented by HSBC Bank Canada

While exercising more or eating well are important goals for the New Year, don't forget to focus on another important aspect of your life: your financial health.

The start of a new year is the ideal time to look at your financial situation, in part because RRSP season (January-February) is upon us. Take some time to think about your future and what sparks feelings of happiness. Ask yourself, "How do I want to live and how do I achieve financial independence?"

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In fact, investing early and often is your best bet for a financially secure future and you don't need a lot of money to start. The whole concept of investing can sound intimidating but as you'll soon see, it doesn't have to be. Becoming a smart investor starts with the simple act of acquiring knowledge and you've come to the right place.

If your goal in 2019 is to be more financially savvy, here are six habits smart investors engage in, time after time.

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Have the talk...with a financial advisor

Even if you have a steady flow of income and substantial savings, it's a good idea to speak with a financial advisor. These professionals have their finger on the pulse when it comes to investing and helping you make the most of your earnings. Ultimately, a good financial advisor will be your guide to living your life more comfortably, but they'll help you do it in baby steps so you don't feel overwhelmed.

Booking a meeting doesn't have to be complicated or expensive either. Banks like HSBC offer appointments with an advisor who has your best interests at heart. Waiting for a confirmation doesn't have to take long, too. A representative will respond within one business day.

Think globally

"Buying local" is important but your financial advisor knows that when it comes to investments, it's smart to think globally.

Based on MSCI data, Canada represents just 3% of the world equity markets, which means the possibility of investment opportunities outside our borders is endless. Investing globally can introduce some additional risks but ultimately, it can do more good than harm by bringing balance and diversification to your portfolio.

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Put it on paper

Smart investors set clearly defined goals so it's important to write down what you want to achieve in in 1, 3 or even 10 years. Even if it's not entirely realistic, put it down on paper anyway and discuss it with your financial advisor.

Some people want to contribute to their TFSAs or RRSPs while others simply want to pay-off debt. Whatever your goal is, your financial advisor will be able to help you achieve it through investing wisely or budgeting.

Invest strategically

All investments aren't created equal. It's important to invest strategically so you get the best return possible.

For example, a TFSA and RRSP are both intended for saving but the right option for you depends on your financial and tax situation. Typically, RRSPs are used for long term savings like retirement while a TFSA has greater flexibility and is a good way to save for your more immediate future.

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Rebalance your investment portfolio

Start the year fresh by rebalancing your portfolio. If you're already investing towards your financial goals, rebalancing your portfolio is an important strategy to maintain your established asset allocation. The process typically involves buying and selling assets within your portfolio to potentially reduce exposure to risk relative to your target asset allocation.

Continue to learn

Taking charge of achieving your financial goals starts with a financial advisor but banks like HSBC also offer useful research and investment tools that will help you double down on your financial knowledge so you can make informed choices.

If you're ready to learn more about how to make the most of your hard earned money, HSBC has the tools and expertise to help pave the way to financial freedom.

It should be noted that these tips are for informational purposes only, are subject to change without notice, and are not intended to provide specific financial, investment, tax, legal or accounting advice to you, and should not be relied upon in that regard. You should not act or rely on the information without seeking your own financial, investment, tax, legal or accounting advice.