5 Financial New Year’s Resolutions – Morningstar.com

There’s nothing better than a clean slate, right?  

The new year is often the kickstart we need to take off and achieve our personal goals. But what about our financial ones?  

If you’re just getting started, take a page out of our book. Here are five financial resolutions for beginners.

1) Pay Closer Attention to Your Retirement 

At Morningstar, we promote year-round about the importance of preparing for retirement. This year is no different. Start out by getting ahead–or catching up.

Watch: How Gig Economy Workers Can Save for Retirement  

Here are four things to keep in mind. 

Listen: Fritz Gilbert: Early Retirement Made Simple 

The author and blogger shares tips for finding balance, purpose, and friendship in retirement. 

Bonus: Do You Need a Side Hustle?

What should you consider before picking up an extra job. 

2)  Consider an HSA as a Savings Option

IRAs and 401(k)s aren’t the only places you can store extra cash. Another good place to stash your dollars is a health savings account. Here’s how you can take advantage of this vehicle.

Watch: The Best Accounts for Heavy Savers  

An HSA’s tax benefits are hard to beat, but there are other options as well. 

Listen: Andrew Biggs: Create a Thrift Savings Plan for the Masses 

The economist and Social Security expert discusses whether or not there’s a retirement crisis, and how the U.S. government’s retirement plan could be a model for how low- and middle-income workers save.

Bonus: The Psychology of Saving Habits  

What helps and hinders different types of households’ saving behaviors. 

3) Revisit Your Portfolio

When it comes to our investments, it’s easy to settle into the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. Give your portfolio some TLC with these tips on diversifying, rebalancing, and more.

Watch: How to Diversify Your Portfolio

Diversification strategies that worked in the past may not work in the future. 

Listen: Phil Huber: Finding an Edge in Alternative Investments 

The blogger and CIO of Savant Wealth Management discusses his new book on alternative investments amid a sobering outlook for the traditional 60% stock/40% bond portfolio. 

Bonus: Special Report: Diversification Strategies  

Why diversification matters and how to hone your approach. 

4) Invest Sustainably

As an investor, how can you make an impact? You don’t have to look too far to find an opportunity—just look at your portfolio. Here is how you can invest with environmental, social, and governance factors in mind.

Watch: How to Build an ESG Portfolio

Consider your ESG focus, goals, and asset allocation, for starters. 

Listen: Michael Jantzi: Making ‘Informed Choices’ in Sustainable Investing 

The CEO of Sustainalytics discusses the evolution of the ESG movement, the regulations and rule-making behind it, and the future of sustainable investing.

Bonus: What Is Greenwashing, and Answers to Your Other Questions

Sometimes it’s an exaggeration of ESG intentions, but greenwashing can also stem from different definitions of sustainability. 

5) Pick Up Good Habits

Budgeting, saving, and other financial tasks don’t have to be daunting. It can be a lot simpler than that: forming a good habit. Find what works for you and your finances with help from Morningstar.

Watch: Short Answer: How to Create a Budget

If you’re just starting out, don’t wing it with your expenses. 

Listen: Sarah Newcomb: ‘I Love Rules of Thumb’ 

The director of behavioral science at Morningstar discusses the value of smart shortcuts, why social media makes people feel bad about themselves, and how the pandemic changed how Americans save and spend. 

Bonus: My No. 1 Money Lessons  

Morningstar experts reflect on the money lessons they would have wanted their younger selves to know. 

Stay Up to Date

Who’s to say what is simply a fad or here to stay? Stay in the loop on the latest trends in finance with these resources.  

Watch: How to Begin Investing

Listen: Alan Moore: What Millennial Investors Want 

The XY Planning Network co-founder discusses serving younger clients, the trading frenzy in individual stocks and cryptocurrencies, and the future of a fiduciary standard.