Once you've established an investment strategy and created a long-term portfolio, regular monitoring keeps your strategy heading in the right direction. Maintaining your portfolio is sort of like maintaining your car. Most of the time your car hums along just fine. At regular intervals you ask your mechanic to do some routine maintenance. And every so often, you switch to a new model-something that better suits your changing needs.
In this chapter, you'll learn about account maintenance-reviewing, rebalancing, and occasionally rethinking your investment strategy. While this information may seem a little tedious, it is very important. Taking an active role in managing your account may increase the potential for higher returns and an increased account balance.