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How to stay on top of your investment strategy in 2019

Getting on the right financial foot is a big new year’s resolution for many, and in our Yahoo Finance survey, we asked how you did with your money last year and where you’d like to improve in 2019. More than 7,000 of you responded to share how you fared.

Just 16% of people surveyed said they were “excellent” money managers last year. The biggest area of struggle was managing investments, with 52% of men and 29% of women saying this is where they struggled the most in 2018. This was also the area where most people hoped to do better in 2019, with 50% of all respondents naming this as their top resolution. Saving and budgeting rounded out the top 3 money resolutions for respondents.

Despite the increase of market volatility in recent months, the majority (78%) of respondents said they plan on staying invested in 2019 — women are slightly less likely than men (81% of men vs 71% of women).  One simple way to stay on top of your retirement accounts is to download your brokerage firm’s app, like Fidelity or Vanguard , directly onto your mobile device. You can easily open additional accounts on top of your retirement accounts, and invest in an ETF or index fund, and stay connected to all your investments throughout the market’s ups and downs.

Some other low-cost investment tools to help keep your investments on track for beginner investors include free/low-fee apps like Robinhood and Stash , where you can dip your toe into the investing pool and learn about different investing strategies with lower risk.

You can also consider working with a financial advisor , who will take a holistic approach to your personal finances, factoring in your your income, debts, investments, and retirement goals. Understanding your options and the fees associated with your advisement strategy is an important first step: a robo-advisor is a low-cost way to get started, as these services typically have low fees and low account minimums to start.

If you plan to work with a human advisor, be sure to stick to fee-only options with a fiduciary who will work in your best interest for a flat fee, as opposed to an advisor who would earn a commission on your investments.

If your goal is to save more without investing in the market, consider putting your money in a high-yield savings account . A high-yield savings account has a much higher APY, or annual percentage yield, than a traditional savings account, which typically has an APY of 0.06%. A high-yield savings account from CIT Bank , for example, is offering 2.45%.

Saving more money was another area where people hoped to do better in 2019 and Yahoo Finance is here to help. Join our January No-Spend Challenge and get your finances on track. We’re vowing to spend less this month by cutting out discretionary spending like dining out and shopping. Then, enter our sweepstakes— we will randomly select winners and award $100 and $500 Amex/Visa gift cards to those taking part in our savings challenge.

January No Spend Month

Have any money questions? Email us at moneyquestions@yahoo.com and tune in every Wednesday at 9 a.m. eastern on The First Trade for answers.