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Do It Yourself (DIY) Investing - Build A DIY Investment Portfolio

DIY investing is here to stay. But is it the right investment method for you? Read this blog to find out.
April 18, 2024

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The Do-It-Yourself (DIY) trend has been a hallmark of the internet age. People have equipped themselves with the vast knowledge that’s available online to tackle tasks that were once deemed complicated.

One of these complex tasks is DIY investing. Money has always been confusing but with the power of the internet and bustling online communities, DIY investors have shown that it’s a viable approach.

What Is DIY Investing?

DIY investing is an approach where regular investors like you and I make their own investment decisions. Traditionally, investors would rely on brokers, advisors, salesmen, friends, and family for financial advice. 

But relying on them came at a cost - good and bad advice cost money in some form or other. In fact, investors had to lean on these entities in the first place because there was a lack of access to proper information.

The internet and honest apps like Cube have made it easier to become a DIY investor by bridging the knowledge gap. A budding investor is no longer required to turn to an expert or pay for their service.

DIY investors can simply use the rich information available online to inform themselves of the assets they can invest in. In parallel, apps like Cube help investors engage in DIY financial planning with tools like the Perfect Portfolio Builder.

Perfect Portfolio DIY Investing
The Perfect Portfolio Wizard

If you’re interested in becoming a DIY investor, it’s important to know how to start. Starting is often the most difficult aspect of finance, especially when it comes to saving and investing. 

That said, with a few solid steps, investors have been known to make DIY investing work. We’ll look at these steps and more required for DIY financial planning in the next section.

5 Steps Of DIY Investing

1. Start Learning

Financial advisors and experts charge high fees for their knowledge of assets and allocations. This means that if you want to become your own financial advisor, you need to know the ins and outs of investing. 

Naturally, this implies that you need to constantly read and keep yourself updated about: 

  • Available investment options: stocks, mutual funds, real estate, bank deposits, alternative assets, gold, and more
  • How investments work: returns, fees, advantages, risks, etc.
  • Why invest at all: for short, medium, and long term goals, financial freedom, and others 
  • How much money to allocate: based on your affordability, risk profile, etc.

Being informed will be your greatest asset as a DIY investor. Furthermore, the knowledge you gain through reading and learning will help you in the steps that follow. 

We’ve put together a list of resources that can help you get started:

2. Establish Investment Objectives

Investing without objectives is like playing football without goalposts. You would benefit from understanding why you’re investing, what your goals are, and what’s the best way to achieve them. 

Doing so will help you identify the right assets, your risk profile, and more importantly, limit your mistakes. Furthermore, each time you achieve a goal with your investment would boost your morale. 

Useful resources on investment objectives:

3. Create A Portfolio Allocation Plan

At the end of the day, all the learning and reading you’ll be doing to become a DIY investor needs to be put to use. What better way than to challenge yourself to create an investment plan.  

Portfolio allocation will be the bedrock of this investment plan. Basically, portfolio allocation will help you decide how much money you should invest in an asset, given your risk profile and investment goals. 

Say you’re a 30-year-old DIY investor who wants to retire at 50 (Step #2). You’ve read about F.I.R.E on the internet and what most people have to achieve financial freedom is to invest aggressively (Step #2).

Further research suggests that the assets at your disposal include Indian stocks, US stocks, international mutual funds, small-cap mutual funds, and more (step #1). 

Putting all of this together and evaluating your risk profile, needs, lifestyle, and salary, you have figured out that you can invest up to 70% of your money into high risk, high reward assets (step #3).

These resources can help you understand portfolio allocation:

4. Use Honest & Transparent DIY Investment Platforms  

Your money is precious, which means you’ve got to do everything you can to protect it. That’s why you must choose the right investment platform(s) to get the best investment experience. 

This can be difficult because there are too many investment apps in India. What you can do is go back to step #1 and make a list of all the apps that are trusted by a large chunk of people. 

You could read what they’re saying about the app, learn what the pros and cons are, including the fees, and test the app yourself with a small amount of money.

Useful resources about honest & transparent DIY investment platforms:

5. Monitor Your Portfolio 

Many would say that investing is the easy part, constant monitoring is the real challenge. The honest truth is that you can’t stick to the “shut it and forget it” principle often. 

You need to revisit your investments and evaluate their health at least every other quarter. Why? Because markets can change, so can the economy and the companies you’ve invested in. 

You can use tools to track the performance of your portfolio. A simple excel sheet can do the job as well. Either way, it’s important to stay on top of your investments to see if they are working for you. 

Furthermore, just because you’re a DIY investor doesn’t mean that there’s any harm in turning to a professional for portfolio analysis. You can understand how the process works and implement it later.

These resources can help you understand how to monitor your portfolio:

Different Approaches To DIY Investing

A DIY investor may fully or partially handle their own portfolio. Others may even turn to automation for their investment needs. Given what we know so far, these are the different approaches to DIY investing:

  • Completely DIY: You have 100% control over your investments and portfolio
  • Blended DIY: A part of the portfolio will be built by you, the other half by an advisor
  • DIY Automation: Either a part or 100% of your portfolio will be built by a platform’s algorithm
  • Blended DIY Automation: The portfolio will be created with an algorithm and the help of an advisor

In both forms of automation, the choice still remains yours. The algorithm and advisors will just show you the possible options and allocation while you decide what to do with the recommendations. 

Advantages Of DIY Investment

DIY investing and financial planning remove several shackles that investors claim to normally face when investing with the help of an advisor or agent. Let’s look at the advantages of DIY investing.

1. Freedom To Explore Investments

Being your own advisor will allow you to make your investments with greater flexibility. For example, if a new IPO or ICO is on the horizon, you can rebalance your portfolio without the need to consult anyone.

2. Fewer Fees

The freedom also allows DIY investors to have control over their investment portfolios while paying little to no fees to financial advisors and portfolio managers. This is the hallmark of DIY investing. 

3. Constant Learning

A DIY trader or investor must constantly keep up with the market, economy, and other aspects of the financial realm. Doing so is the only way to ensure successful wealth creation and management.

Disadvantages Of DIY Investment

As anybody who’s tried to invest on their own call tell you, it’s not easy. There are too many investment options on the market and a lot of noise on the internet. Let’s explore the problems of DIY investing.

1. Steep Learning Curve

As a DIY investor, you’ll be tasked with reading and learning about your investments and the market constantly. Along with that, you’ll also have to learn how to use various tools. 

This level of research and upskilling may prove to be difficult in case you’re a working professional. That’s why many DIY investors choose to opt for a blended model of investing. 

2. Higher Chances Of Making Mistakes

One of the harsh truths of being a DIY investor is that there will be no hand holding - you’ll be on your own and will have to make investment choices that have a higher probability of going south. 

Of course, you could turn to forums or read a bit more but talk is cheap - real advice either stems from experience or business, neither of which come cheap.  

3. Constant Monitoring Of Investments 

Since you won’t have an advisor to keep tabs on your portfolio, you’ll have to practically monitor the markets monthly or even monthly if you’re a DIY trader. 

Other fixed income investments may not need the same level of monitoring but stocks and mutual funds might. This can become laborious over time.


DIY investing is taking the world by storm because it creates a sense of freedom and lowers the cost of investment. That said, DIY planning and investing may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

The research involved can be hectic while monitoring investments constantly may be taxing. That’s why you must evaluate your job hours, free time, and financial goals before deciding to become a DIY investor. 

Read more stories:

Frequently Asked Questions About DIY Investing

Q. Is DIY investing better?

DIY investing is known to give investors greater control over their portfolios. The fees that DIY investors have to pay are also relatively low compared to those who rely on advisors. But the devil lies in the details. 

DIY investing or not, every investor is at the mercy of the markets and the economy. This is an important and often overlooked fact. DIY investors will have to put in extra effort to monitor investments. 

To summarize, DIY investing is better if you’ve got the time and drive to research and keep up with markets. However, this is no easy task which is the main reason why busy professionals tend to rely on advisors.  

Q. How can I invest in DIY?

DIY is a method of investing, not an investment itself. The best way to get started with DIY investing is to narrow down the amount of support you need.

If you decide to go 100% solo, then you could benefit from an app like Cube. Cube will help you identify your risk profile and suggest investments based on your financial goals.

Note: Facts & figures are true as of 04-04-2022. None of the information shared here is to be construed as investment advice. Exercise caution when investing in assets like stocks, mutual funds, alternative investments, and others.

Priya Bansal
Curious about personal finance and all things money. Can either find me reading a book or dancing to a tune.

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