Investors may often hear the term portfolio allocation and diversification used interchangeably to address one thing - limiting exposure to extreme highs or lows.
The difference is more nuanced. The goal of portfolio allocation is to divide your budget across the short, medium, and long term by balancing risk and reward across assets like stocks, bonds, gold, etc.
Diversification simply allows you to mitigate risk within a portfolio by investing within and across multiple asset classes. Either way, it’s important to know how portfolio allocation works.
This blog will walk you through portfolio allocation and how it can allow you to view your investments as a part of a holistic basket of securities that can be rebalanced based on age, risk appetite, and more.
What Is Portfolio Allocation?
Portfolio asset allocation involves dividing your budget and assigning your capital to various categories of investments like equities, bonds, and cash and cash equivalents. Asset allocation can be based on:
For example, investors in their 20s may go for an aggressive stocks to bonds split, while investors in their 30s might adopt a more conservative stocks to bonds split.
Types Of Portfolio Allocation
1. Aggressive Portfolio Allocation
An aggressive portfolio mainly contains high risk, high reward investments like small-cap funds & shares with minimal exposure to low-risk investments like bonds.
Aggressive investments are known to be volatile in the short term. At the same time, aggressive investments have the potential to generate high returns over the long term (5+ years).
Here’s a snapshot of a potentially aggressive portfolio:
2. Moderate Portfolio Allocation
A moderate portfolio would contain the best of both aggressive and conservative investments. For example, a 50/50 split between stocks and bonds.
Or, a 1/4th split across assets like stocks, bonds, gold, and alternative investments. Here’s a snapshot of a potentially moderate portfolio:
3. Conservative Portfolio Allocation
A conservative portfolio looks to value safety, low risk, and conserving capital over generating high returns. For example, it could be a 30/70 split between stocks and bonds. Here’s a snapshot of a potentially conservative portfolio:
Factors That Affect Portfolio Allocation
The money you earn plays a big role in asset allocation as your income is directly correlated to your investing power. The impact of income on asset allocation can be explained by a classic example.
Salaried professionals who can expect to earn a regular paycheck will have more certainty about their asset allocation compared to a businessman whose investing power hinges on his monthly profit/loss.
With age, comes responsibilities that can directly affect your portfolio asset allocation. Investors in their 20s may have fewer liabilities than an investor in their 30s. This implies two things when it comes to age:
Risk-taking capacity may diminish over time
Ability to deal with financial loss may reduce over time
Thus, age can determine whether you follow an aggressive, moderate, or conservative asset allocation approach. It can also lead to a gradual re-balancing act as time passes.
3. Financial Goals
Your financial goals can determine what type of portfolio asset allocation strategies you should follow. For example, you’re in your 30s and your goal is to retire by 50.
You’d want to invest aggressively to generate high gains in order to ensure that the goal is met. Your portfolio asset allocation would be a representation of this goal.
Moreover, investors can rebalance their portfolio allocation based on how close or far they are to achieving their financial goals. Other scenarios for revisiting asset allocation include:
How To Achieve Optimal Portfolio Asset Allocation?
Truth be told, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to portfolio allocation. It’s about doing what’s best for your financial goals by investing in the right investment options.
This can be super difficult if you have little to no experience with asset allocation. That’s where an app like Cube Wealth can help you. Cube’s perfect portfolio builder works across two levels to make life easier.
But wait, there’s more. While Cube helps you figure out asset allocation with the perfect portfolio builder, the investment options themselves are recommended by industry experts like Wealth First and RIA Rick Holbrook.
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