According to Putnam Investments, the stock market returned 9.9% per year for people who were fully invested in the 15 years through 2017. However, this isn’t the only way to achieve long-term success with your investment portfolio.
Since your investment portfolio is one of the most important things you have in your life, it’s essential to also ensure it is as optimized as possible. Here are some tips to help you do just that.
Ensure Your Asset Allocation is Right for You
Your asset allocation is the mix of different asset classes in your portfolio. Your proper asset allocation will depend on your circumstances, including your age, risk tolerance, and investment goals.
There’s no magic number for what the correct asset allocation should be. But a good starting point is to have a portfolio that’s 60% stocks and 40% bonds. From there, you can adjust the mix based on your own needs and goals.
According to Andrew Gonzales, President of Bankruptcy Canada Inc. “Your asset allocation should be based on your circumstances and goals. If you’re retired or close to retirement, you’ll want a higher percentage of bonds to preserve your capital. If you’re young and have a long time horizon, you can afford to take on more risk.”
Diversify Your Portfolio
Diversification is one of the most important things you can do to reduce risk in your portfolio. When you diversify, you spread your investments out across different asset classes and industries. That way, if one sector or asset class goes down, your portfolio as a whole is less likely to be impacted.
There are a few different ways to diversify your portfolio. One is to invest in a mix of asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, and real estate. Another is to invest in a combination of different industries. For example, you might invest in healthcare, technology, and financial stocks. A good starting point may be to monitor various investment opportunities on stock screeners to see what may become your next investment opportunity.
You can also diversify by investing in other geographical regions. For example, you might invest in US-based companies and companies based in Europe and Asia. The important thing is to ensure you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket.
Don’t Keep All Your Eggs in One Basket
Speaking of not putting all your eggs in one basket, it’s essential to diversify your investments and your sources of income. Relying on just one source of income is a risky proposition. If that income stream dries up, you could be in a difficult financial situation.
The best way to diversify your income is to have a mix of different sources. For example, you might have a full-time job, a part-time job, and income from investments. That way, if one source of income dries up, you still have others to fall back on.
Daniel Apke, CEO of Land Investing Online, says: “When it comes to diversifying your income, the key is to have multiple income streams. By having multiple streams, you’re less likely to be impacted by a sudden loss of income from one source.”
Keep Costs Low
Investment costs can eat into your returns. So it’s essential to keep them as low as possible.
There are a few different types of costs to be aware of. The first is investment fees, such as mutual fund expenses and brokerage commissions. The second is taxes, which you’ll incur on capital gains and dividends.
You can minimize investment fees by investing in index and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which have lower expense ratios than actively-managed funds. And you can reduce taxes by holding investments for the long term and using tax-advantaged accounts, such as IRAs and 401(k)s.
It’s important to stay disciplined with your investment strategy. That means sticking to your asset allocation and not letting emotions get the better of you.
For example, you might be tempted to sell stocks after a market crash. But if you do that, you’ll likely sell at a loss. Sticking to your plan and riding out the market volatility is better.
The same goes for buying stocks. It can be tempting to buy after a stock has increased in value. But if you do that, you could end up paying too much and missing out on future gains. Again, it’s essential to stick to your plan and not let emotions dictate your investment decisions.
Ben Michael, founder of Michael & Associates says, “It can be difficult to stick to your investment plan, especially when the markets are volatile. But it’s important to stay disciplined and not let emotions get the best of you. If you do, you’re more likely to make investment decisions you regret.”
Consider Using a Robo-Advisor
If you’re not interested in managing your investments, you might consider using a robo-advisor. Robo-advisors are online investment managers that provide automated investing services.
With a robo-advisor, you tell the service your investment goals and risk tolerance. The robo-advisor will create a portfolio for you and automatically invest your money based on your goals.
Robo-advisors can be a good option for hands-off investors. They typically have low fees and can help you build a well-diversified portfolio.
Review Your Portfolio Regularly
It’s important to review your portfolio regularly. That way, you can make sure that it’s still aligned with your goals and risk tolerance.
Ideally, you should check your portfolio at least once a year. But you might want to do it more often if there are significant changes in the markets or your personal circumstances.
When you review your portfolio, you might need to make some adjustments. For example, you might need to rebalance your investments if they’ve become too risky or too conservative. Or you might need to sell some investments and buy others if your goals have changed.
Stick to a Long-Term Plan
Investing is a long-term endeavor. So it’s vital to have a plan and stick to it. When creating your investment plan, consider your long-term goals and the risk you’re willing to take.
It can be tempting to try to time the market. But that’s often a losing proposition. The best thing to do is to develop a long-term plan and stick to it.
Of course, you’ll need to revisit your plan from time to time and make adjustments as needed. But if you stick to your long-term goals, you’ll be more likely to succeed.
Stay Calm and Don’t Panic
The markets are always going to go up and down. So it’s essential to stay calm and not panic when the markets are down.
You’ll likely lock in your losses if you sell when the markets are down. And if you buy after the markets have already rebounded, you’ll probably pay too much.
The best thing to do is stay calm and not make rash decisions. If you stick to your long-term plan, the markets will eventually recover, and you’ll be better positioned to weather the storm.
Investing can be a great way to grow your money over time. But it’s essential to do it smartly. By following these tips, you can optimize your investment portfolio and improve your chances of success. Ultimately, it’s about staying disciplined and sticking to your long-term goals.
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