4 Ways to Diversifying Your Investment Portfolio

Shallon Weis |
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Maybe your mother or father imparted this wisdom on you but the idiom related to diversifying was first penned in the book, “Don Quixote..."

“It is the part of a wise man to keep himself today for tomorrow, and not venture all his eggs in one basket.”

Wise advice when you consider market peaks and valleys associated with the 1990's dot com bubble and the 2006 housing crash. Spreading out risk is much like that idiom in that a wise investor should not concentrate all efforts and resources in one area because he or she could risk losing everything.

If you’re a beginning investor, it’s likely you’re concentrating on building your portfolio. But as important as it is to build that portfolio, you should also ensure that it’s diversified.

Why is a diversified portfolio so important?

There are three key reasons why diversifying is important:

  1. A diversified portfolio helps minimize risk. Stocks can be a risky investment at any time, but with a diversified portfolio, you can help minimize the risk by spreading that risk among a variety of investments.
  2. Diversifying can help investors maintain capital. Someone purchasing stock at the age of 30 has a much different investment goal than someone age 50. For older investors, it may be much more important to maintain capital than it is to increase capital.
  3. You’ll have a much better chance at generating dividends if your portfolio of stocks is diversified. When one stock is performing well, chances are that another stock has dipped. By having a significant investment in both, you’ll help to offset any potential losses from underperforming stock.

It’s also common for one particular type of asset to perform better over a specific period of time, depending on external factors such as

  • Current interest rates
  • Currency markets
  • Current market conditions

But it’s also important to remember that while one investment may be outperforming others, the standard is that there is no particular investment that will continually outperform others over the long term.

But what is a diversified portfolio?

A diversified portfolio is one where investments vary, with exposure to one particular type of asset is limited. Diversifying can look like two very different things to young investors and those nearing retirement age.

Young investors are much more likely to be comfortable riding out the peaks and valleys of their investment portfolio, while investors nearing retirement age are more likely to be interested in slow growth and more consistent performance without the volatility that more risky investments may face.

In order to truly diversify your investment portfolio, many professionals recommend that your portfolio consists of the following:

  1. Domestic Stocks. Stocks are perhaps the most volatile investment in a portfolio, but they also represent the best chance for growth. Short term investment in stocks carries the biggest risk, but stocks can also provide the biggest reward if they are held on to for a significant amount of time.
  2. Bonds. Considered less volatile than stocks, bonds can provide a shield against market instability created by stock investments. Stocks also typically provide regular interest income. For those looking for a more significant return, high-yield bonds can be purchased, but they also carry a higher risk.
  3. Money Market Investments. While ultra-conservative, money market accounts and similar investments such as a short-term CD can provide stability and safety that other investment options may not.
  4. International Stock. International stock can provide a higher return than their U.S. counterparts, but they can also carry a higher risk. However, for those looking to diversify their portfolio, international stock can be a good addition.

The key to diversification is to find the right balance between risk and stability and add accordingly, which allows you to reach your goals while also worrying less.

Bradford Financial Center offers FREE Portfolio Reviews to help investors understand if their current mix will help them reach their financial goals. Allow our expert advisors to review your existing portfolio to ensure you're on the right path for your wealth journey. (Your FREE Portfolio Reviews is a no-obligation, no fee service provided by Bradford Financial Center.)

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A reminder, investing involves risk including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values. Diversification does not guarantee profit nor is it guaranteed to protect assets.

*This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information provided is not written or intended as tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for purposes of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel. Individuals involved in the estate planning process should work with an estate planning team, including their own personal legal or tax counsel. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a representation by us of a specific investment or the purchase or sale of any securities. Asset allocation and diversification do not ensure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets. This material was developed and produced by Advisor Websites to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. Copyright 2014-2019 Advisor Websites.