Possessing a considerable amount of knowledge about stocks, bonds, and cash is only a small part of the investment planning process. Many investors are under the false notion that the greatest determinant of
portfolio performance is the specific investment choices they make. Actually, the biggest decision you will make is how much to allocate to different investment categories.
Asset allocation is all about finding the mix of investments that is right for your situation. Goals, time horizon, risk tolerance and risk capacity are some of the key factors that should be considered when allocating assets.
Determining what asset allocation is appropriate depends largely on the goals you seek to achieve. Are you saving for retirement, college education for your children, or a vacation home? Each goal must be considered in creating the appropriate asset mix.
Time horizon is the length of time a portfolio will remain invested before withdrawals are made. If your investment horizon is fairly short, you’d likely want a more conservative portfolio—one with returns that do not fluctuate much. If your investment horizon is longer, you could invest more aggressively.
Everyone has a different emotional reaction to sudden changes in their portfolio value. Some people have trouble sleeping at night, while others are unfazed by fluctuations in the market. Risk tolerance is a personal preference and should be tailored to you specifically. However, when determining an appropriate asset allocation mix, it is important to consider not only one’s risk tolerance, but also one’s risk capacity.
An investor’s risk tolerance refers to his or her aversion to risk, while an investor’s risk capacity relates to his or her ability to assume risk. Sometimes, an investor’s risk capacity and risk tolerance do not match
up. If an investor’s capacity to take risk is low but the risk tolerance is high, then the portfolio should be reallocated more conservatively to prevent taking unnecessary risk. On the other hand, if an investor’s risk capacity is high but the risk tolerance is low, reallocating the portfolio more aggressively may be necessary to meet future return goals. In either
case, speaking with a financial advisor may help to determine if your risk tolerance and risk capacity are in sync.
Have questions or need a second opinion? Contact us today to learn more or to schedule a free consultation.
PFG Private Wealth Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser. Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. This material and information are not intended to provide tax or legal advice. Investments involve risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.