As an assemblage of all of your investments, your financial portfolio is your future. So, you should monitor and maintain it whenever possible, and a financial portfolio report helps you do this.
It takes some research to assess the health of your investments. You can get a portfolio report periodically from your stock broker or whoever handles your money. Or you can make this assessment yourself by gathering info from all of your investments. Either way, it is essential to have all of the information at hand in one place.
Understanding Financial Portfolios
Diversification is crucial to a solid financial portfolio. By that, we mean having your money in different types of investments. Here are some:
Equities are stocks or shares of ownership in companies that you or your broker acquire through a stock exchange. An array of stocks is the backbone of a long-term investment portfolio. That’s because, despite periodic dips, stocks are proven to gain value over ten years or more.
Fixed-income investments are assets with fixed interest that pay you the value plus interest at a designated time of maturity. Government and corporate bonds and certificates of deposit (CDs) are typical fixed-income assets. Because of the interest guarantees, these investments are considered ideal for the short term (two to five years) when inflation can’t swallow up gains.
Alternative investments can encompass a wide range of assets that are likely to appreciate in value over time. Land and commodities such as oil and precious metals are among alternative investments. So are jewelry, antiques, and collectibles like coins and rare stamps. Intellectual property like a patent or copyright is considered an alternative investment, as are hedge funds and direct investments in new companies.
A mutual fund is a collection of assets shared by many investors who receive a proportional amount of the fund’s returns. The fund is made up of stocks, bonds, and other securities, which collectively represent a diversified asset. Mutual funds are managed by financial experts who buy and sell parts of the fund to improve its performance.
How Do You Measure a Portfolio’s Risk?
Any type of investing involves a certain amount of risk. Generally, the more diversified your portfolio is, the less risk it encounters. But you can assess risk using various methods, some of which involve specific calculations or metrics.
Alpha and Beta ratios are helpful metrics for figuring risk. Alpha compares the performance of a portfolio to an index such as the S&P 500. For instance, a positive alpha of one indicates that the portfolio has outperformed the benchmark index by 1%.
Beta compares the volatility of a portfolio and an index. Stocks with a lower beta are considered less risky than those with a higher beta.
The Capital Asset Pricing Model projects expected return and possible risk. It calculates the time value of money and risks for any investment.
Risk Tolerance depends largely on your particular goals and how you approach investing. Long-term investors may keep an eye on the overall market but be willing to take losses, knowing that the market will recover and eventually gain. Shorter-term investors may keep a keener eye on the market and make adjustments as losses occur.
What are the key components of a financial portfolio?
You can build a financial portfolio balanced around your specific goals, for the long term or short term. A solid portfolio should be diversified enough to reach these goals. Here are the key components of a portfolio that you can adjust according to your needs:
- Stocks give your portfolio growth potential through appreciation and the dividends many companies offer shareholders. A diversified collection of stocks provide security over the long run, ten years or more.
- Bonds may seem boring, but their guaranteed interest until maturity offers a certain income for shorter terms of ownership. Bonds are best for a shorter term of two to five years.
- Certificates of deposit are much like bonds because you can get a fixed interest return over a period of time. You can buy CDs that mature as early as a few months up to several years. These are perfect for goals such as buying a house or car.
- High-Yield Savings Accounts are good places to stash cash if the timing is right. That’s because the interest rates aren’t necessarily fixed; they fluctuate with the economy and the interest rates the federal government charges banks. Nevertheless, savings accounts are good shelters for money.
- Mutual funds are collections of several types of investments owned by many investors. You can buy mutual funds that concentrate on different assets or industries, and you pay a fee for the fund’s management.
Passive vs. Active Management
Passive and active portfolio management are the two main strategies investors use to generate returns. Active management seeks to beat the market by comparing a portfolio to a specific index like Standard & Poor’s 500. It usually involves more buying and selling to achieve better performance.
Passive management focuses on following the returns of an index as closely as possible. Exchange-traded funds (ETF), mutual funds, and index funds are types of passive management investments, and they require less tinkering.
It is important to be familiar with all the assets that go into your portfolio, how they perform, and the actual value they offer according to your goals. Since the best financial portfolios are also the most diversified, keeping an eye on them can be complicated for investors who like to manage their own money. That’s the service StockMarketEye provides. It gives you one window to all of your investments and your future.