This article may help investors for build their own portfolio, Author
4 Steps To Building A Profitable Portfolio
In today's financial marketplace, a well-maintained portfolio is vital to any investor's success. As an individual investor, you need to know how to determine an asset allocation that best conforms to your personal investment goals and strategies. In other words, your portfolio should meet your future needs for capital and give you peace of mind. Investors can construct portfolios aligned to their goals and investment strategies by following a systematic approach. Here we go over some essential steps for taking such an approach.
Step 1: Determining the Appropriate Asset Allocation for You
your individual financial situation and investment goals is the first
task in constructing a portfolio. Important items to consider are age,
how much time you have to grow your investments, as well as amount of
capital to invest and future capital needs. A single college graduate
just beginning his or her career and a 55-year-old married person
expecting to help pay for a child's college education and plans to
retire soon will have very different investment strategies.
A second factor to take into account is your personality and risk tolerance. Are you the kind of person who is willing to risk some money for the possibility of greater returns? Everyone would like to reap high returns year after year, but if you are unable to sleep at night when your investments take a short-term drop, chances are the high returns from those kinds of assets are not worth the stress.
As you can see, clarifying your current situation and your future needs for capital, as well as your risk tolerance, will determine how your investments should be allocated among different asset classes. The possibility of greater returns comes at the expense of greater risk of losses (a principle known as the risk/return tradeoff) - you don't want to eliminate risk so much as optimize it for your unique condition and style. For example, the young person who won't have to depend on his or her investments for income can afford to take greater risks in the quest for high returns. On the other hand, the person nearing retirement needs to focus on protecting his or her assets and drawing income from these assets in a tax-efficient manner.
Step 2: Achieving the Portfolio Designed in Step 1
you've determined the right asset allocation, you simply need to divide
your capital between the appropriate asset classes. On a basic level,
this is not difficult: equities are equities, and bonds are bonds.
But you can further break down the different asset classes into subclasses, which also have different risks and potential returns. For example, an investor might divide the equity portion between different sectors and market caps, and between domestic and foreign stock. The bond portion might be allocated between those that are short term and long term, government versus corporate debt and so forth.
There are several ways you can go about choosing the assets and securities to fulfill your asset allocation strategy (remember to analyze the quality and potential of each investment you buy - not all bonds and stocks are the same):
Stock Picking - Choose stocks that satisfy the level of risk you want to carry in the equity portion of your portfolio - sector, market cap and stock type are factors to consider. Analyze the companies using stock screeners to shortlist potential picks, than carry out more in-depth analysis on each potential purchase to determine its opportunities and risks going forward. This is the most work-intensive means of adding securities to your portfolio, and requires you to regularly monitor price changes in your holdings and stay current on company and industry news.
Mutual Funds - Mutual funds are available for a wide range of asset classes and allow you to hold stocks and bonds that are professionally researched and picked by fund managers. Of course, fund managers charge a fee for their services, which will detract from your returns. Index funds present another choice; they tend to have lower fees because they mirror an established index and are thus passively managed.
Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) - If you prefer not to invest with mutual funds, ETFs can be a viable alternative. You can basically think of ETFs as mutual funds that trade like stocks. ETFs are similar to mutual funds in that they represent a large basket of stocks - usually grouped by sector, capitalization, country and the like - except that they are not actively managed, but instead track a chosen index or other basket of stocks. Because they are passively managed, ETFs offer cost savings over mutual funds while providing diversification. ETFs also cover a wide range of asset classes and can be a useful tool for rounding out your portfolio.