When it comes to investing, the key for most people to make money is to avoid as much risk as possible. In order to accomplish this, it’s best that all investors decide to diversify their investment portfolios in all possible ways. However, while it may sound simple, diversification is anything but that. However, by following a few simple rules it’s possible to diversify one’s portfolio in such a way that avoids huge losses.
Just What Is Diversification?
Diversifying a portfolio is just as it sounds. Rather than put all their money into a particular stock, investors should always look to invest their money in as many different avenues as available. By doing so, they greatly reduce the risk of losses occurring due to their money being tied up in only one industry. While diversification does not completely guarantee against financial losses happening, it has proven to be the most useful tactic when it comes to making a person’s money grow.
Various Types of Risk
When investing in stocks, bonds, or other financial instruments, there is always a certain level of risk involved with the venture. However, by having a good understanding of these risks, investors greatly increase their chances of minimizing losses or having none at all. There are two major types of diversification, which are known as diversifiable and non-diversifiable. Non-diversifiable risk is that which is associated with any type of company or industry, such as inflation, cost-of-living, and political instability. This is considered the type of risk that cannot be avoided, so it must be weighed in relation to other risks as to how it will affect a portfolio. However, diversifiable risk is directly tied to an industry, company, or even a particular country. To avoid having issues due to this type of risk, investors should have various assets within their portfolios that all have different reactions to the same situation, which in turn will lead to a safer investment strategy.
Be Open to New Strategies
One of the biggest mistakes many investors make is having tunnel vision when it comes to their investing strategies. When this happens, they often experience larger losses in their portfolios than other people who have spread their money around to many different places. Not only should a person not invest solely in one company, but they should also be careful not to invest in companies or industries that have a strong correlation to one another. If this happens, the likelihood of losses increases substantially.
Not only do opposites attract when it comes to love, but to diversifying as well. Along with being open to new strategies, it’s also advantageous for investors to look for various asset classes that tend to move in opposite directions. A great example of this is stocks and bonds, which while related tend to go in opposite directions almost daily. This allows them to offset the unpleasant moves of one asset class with the positive ones of another, which over time will keep a portfolio far less vulnerable to market swings. As a general rule, investors who are just beginning to put together their portfolios are almost always advised to include bonds, which tend to offset any losses sustained with stocks.
There Are No Guarantees
While diversifying a portfolio does not automatically guarantee investment success, it has been shown to increase the likelihood of positive returns over time. However, it’s important to note that even if your portfolio is correctly diversified, some risk can never be eliminated. This is where we talk about over diversification. This is a big problem that big investors, and experts warn others about, because it has the potential to undo all your efforts. It’s common consensus that wide diversification within your portfolio can cause investing to be more confusing than it normally would be, since you have so many eggs in so many baskets. Understanding that there is a point at which the benefits of diversification stop reducing risk, and instead start eating away at investment returns is crucial, otherwise, you’re just stuck with a hodgepodge mess of a portfolio.
When it comes to reaching one’s financial goals, virtually every investor has their own set of unique plans. Most financial planners agree that investors who don’t let themselves get too high or too low depending on the market conditions will always do best, while others who invest too heavily in one direction often run into problems. By taking diversification seriously and taking the time to learn about the benefits associated with it, investment success can be had.
This guest article was written and provided by Accuplan Benefits Services, a self-directed IRA administrator. Accuplan is based out of Utah, just south of Salt Lake City, with other locations all over the U.S.
They provide gold IRA services, self-directed 401K services, real estate investment options, and more. If you have questions about investing with your retirement, contact them today.