The power of asset allocation

Published Jul 11, 2024


By Frants Preis

Imagine walking into a restaurant known for its incredible variety of dishes. You could feast on just one item, but the real magic lies in sampling a bit of everything, creating a meal that balances flavours, textures and nutrients. Investing is similar.

Instead of putting all your money into one type of asset, diversifying your portfolio through prudent asset allocation is the secret sauce to achieving financial success.

Asset allocation, simply put, is the strategy of spreading your investments across various asset classes such as shares, bonds, real estate and cash. The approach could dramatically impact your returns and, more importantly, manage your risk. A lack of appropriate exposure to risk assets (such as shares) could result in inadequate returns to meet your retirement needs, despite saving enough each year.

Creating an effective asset allocation strategy begins with understanding your risk tolerance, time horizon and investment goals. Are you comfortable with the ups and downs of the stock market, or do you prefer stability? How long can you leave your money invested? Longer horizons typically allow for more risk-taking. Are you saving for retirement, buying a home or building an emergency fund? By answering the questions, you can start to piece together a mix of assets that aligns with your personal financial picture.

Consider the 2008 financial crisis. Investors with portfolios heavily weighted in stocks experienced significant losses. However, those who had diversified their investments across other asset classes, like bonds and real estate, fared much better. This is because different asset classes often react differently to the same economic event. When stocks plunged, the more stable bond markets helped cushion the blow.

Don’t wait to take control of your financial future. Start by evaluating your investments and see how they align with your risk tolerance, time horizon and goals.

Remember, successful investing isn’t about chasing the highest returns or timing the market perfectly. It’s about creating a balanced portfolio that can weather financial storms and grow steadily over time. By embracing the principles of asset allocation, you’re not just investing your money – you’re investing in peace of mind.

Frants Preis is the managing director of Preis Investments.