rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Business » Looking for an ideal portfolio? Read this

Looking for an ideal portfolio? Read this

Last updated on: December 27, 2010 12:22 IST

Looking for an ideal portfolio? Read this

     Next

Next
Ashish Pai in Mumbai
Determining if a portfolio is efficient or optimal is subjective. What is good for one investor may not be so for another.

An ideal portfolio depends on a person's risk appetite, cash flow requirement, goals, and the investment's liquidity and tax efficiency.

Take Ashwini Mugad, 25, a software professional. She read that at a young age it pays to be in equities, as the ability to take risk is higher.

Six months earlier, she began investing in stocks. Her portfolio depreciated by 30 per cent after the telecom (2G) controversy hit the headlines.

Click NEXT to read on...


Image: An ideal portfolio depends on a person's risk appetite.
Photographs: Illustration: Uttam Ghosh
     Next

Looking for an ideal portfolio? Read this

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
With the setback, Mugad wants to stay away from stocks. She plans to sell her equity investments and put the money in a fixed deposit with interest rates over 8.5 per cent, as suggested by her father.

"This was my first step towards building a portfolio. I realised that being conservative is better, despite the age," says Mugad.

Actually, she did many wrong things. An ideal portfolio is a mix of investment avenues that help minimise risk and maximise return. It is a means to achieve desired financial goals by using financial instruments efficiently.

Asset allocation: The first step is to decide allocation between asset classes. The demarcation depends on the risk tolerance and time horizon of the goal.

Click NEXT to read on


Image: Earn more money.
Photographs: Reuters.
Prev     Next

Looking for an ideal portfolio? Read this

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Risk tolerance is willingness to risk losing some or all your money, in exchange for higher potential returns.

For example, someone starting out should look at balanced funds or exchange-traded funds. When the investor understands the risk-return associated with equity and debt, he or she could increase or decrease exposure to the asset class.

Asset allocation works only if the investor shifts the gain from one to the other, to maintain the balance.

Click NEXT to read on


Image: Stock brokers disappointed.

Prev     Next

Looking for an ideal portfolio? Read this

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Investment horizon: Your asset allocation also depends on the tenure of the goal. If you are young and saving for retirement, you can keep higher exposure to equity in the kitty.

On the other hand, if you are saving for buying a car in three years, keep the money primarily in debt.

If you have a financial goal with timelines attached like child education, marriage, and so on, it is best to keep money in debt. For longer tenure goals, one can look at equity - the longer the goal, higher the equity exposure.

Once three years away from the goal, keep shifting the equity investment to debt. This will help cut the volatility associated with equity.

Click NEXT to read on


Image: Stock market ticker.
Photographs: Reuters.
Prev     Next

Looking for an ideal portfolio? Read this

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Always go for cheaper investment options. Suppose you want to invest in equity. Most brokers offer lower brokerage cost for online investment as compared to offline.

Similarly, in case of mutual funds, though there is no entry load, for some schemes the fund houses charge exit load if you redeem investment before a stipulated time, say six months or a year.

Monitor your assets at regular intervals. You can then evaluate if your investment decision was okay or needs more evaluation.

Click NEXT to read on


Image: Monitor your assets at regular intervals.

Prev     Next

Looking for an ideal portfolio? Read this

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Look at the tax angle, too. Returns from some investments such as PPF, tax-free bonds and dividend from stocks/mutual funds are exempt from tax.

Optimising the portfolio: An optimal portfolio should have investments you're comfortable with and match your goal's tenure. Many investors find this would mean a range of investment options.

For example, some consider an optimal strategy to be inclusion of a mixture of stocks, with low, medium and high rates of volatility, several bond issues and a commodity or two.

When one type of investment experiences some downturn, the other types provide stability to the portfolio.

Click NEXT to read on


Image: More money in your kitty.

Prev     Next

Looking for an ideal portfolio? Read this

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Look at the tax angle, too. Returns from some investments such as PPF, tax-free bonds and dividend from stocks/mutual funds are exempt from tax.

Optimising the portfolio: An optimal portfolio should have investments you're comfortable with and match your goal's tenure. Many investors find this would mean a range of investment options.

For example, some consider an optimal strategy to be inclusion of a mixture of stocks, with low, medium and high rates of volatility, several bond issues and a commodity or two.

When one type of investment experiences some downturn, the other types provide stability to the portfolio.


Image: More stability to the portfolio.

Prev     Next

Looking for an ideal portfolio? Read this

Prev     More
Prev

More
Portfolio rebalancing: At times, you don't want to rebalance too often, as you'll have to deal with transaction cost and taxes. It's recommended you rebalance your portfolio at least once a year. Instead of rebalancing based on time, it is better to do so when there is sizeable deviation in the portfolio allocation matrix.

Another strategy that you can use to balance portfolio is to adjust in a gradual manner your portfolio using new funds to buy more of the underperforming assets. This technique may not be adequate for a larger portfolio.

Tax impact: Some strategies to consider on taxes include investing in tax-sheltered investments such as PPF, tax-free bonds and insurance. These help to minimise capital gains tax liabilities and make use of indexation benefits. Suppose you invest in PPF: your actual yield, computed pre-tax, is around 11.4 per cent for a person in the 30 per cent tax bracket.

The writer is a freelancer.


Image: Invest in tax-sheltered investments.

Prev     More
Source: