Investment Read Time: 4 min

Rebalancing Your Portfolio

Everyone loves a winner. If an investment is successful, most people naturally want to stick with it. But is that the best approach?

It may sound counterintuitive, but it may be possible to have too much of a good thing. Over time, the performance of different investments can shift a portfolio’s intent – and its risk profile. It’s a phenomenon sometimes referred to as “risk creep,” and it happens when a portfolio has its risk profile shift over time.

Balancing

When deciding how to allocate investments, many start by taking into account their time horizon, risk tolerance, and specific goals. Next, individual investments are selected that pursue the overall objective. If all the investments selected had the same return, that balance – that allocation – would remain steady for a period of time. But if the investments have varying returns over time, the portfolio may bear little resemblance to its original allocation.

How Rebalancing Works

Rebalancing is the process of restoring a portfolio to its original risk profile.1

There are two ways to rebalance a portfolio.

The first is to use new money. When adding money to a portfolio, allocate these new funds to those assets or asset classes that have fallen. For example, if bonds have fallen from 40% of a portfolio to 30%, consider purchasing enough bonds to return them to their original 40% allocation. Asset allocation and diversification are investment principles designed to manage risk. However, they do not guarantee against a loss.

The second way of rebalancing is to sell enough of the “winners” to buy more underperforming assets. Ironically, this type of rebalancing actually forces you to buy low and sell high.

Periodically rebalancing your portfolio to match your desired risk tolerance is a sound practice regardless of the market conditions. One approach is to set a specific time each year to schedule an appointment to review your portfolio and determine if adjustments are appropriate.

Shifting Allocation

Over time, market conditions can change the risk profile of an investment portfolio. For example, consider a hypothetical portfolio that was 50% invested in bonds, 10% in treasuries, and 40% in equity. Over the course of a few years, if the stock portion of the portfolio outperformed the other assets, the hypothetical portfolio may no longer reflect the initial allocation. An adjustment may be needed to reflect the original risk profile. Keep in mind that investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. This is a hypothetical example used for illustrative purposes only. It is not representative of any specific investment or combination of investments.

1. FINRA.org, 2023

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

Share |
 

Related Content

A Look at Whole Life Insurance

A Look at Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance remains in force as long as you remain current with premiums. Here's how it works.

Counteracting Capital Gains with Tax-Loss Harvesting

Counteracting Capital Gains with Tax-Loss Harvesting

You may have heard the phrase "tax-loss harvesting." A financial professional may be able to provide some guidance.

Eight Mistakes That Can Upend Your Retirement

Eight Mistakes That Can Upend Your Retirement

There are common mistakes you can avoid when saving for retirement.

 

Have A Question About This Topic?







Thank you! Oops!

The Ivory Tower Changes Wall Street

Thanks to the work of three economists, we have a better understanding of what determines an asset’s price.

Keep Your Umbrella Handy

Umbrella liability can be a fairly inexpensive way to help shelter current assets and future income from the unexpected.

The ABCs of Zero Coupon Bonds

Understanding some basic concepts may help you assess whether zero-coupon bonds have a place in your portfolio.

View all articles

What Is My Life Expectancy?

Estimate how many years you may need retirement assets or how long to provide income to a surviving spouse or children.

Saving for College

This calculator can help you estimate how much you should be saving for college.

Assess Your Life Insurance Needs

This calculator estimates how much life insurance you would need to meet your family's needs if you were to die prematurely.

View all calculators

Managing Your Lifestyle

Using smart management to get more of what you want and free up assets to invest.

Principles of Preserving Wealth

How federal estate taxes work, plus estate management documents and tactics.

Your Cash Flow Statement

A presentation about managing money: using it, saving it, and even getting credit.

View all presentations

When Special Care Is Needed: The Special Needs Trust

A special needs trust helps care for a special needs child when you’re gone.

Making Your Tax Bracket Work

Have you explored all your options when it comes to managing your taxable income?

Keeping Up with the Joneses

Lifestyle inflation can be the enemy of wealth building. What could happen if you invested instead of buying more stuff?

View all videos