Investors who have different risk profiles, investment objectives and time frames will adopt different investment strategies in order to achieve a similar result. Basically, there are two types of investors; aggressive and conservative.
An aggressive investor will take a shorter time period to achieve the desired result as his risk attitude should reward him with a higher rate of return, given a dynamic portfolio investment style and a well drawn up investment philosophy.
For any reasonable portfolio management exercise to be meaningful, you must have at least $50,000 to start with. If you’re looking at a portfolio of shares or unit trusts, $50,000 will be a good starting point. As for property investment, $50,000 should be sufficient in most cases for down payments.
Where the money should be invested will very much depend on the prevailing market cycles and opportunities. However, this will have to change throughout the portfolio management process, which is fundamentally based on your investment philosophy and the changes in your financial statements and life goals.
However, always take into account two things when investing; a well-correlated portfolio and the market cycles. Having all monies in the same asset class at any one time may not be prudent, so, the other area to look out for is the equity market. For more disciplined and market savvy investors, investing your money in stocks can help to double your initial capital.
It’s advisable to put only a small allocation of just 20% of your available funds into carefully chosen stocks. Pick the ones that have good net tangible assets and price-earnings ratios. Study the highest and lowest prices for these stocks over the past one year and discuss what price levels will be prudent for a buy and sell.
Another option to look at is unit trust funds. Choose the fund house based on the umbrella of funds available to you for the purpose of portfolio management. Two factors are important to determine that a fund performs; your investment strategy and who is managing your funds directly and indirectly. However, of course there are risks in unit trust investments too, though less when compared with direct stock investing
On the other hand, the conservative investor should be more patient as he will need more time to grow his money. Conservative investments like fixed deposits, bonds, money market or income-yielding instruments have yields below one’s personal inflation index and thus may not be a meaningful tool for wealth accumulation over the long term.
Choose a well-managed balanced unit trust fund that has a combination of fixed income securities and equities and is dynamically aligned to suit the various events and market cycles over time.
Consider opting for a regular savings plan using the balanced fund as a base to invest, as this will help smooth out the volatility of events and cycles over time. There are many regular savings plans available in unit trust funds but be careful when choosing one. When you invest regularly, you may push the dollar cost upwards or downwards and if the fund you choose is a highly aggressive one, the upward and downward dollar costing exercises may eventually prove to be less effective than investing regularly in a more stable fund like a balanced fund.
Last but not least, you may also want to look out for opportunities in some direct stable and established stocks that provide high dividend yields. These yields will provide a cushion against market and specific risks, which will not worry you too much as a conservative investor. Some unit trust funds have their core holdings only in high dividend-yielding stocks and they may prove to be of good value in your portfolio.