Diversifying your investments can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. To help you get started, we’ve put together a brief guide that will give you some basic tips for how to diversify your portfolio and trim down your risks.

Money isn’t the only way to grow wealth, and investing can be a daunting task. If you’re completely new to investing, and intimidated by a foreign concept like diversifying your portfolio, the following steps will help you get started. But before we dive into the specifics, it’s important to understand why diversifying is so important.

As we all know, I hate traditional financial planning. It’s a bunch of boring, overhyped tools and methods that are designed to make “average” people like me believe that they can beat the market by themselves. It’s not easy, it’s not fun, and it’s certainly not exciting. A portfolio is something you can use to diversify your portfolio so that you have different areas of expertise and knowledge to help you make the best investment decisions for your life. If you choose to do your own portfolio planning, here are the five essential steps you need to take.. Read more about portfolio diversification formula and let us know what you think.

Diversification is critical when developing a long-term portfolio, make no mistake about it. 

After all, you won’t get all of your investment decisions right, so make sure you’re not overly invested in a limited number of assets or marketplaces. 

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to diversify your portfolio so you may build wealth over time while avoiding risk. 

What Is Diversification in a Portfolio?

Portfolio diversification, in a nutshell, refers to the age-old investment philosophy of never putting all of your eggs in one basket. That is, rather than focusing on a few companies or ETFs, you should try to extend your horizons as much as possible. 

For example, you might decide to invest in a mix of growth companies, dividend stocks, blue-chip stocks, bonds, ETFs, index funds, and even commodities like gold with your portfolio funds. 

Although we’ll go into asset allocation in more detail later, the essential idea is that you’re spreading your risk across numerous assets, markets, and economies. As a result, if one of your investments doesn’t go as planned, you won’t be hit quite as hard.

A diversified portfolio’s holdings can be dispersed throughout a variety of asset classes, sectors, industries, and geographies.

What is the Best Way to Diversify a Portfolio?

If you’re learning how to diversify your portfolio for the first time, we’ve put up a few simple examples to help you get started. 

Portfolio with Insufficient Diversification

Let’s pretend you’re fresh to the stock market and you have $10,000 to invest. 

  • You like the look of Apple and Tesla’s stocks and decide to put $5,000 into each.
  • Apple has done quite well over the last six months, with its shares now worth 20% more.
  • As a result, your Apple shares are now worth $6,000 ($5,000 + 20%).
  • Tesla, on the other hand, has been on a long-term downward trend, and its stock is now worth 50% less; and
  • As a result, your Tesla shares are now worth $2,500 ($5,000 – 50%).

According to the example above, your $10,000 investment is now only worth $8,500. Sure, Apple stocks have made you money, but Tesla’s 50% loss implies that your original investment is now worth less. 

Portfolio with a Wide Range of Assets

Using the same $10,000 example as before, let’s imagine what a well-diversified portfolio may look like. 

  • You allocate 10% of your portfolio to ten growth stocks that you enjoy;
  • You allocate 15% of your portfolio to ten dividend-paying stocks that you like;
  • You invest 25% into an S&P 500 index fund;
  • You put 35% of your money into fixed-income bonds.
  • You put 10% of your money into a gold ETF; and
  • You put 5% of your money into Bitcoin.

As you can see, your portfolio now contains a diverse range of asset types and financial instruments. 

For example, not only have you covered a personal selection of growth of dividend stocks, but you have also invested in all 500 companies listed on the S&P 500. To ensure you are not over-reliant on the US stock markets, you have also allocated funds into bonds, gold, and Bitcoin. 

This is an excellent example of a well-diversified portfolio, despite its simplicity. After all, if one of your portfolio’s financial instruments underperforms, some of your other assets should be able to compensate for the loss. 

Assets and Markets: An Overview

You must first have a clear understanding of the financial tools available to you before you can begin your asset allocation journey. For example, you probably understand how stocks and shares work, but you also need to consider the sort of equity you’re investing in and the risk each one entails. 

  • Blue-chip stocks, for example, are thought to have the lowest risk, owing to the fact that they are well-established, have consistent earnings, and are market leaders in their respective industries.
  •  Think along the lines of Salesforce, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Disney, and Nike. 

Growth stocks, on the other hand, bring a higher amount of risk to your portfolio. This is because growth stocks are sometimes associated with unproven products or services, or simply because they haven’t been around long enough to develop a track record in their field. 

  • Growth stocks, on the other hand, have a considerably bigger upside potential than blue-chip corporations. 
  • Tesla, Alibaba, Uber, Airbnb, Square, and Coinbase are examples of companies in this sector of the stock market. 

You should check at the fixed-income market if you’re not interested in equities and shares. Bonds, which come in a variety of forms and risk/reward levels, are at the forefront of this. 

  • US Treasuries, on the other hand, are about as risk-free as you can go in the financial markets. 
  • Corporate bonds, which are issued by medium-to-large firms, provide greater levels of income.    

Finally, there are other investments, which can provide a wider range of risk and reward. However, not only are these more volatile, but you will likely be without any income. 

  • Gold, silver, and even Bitcoin fall under this category. 
  • Alternative investments can help you diversify your portfolio by providing a hedge against traditional stock markets.  

Finally, knowing the ins and outs of how each financial instrument works will offer you the best opportunity of putting up a well-diversified portfolio that meets your financial objectives and risk tolerance. 

Pro Tip: While portfolio diversification is an excellent way to reduce risk, it can also detract from performance, at least in the short term.

Allocation of Assets

Asset allocation is the most effective technique of balancing risk and reward. This is a method aimed at finding the ideal mix of asset classes and financial instruments in your portfolio. 

The goal is to build wealth over time by finding the right balance of risk and profit possibilities. In this regard, there is no special sauce because each investor has a different set of financial goals and risk tolerance. 

To be even more particular, you’ll need to think about things like your age and time horizon.  

If you are still young and have several decades before you expect to retire, for example, you may find that your asset allocation strategy favors financial instruments with a little greater risk threshold. This could indicate that you place a higher priority on equities than low-risk bonds. 

On the other hand, if you’ve already amassed a big nest egg and are approaching retirement age, you’ll probably want to devote more of your portfolio to fixed-income assets with a reduced risk profile.

High-quality government and corporate bonds, as well as a diverse range of dividend stock ETFs, could be included.

The three most frequent models are explained here to give you an idea of what to consider when allocating assets to your portfolio:

Income

If your portfolio is based on an income model, most, if not all, of your assets will have a low risk profile and, of course, generate consistent income. This will take the form of dividend stocks or bonds that pay out in the form of coupons. 

The following are some examples of income asset allocation model splits:

  • Bonds are 100% of the portfolio, with no equities or other assets.
  • Bonds account for 80% of the portfolio, while equities and other assets account for 20%.
  • Bonds account for 70% of the portfolio, while equities and other assets account for 30%.

Those nearing the end of their long-term financial journey who are looking for low-risk income will frequently use this plan.  

Balanced

A balanced asset allocation methodology, as the name implies, divides your portfolio more evenly between income-generating assets and those that seek growth in the form of capital gains. 

The following are some examples of balanced asset allocation model splits:

  • Bonds make up half of the portfolio, while equities and other assets make up the other half.
  • Bonds account for 40% of the portfolio, while stocks and other assets account for 60%.
  • Bonds account for 60% of the portfolio, while equities and other assets account for 40%.

Those who use a balanced investment approach may be seeking for the ideal combination of risk, short-term volatility, and medium-to-long-term growth. 

Growth

Simply put, investors that prioritize growth asset allocation will seek the best returns and are more likely to be at the beginning of their long-term investment journey. 

The following are some examples of balanced asset allocation model splits:

  • Stocks and other assets account for 100% of the portfolio, with no bonds.
  • Stocks and other assets account for 80% of the portfolio, while bonds account for 20%.
  • 70% of the portfolio is made up of stocks and other assets, while 30% is made up of bonds.

As you can see from the table above, stocks will make up the great bulk of the assets in this portfolio, with fixed-income bonds accounting for a smaller portion of the total.

Rebalancing

It’s crucial to remember that unless you’re investing in an actively managed fund, you’ll need to revisit your asset allocation strategy on a frequent basis. 

As a result, your portfolio will be tightly matched with your present financial goals and risk tolerance, both of which are likely to alter over time.  

Pro Tip: When constructing your portfolio, adjust your strategy to your objectives, time horizon, and risk tolerance.

Diversify Your Portfolio in a Few Easy Steps

Now that you have a fundamental understanding of how to diversify your portfolio, let’s delve a little deeper into some of the greatest techniques to adopt.  

Consider Target-Date Investments.

Consider a target-date fund as a starting point when considering the best strategies to diversify your portfolio. For those who are unfamiliar, these work similarly to traditional actively managed mutual funds. 

This implies the provider will decide which asset classes, financial instruments, and industries are appropriate for you and your financial objectives. Importantly, based on your age and time horizon, the target-date fund will identify which asset allocation strategy is best suited for your needs. 

If you’re young and aim to invest for several decades, for example, you might be given a 30-year target with an initial 80/20 split between equities and bonds. If you only have 10 years before retirement, the target-date fund might favor bonds 80 percent of the time.   

Take a look at low-cost index funds. 

When considering how to diversify your portfolio, the next option to explore is low-cost index funds. These can be in the form of an exchange-traded fund (ETF) or a mutual fund. In any case, the index fund will attempt to track a specific market, of which there are numerous. 

In the equity sector, for example, the S&P 500 tracks 500 large companies that are listed in the US. You then have the NASDAQ 100, which tracks the 100 largest companies on the exchange of the same name. These and all other stock index funds are regularly rebalanced and reweighted, the latter usually based on market capitalization. 

Index funds with low fees aren’t just for the stock market. On the contrary, index funds that track bonds are also a good method to diversify. 

Some index funds also follow specific economies or areas, such as emerging market equities and bonds. These, on the other hand, usually come with slightly higher annual rates. 

Invest in a variety of asset classes to diversify your portfolio.

We’ve already talked about how important it is to diversify across asset classes, so we won’t go into too much depth here. To summarize, the key idea is that a well-diversified portfolio will always contain a diverse range of assets. 

Consider boosting your exposure to multiple investing classes, whether it’s a mix of blue-chip, growth, and dividend stocks, index funds, bonds, or commodities. The most difficult part is deciding which asset allocation split to use. This has already been discussed.  

Diversify your portfolio across multiple industries.

Diversification across several sectors will also be sought by seasoned investors. This is especially true when it comes to stock market trading, since specific sectors often perform better or worse than others.

In March 2020, for example, during the coronavirus epidemic, technology-based equities led the way for the rest of the year. Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Alphabet, for example, all had double-digit increases. 

Other industries, such as oil and gas, retail, and aviation, on the other hand, all sustained major losses during the same time period. With this in mind, it’s critical that your stock portfolio is well-diversified across different industries, at the very least. 

As a side note, the S&P 500 is home to 11 main market sectors, which you will find below for reference:

  • Energy
  • Materials 
  • Industrials 
  • Discretionary on the part of the consumer 
  • Consumer Goods 
  • Medical Assistance 
  • Financial 
  • Information and Communication Technology 
  • Telecommunications 
  • Utilities 
  • Purchasing Real Estate

You can also diversify across various industries, which we describe in the section below, to take things to the next level. 

Diversify your business by working in a variety of industries.

While 11 S&P 500 sectors might seem like a lot, risk-averse investors will look to diversify within each segment.  

Let’s look at the energy industry as an example. You could specialize on a specific industry, such as oil, gas, or renewable energy. Similarly, you can diversify your real estate portfolio by investing in companies that own commercial, residential, healthcare, and retail assets. 

Looking for ETFs that reflect a specific market is maybe the greatest approach to diversify across different industries.  

Diversification of Market Capitalization 

For those who don’t know, an asset’s market capitalization refers to its total value at any particular time. 

This is a word that is commonly used in the stock market. The current stock price multiplied by the total number of stocks in circulation equals market capitalization. 

This is important to consider when determining how to verify your portfolio because you may want to distribute your wealth across a variety of company sizes. 

While the vast majority of your wealth may be placed in large-cap equities, which carry the lowest risk, you may also devote some funds to small and medium-cap companies. 

Diversification of geography 

While you may choose to focus solely on assets listed in the United States, seasoned investors will try to diversify across many areas. 

After all, just because the stock markets in the United States have been trending downward for some time does not mean that other economies will be experiencing the same gloomy mood. 

Consider the risk profile of each given region when considering geographical diversity. The United Kingdom, Europe, Japan, and Australia, for example, could be considered lower-risk economies. 

Emerging markets are generally comprised of higher-risk economies. South Africa, Brazil, India, Thailand, and the Philippines are all possible candidates. 

The good news is that there are a number of ETFs that specialize in geographic diversity. This implies you can trade thousands of equities from a variety of countries and risk profiles in a single transaction. 

Note: When designing your diversification approach, it’s a good idea to seek professional advice to ensure you’re not going overboard with your portfolio diversification.

The Advantages of a Diversified Investment Portfolio (Pros)

The following are the key advantages of portfolio diversification:

  • Overexposure to a small number of assets should be avoided.
  • Risk of short-term market volatility is reduced.
  • Protection against unfavorable capital investment decisions
  • Longer bear markets have a lower financial impact.
  • Increased chances of picking an asset with above-average returns.
  • Income generation and capital gains are two types of growth to aim for.
  • Aligning your portfolio depending on your long-term financial goals and risk tolerance 

While most seasoned investors will strive to establish a well-diversified portfolio, there are a number of disadvantages to consider:

  • Diversification across a variety of assets and markets might take a long time.
  • If you choose a broker who charges a flat commission, diversification can be pricey. 
  • There will almost certainly be some low-quality items in the portfolio.
  • Financial returns might be limited by broad investing selections.

How to Diversify Your Portfolio: Frequently Asked Questions

A list of frequently asked questions from those considering portfolio diversification is provided below. 

Why Should You Diversify Your Investment Portfolio?

You spread your investment capital over numerous assets, financial instruments, markets, sectors, and even economies when you diversify your portfolio. 

Finally, this is done to ensure that you are only overexposed to a small number of assets, so lowering your long-term investment risk.

Is there such a thing as too much diversification?

There’s always the risk that too much diversification will stifle your long-term growth prospects. After all, if you invest in too many assets, you’re more likely to end up with a portfolio full of low-quality items. 

What Constitutes a Well-Diversified Portfolio?

To begin building a well-diversified portfolio, consider what your long-term financial goals are and how much risk you are willing to take. Reviewing the asset allocation models we mentioned earlier in this guide is a smart approach to achieve this. 

Let’s say you decide to invest in a 50/50 mix of equities and bonds to achieve a balanced approach. In this case, you’ll need to narrow your focus even further by considering which stocks and bonds to include in your portfolio. 

A mix of growth and blue-chip stock ETFs, as well as a basket of corporate and government bonds, might be included. 

Which Investments Can Be Included in a Diversified Portfolio?

Simply said, a well-diversified portfolio can contain any type of investment class. All financial instruments, including stocks, ETFs, index funds, gold, Bitcoin, REITs, and bonds, should be considered!

What Does a Diversified Portfolio Look Like?

A diversified portfolio might include 35 percent in stock index funds, 30 percent in selected blue-chip businesses, 30 percent in high-grade government bonds, and 5% in alternative assets, to name a few examples. 

Last Thoughts

In conclusion, one of the most fundamental ideas to understand while investing in the financial markets is diversity. The basic premise is that you will be invested in a wide array of assets and instruments to limit portfolio risk, as we addressed extensively in this tutorial. 

This means that while you will always make poor investing selections, your other assets should be able to compensate for these losses. 

The most important thing is to take some time to consider your financial goals, investment time horizon, and risk tolerance. You’ll give yourself the best chance of establishing a well-diversified portfolio with the right balance of risk and return if you do it this way.

Up Next

Diversifying your portfolio can seem like an overwhelming task for even the most experienced investors. However, once you understand the basic concepts of diversification, you’ll realize how important it is to make the best possible choices for your portfolio.. Read more about diversified portfolio example 2021 and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good portfolio for a beginner?

A good portfolio for a beginner is one that has a variety of different styles. It should also be able to show your work in progress and finished pieces.

How do I diversify my portfolio in 2020?

To diversify your portfolio, you can invest in stocks, bonds or mutual funds.

How do you distribute an investment portfolio?

A portfolio is a collection of investments. The most common way to distribute an investment portfolio is by selling it off in shares, which are then bought back at a later date.

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  • portfolio diversification
  • portfolio diversification calculator
  • diversify your portfolio meaning
  • portfolio diversification strategy
  • diversified portfolio example
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