Investors need to cover their bases with a good variety of financial vehicles that reach beyond the old stock-and-bond game.
Imagine if the general manager of your favorite baseball team filled his roster with only pitchers and catchers.
Would that work for you as a fan?
Probably not. Even if they were all among the best in the game, you’d still want the top player in each of the other positions out there working toward a win, not to mention a strong bench to back them up. If your team’s GM was ignoring all the other options available, you’d likely be screaming at your TV or foaming at the mouth on Facebook.
And yet, if you’re like so many investors, your portfolio may be made up almost exclusively of two kinds of players: stocks and bonds.
Perhaps you’re aware there are other choices out there, but it seems like a lot of work to explore them. Maybe you’ve decided to just go with what you know. Or it’s what your financial professional recommended, and who are you to ask questions?
Typically, most of the portfolios we see when prospective clients come to our office — at least three-quarters of them — are 80% to 100% constructed of stocks and bonds. And when I analyze them, I find they aren’t even very well diversified within the different categories and sectors available.
I get it. Twenty years ago, individual investors had to stick to mostly large-cap stocks and high-grade bonds because their opportunities were limited. But times have changed; the financial industry keeps evolving and creating solutions to suit the needs of individual investors and savers. Diversifying your portfolio no longer means owning a couple of mutual funds and a certificate of deposit.