A Portfolio Tune-Up
Over time, the weighting of the asset classes in your portfolio can change. After spending a great deal of time to develop an asset allocation strategy, it can be frustrating to see these changes. However, a simple rebalancing of your portfolio may be all that is needed to get it back in line. The need for rebalancing is part of the nature of investing. Since different investments earn various rates of return, their values grow at different rates, changing the weightings in your portfolio. These changes can cause your portfolio risk to increase or decrease, making rebalancing a necessary part of portfolio maintenance.
When Should You Rebalance?
While you should definitely rebalance when your financial objectives or life circumstances change, you also want to rebalance on a regular basis. There are three basic methods to consider:
Rebalance annually. Choose a date to rebalance, perhaps at the beginning of the year, when you receive your annual statements, or at the end of a quarter. On that date every year, compare your current allocation to your target allocation. Any allocations off by more than 5-10% would require rebalancing. Once you have rebalanced, don’t be tempted to make other rebalancing changes during the year. Wait for your next rebalancing date.
Rebalance when your allocation differs from your target allocation by a designated percentage. With this type of rebalancing, you monitor your portfolio more frequently, perhaps monthly. Once your allocation moves from your target allocation by a predetermined percentage, perhaps 5-10%, you rebalance your portfolio.
Rebalance based on current market conditions. With this approach, rather than one specific percentage for each asset class, you might have a target range. For instance, you might allocate anywhere from 30% to 50% of your portfolio to large-capitalization stocks. Depending on your views of the market, you might want to allocate near the low or high end of that range. Thus, your allocation will change as your views about the market change.
How Do You Rebalance?
There are many ways to accomplish changing your allocation among investments. You can purchase additional amounts of an investment that is underrepresented in your portfolio. You can sell investments in overrepresented portions and invest the proceeds in underrepresented portions. Any withdrawals can be taken from overweighted investments. Income from your portfolio, such as dividends and interest, can be invested in underweighted investments. Ultimately, you'll need to consider tax ramifications and your own individual investment preferences.
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This newsletter was prepared by Integrated Concepts Group, Inc. The opinions expressed in this newsletter are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual. It is suggested that you consult your financial professional, attorney, or tax advisor with regard to your individual situation. The views expressed are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those held by PlanMember Securities Corporation. Material presented is believed to be from a reliable sources and PSEC makes no representation as to it accuracy or completeness.