Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A 50/50 Portfolio is ideal for most.

My approach to portfolio construction was decided on the premise that mine is a lump sum investment and future investment would only be thru' dividends/coupons. So, I need to make sure that no matter what I do, the capital will be intact in a way or another.

A way to minimize the loss would be a 50% bonds, 50% stocks portfolio. The bonds portion could be make up of real bonds and property that is fully paid. If not, property under loan should fall under the equity portion.

Assuming that your 50% stock allocation falls 50% and never recovers, a 5% income stream from the bonds will more or less offset the loss in 10yrs.

This should be the worst case scenario since a good quality stock portfolio will not stay below the figures forever.

Essentially, you have not made money .. and the 10yrs is like putting your cash in a mattress without earning interest. But it's better than punting 100% in stocks and waiting for stocks to recover to 100% to break even.

Example, If you weight it at 50/50 for a hypothetical $6mil portfolio getting around $300k annual dividends/coupouns, I would be able to recover the paper loss of $3 mil within 10yrs (assuming I did not reinvest the dividends/coupouns which could lead to more compounding). From there on, the $300k dividends/coupons becomes the return on investment and any gains on stocks are also considered as gains.. SoI believe I shouldn't do badly over 5 yrs to 10yrs.

What I have learnt in this bull/bear cycle is when you have a lump sum for investment, do not dump everything in at one go. DCA is still a very good method as that will allow you time to adapt to the pyschology of the stock market and know whether you are suitable to be aggressive or conservative or should be out at all.

I have got a friend who got convinced to put in $40k into a global equity fund, now that it's down $20k, he is having sleepless nights worrying. In this case, he would be better owning govt bonds if he wants to earn more and possibly put in only 20-30% of her money in equity. This way, it should worked exactly like my 50/50 portfolio without losing any sleep.

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