If investing was as easy as it appeared in films such as The Wolf of Wall Street, everyone would be doing it! Many wannabe investors think they can press some buttons and sit back to watch their money build up. While the film certainly references investing, it is actually nothing like what you would be doing! To find success, you will actually need to do your own research (such as this article) and put aside a lot of time. If you have already started your investment journey, then it’s likely that you have a portfolio in place, but how can you maximize returns?
There’s an art and a science to improving your investment returns. Today, we will delve into some proven strategies and modern digital tools to help you optimize your portfolio and increase your returns.
You will have likely heard about this tip even if you have never invested before, but it’s worth talking about all the same! Diversification is essentially the process of spreading your investments across different types of assets. This can include, but isn’t limited to: stocks, bonds, real estate, commodities, and cryptocurrencies. The goal here is to mitigate risks associated with any particular asset class. So, if one asset type performs poorly, your entire portfolio isn’t devastated. You’ve got your fingers in different pies.
Investing inherently involves risk, but understanding your risk tolerance – how much investment risk you’re willing to take – is crucial. While it’s certainly not 100% guaranteed, investors would usually argue that the higher the potential return, the higher the potential investment risk, but it’s all relevant. Diversify your investments to help manage this risk. Spreading your investments across a variety of sectors and asset classes can protect your portfolio from significant losses.
Secondly, consider rebalancing your portfolio periodically. If you use an online stockbroker, your platform may prompt you to rebalance from time to time. While you may have started with a beautifully balanced portfolio, market fluctuations could skew that balance over time. Regular portfolio rebalancing ensures that you’re not overly exposed to any particular investment category. However, rebalancing requires careful consideration of transaction costs, taxes, and your overall investment strategy.
Start small and regular
If you’re just dipping your toes into the world of investing, remember you don’t need large amounts to start. Thanks to micro-investing apps like Acorns or Stash, you can begin with just a few dollars, and sometimes even spare change! These apps round up your purchases to the nearest dollar and invest the difference. It’s a low-stakes way to start growing your portfolio.
Once you’ve started small, you should build up your knowledge. The more you know, then the better placed you will be to make more informed investing decisions. Before diving in, take the time to learn basic investment concepts. This means knowing what the differences between stocks and bonds are, and knowing what on earth an ETF is. There’s no shortage of resources online that you can use.
While you will want to be more educated, you still need to be wary when making investments. Markets will rise and fall, and your portfolio’s value will do the same. It’s essential to stay calm during these swings and avoid making impulsive decisions. Instead, keep your focus on your long-term investment goals.
Utilize digital tools
If you aren’t yet making use of various digital tools, then you will be missing out! You could be getting so much more out of your investment portfolio, especially through some automation tools. By effectively leveraging these tools, we can make more informed decisions and take better control of our financial future.
Take robo-advisors, for example. These are automated investing services that create and manage a diversified portfolio for you, based on your risk tolerance and investment goals. You can also sign up to investment platforms that allow you to copy investments from experts, which can help you make investments at the right time (accounting for risk that you aren’t in control).
There are also investment research platforms out there that also provide a wealth of information at your fingertips. This allows you to get comprehensive data on various investment options, including detailed analysis, performance metrics, and more, allowing you to make data-driven decisions.
You should also ensure you are making use of non-investment digital tools to help speed up certain processes. For example, if you have a document that details all your investments in one place, or has further details on them (for example, a real estate portfolio will have a lot of information in per property), then being able to compress these documents will save you a ton of space and time! Put your investment information into a PDF and compress the PDF so that it doesn’t take up a lot of storage space, and can easily be sent to your accountant. A digital PDF that can be edited may also be helpful for this.
Understanding concepts like compound interest, dollar-cost averaging, risk tolerance, and more, can lead to more informed decisions and better investment outcomes. Blogs, books, podcasts, and online courses are excellent resources to improve your financial literacy.
One rising trend in the investment world is ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) investing. ESG investing involves considering the environmental, social, and governance practices of the companies you invest in, alongside their financial performance.
It might be beneficial to seek professional financial advice. Financial advisors can provide personalized investment strategies, educate you on investment topics, and help you navigate financial decisions. But remember, it’s important to choose a reputable advisor, preferably a fiduciary who is legally bound to act in your best interests.
Lastly, patience is the secret ingredient in the recipe for investment success. Investment gains don’t typically come overnight. They take time. A carefully thought out and consistently applied strategy will yield results over time. Don’t let short-term market fluctuations cloud your judgement or deter your long-term investment strategy. It’s also important to avoid emotional investing, as this could be costly.
As a beginner, consistently investing can be a daunting task. Automating your investments can help overcome this hurdle. Setting up automatic transfers from your bank account into your investment account ensures that you’re regularly contributing to your portfolio.
In conclusion, getting more out of your investment portfolio is a combination of diversification, rebalancing, leveraging digital tools, financial education, and, above all, patience. It’s not about picking the ‘next big thing’ or timing the market perfectly; it’s about making smart decisions consistently over time. Here’s to growing our wealth intelligently!