The initial investment objective your portfolio needs to be determined, as this will indicate some broad guidelines as to the asset classes to be invested in and their proportion within the overall portfolio. For example, if the investment objective of the portfolio is income and capital growth, with tolerance to some fluctuations in both, then this would point towards a mix of defensive and growth assets in a balanced type of portfolio. While if the investment objective is long term growth with a higher tolerance for fluctuations in returns (risk) then a higher proportion of growth assets will need to be included in the portfolio from the outset.
When investing for the longer term, you can afford to involve a greater risk component on the expectation of achieving higher investment returns. You have time to “ride” the short-term fluctuations in value as you focus on the expected longer-term rate of return. On the other hand, if you are likely to need access to your investments, a low risk portfolio would reduce the likelihood of your investments having a relatively low value at the time of being liquidated.
Client Risk Aversion
Before investing you need to decide how comfortable you are with investment risk and how much risk you are prepared to take to achieve the returns you want. This is often referred to as your ‘risk profile’. The selection of the appropriate asset allocation and investments must take account of the level of risk appropriate for your circumstances. We attempt to assess your risk profile by taking into account the following factors:
The period over which you will be investing
The likelihood of your needing to access your investments during this period
Your degree of comfort with short-term market fluctuations
Your need for regular income from your investments