“What should I invest in?” – a common question that I receive in my course of work and on my social media channels.
However, before going further, I would recommend reading the article I wrote about finding your risk profile and Need Ability and Preference for taking Risk.
I once met a client who had the Preference of a Very Conservative risk profile – this means she has very low tolerance for risk to the point that the negative effect of inflation will not concern her, provided her principal is protected. However, she had an expectation of affording the down payment to a property. A simple calculation of her savings rate was not going to even get her halfway to her goal in her desired time frame. This revealed the Need for her to make her money work harder and I had to manage her expectations so that she could have the Ability of reaching that goal without taking excessive Risk.
Now you see the complexity that one’s Preference alone towards Risk cannot be the only yardstick towards planning his/her financial goals; They must be used interdependently with Need and Ability to take Risk.
However, if we take a moment to indulge ourselves in an ideal scenario, the following may be the starting points of a conversation I would have with clients of the varying Risk Profiles. For Conservative all the way to Aggressive, we look to balance between prioritizing capital preservation for Conservative Investors and maximizing growth opportunity for Very Aggressive Investors.
For Conservative investors, apart from high-yielding savings accounts and fixed deposits, one could look at endowment programmes with insurers which usually endow with at least the guarantee of principal invested at the end of the tenure. However, one must be aware that entering such programmes usually require to adhere to the contractual time, failing which, one would usually get less than what was invested. It would also be beneficial to consider investments with an overweight in Investment Grade Bonds and Blue-chip Companies which have an economic moat, good management, track record of consistent earnings, and little to no debt.
For Moderate Investors, characterized as a medium tolerance for risk. One seeks returns from a balanced portfolio that offers an opportunity to cope with inflation and grow principal. One could look to strike a balance with investments in endowments as well a balanced portfolio of bonds and stocks, introducing a measured exposure of higher-yielding bonds and companies with greater growth potential – this naturally requires one to take a higher amount of risk relative to a conservative investor, but would enable one more confidence in the growth of his principal.
For Aggressive Investors, characterized as a high tolerance for risk. One seeks capital appreciation on investment over a medium- to long-term and understands that his portfolio may fluctuate in investment value and principal may not be protected. This calls for an overweight in growth stocks and may even consider allocating a portion of portfolio towards alternative investment classes that are less proven but associated with high risk/high return like derivatives, commodities, cryptocurrencies.
I hope that this article provides a better idea of what investments may be suitable for you. However, financial planning is not just about saving and spending, there are multiple intricacies to consider. If you ever find a very promising investment opportunity, always ask yourself: are you willing to subject your future financial goals entirely to the performance of this investment? Always seek a financial professional before committing to an investment. If you have any questions regarding investments, feel free to reach out to me for an exploratory discussion.
DISCLAIMER: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and not necessarily to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual.