Issue No.1


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Advisors having determined the profile of his/her client will generally consider recommending one of 3 primary portfolios: Conservative, Balance or Growth portfolios as shown in Table 1,

Table 1

Type of Portfolio

Personality Type

Conservative Portfolio

Conservative Investor

Cautious Investor


Fixed Income Investments


20% - 30%

70% - 80%


10% - 20%

60% - 70%

10% - 30%

Balanced Portfolio


Prudent Investor

Assertive Investor


Fixed Income Investments



20% - 50%

40% - 65%


5% - 25%

55% - 80%

Aggressive Portfolio

Aggressive Investor


Fixed Income Investments


0% - 10%

0% - 10%

80% - 95%

By observing Table 1, the following can be concluded:

Up to 30% of a conservative's portfolio is in cash for capital preservation purposes. An average of 75% weight is towards fixed income securities such as bonds.

Investments in a cautious investor's portfolio are for a period of at least three years. Investment in equity is introduced which constitutes up to a maximum of 30% of the portfolio value.

Investments are for a minimum of five years and will have at least 20% up to a maximum of half of the portfolio in equity. A higher weightage in equity is an offsetting factor against inflation and tax.

Investments in an assertive investor's portfolio are for not less than seven years and will have about three-quarters of the portfolio in equity. The risk in equity investments are partially offset by investments in fixed income securities and cash which constitutes between 5% - 25% of the portfolio.

Investments are for at least ten years and will have most of the portfolio in stocks and shares. In terms of equity investments, the bias is towards more aggressive investments which may include derivatives.

Market conditions are constantly changing and the asset allocation in Table 1 is for illustrative purposes. Investment advisors may presently be considering reweighting their recommendation taking into account current market conditions of peaking interest rates which suggests an overweight in bonds. The reason is that it is possible to have capital gains because the market value of a bond will generally go up if interest rates goes down but the converse is also true.

For a prudent investor, his/her portfolio may be re-adjusted in response expectations of a fall in interest rates by a reduction of equity in his/her portfolio to 40% in the portfolio and a higher weight of say, 50% of the portfolio value may be invested in bonds. Adopting this strategy may see high yield bonds investments and capital gains to be made when interest rates start to fall. Portfolios can be modified in response to near term investment expectations.

An investor's attitude towards risk is an important aspect in constructing a portfolio. This may be achieved when an investment advisor who has carefully determined an investor's profile and risk tolerance.

There is an old saying that says if you as an investor is unable "to sleep at night" as a result of being concerned for your investments, then you should not consider making those investments. But for those prepared to accept that the likely long term benefits of a more risky stock market investments will involve a short risk, you can vary the risk profile of your portfolio considerably in the selection of the investments you include in it.