Portfolio Investment

Portfolio Investment is the science and art of building a combination of assets to achieve a required rate of return over a period of time. It entails buying and selling of securities such as stocks, bonds, ETFs, real estate, bullion, cryptocurrencies (which are also now an asset class).

Defining Portfolio Investment

Portfolio investment is the bouquet of securities one buys and holds for to attain a rate of returns over a period of time. There can be two ways to participate in the growth and returns of a company. You can buy part of the stock of a company and then become the management of the company or buy stocks or bonds of a company and receive dividends, interest and capital appreciation. The second approach is called Portfolio Investment. Here as a person looking to build financial assets, you will view your Purchasing capacity and Risk bearing capacity before making investments or “buying” certain number of each asset.

Portfolio Investment

Factors Affecting Portfolio Investment

There are various factors which will affect your decisions regarding portfolio investment


Age is a decisive factor as it will define your financial priorities and what are your goals. This will further define the characteristics of the kind of assets you will purchase. For a younger person, assets which can give long-term returns will be preferable as he has that many years left, whereas, for an older person, assets with income features will be most helpful. Most assets such as equities and bonds can be defined as per the age requirement in the form of mutual funds.

Risk Tolerance

This is a very important factor as it will determine if and how much you can invest in risk assets. Most assets which give high returns are also highly risks. This creates a need to assess how much of a loss can you bear on an asset. If your capital gets wiped out it should not affect your financial stability and wealth status. That is how you will get started on understanding your risk appetite.

  1. Usually, it is found that older people, lower income group people will have lower risk appetite as the earning power is less,
  2. There can be exceptions to the above rule when the person has savings earmarked for investment or inheritance allows the person to invest in more risky assets
  3. People with a longer working age left should look at equities as it will give a long-term benefit of accumulation and the number of economic cycles will give more benefit of capital appreciation

Time horizon

This aspect is related to fulfilling of specific financial goals and how much time is left for their fulfillment. If a goal has to say 3 years left to arrive, it makes sense to put the capital in bonds or income funds to ensure the capital safety. 3 years might be a short period to earn a substantial return from the equity market. But one might be able to find a diversified mutual fund which can not only sustain the capital in a good market but also give good returns.

Portfolio Investment Strategy

Most of us understand that a portfolio should contain all types of assets – i.e. it should not be concentrated on a specific type of asset – It should be diversified. This will not only reduce the risks associated with each type of security but also increase the overall returns on the portfolio. There are various strategies of portfolio construction and investment.

Aggressive Portfolio

This kind of portfolio is most suited for people with high-risk appetite as it will include mostly stocks. Stocks are “sensitive” to changes in market indicators – such as inflation, sentiment, macroeconomic data which has a potential to change the profit or loss scenario of that company. Thus, under this, while high return can be expected due to the company’s growth story, or new expansions, it might be also susceptible to setbacks. Managing risk under such a portfolio is of paramount importance so various risk strategies – hedging, shorting, cutting losses after appoint should be considered.

Defensive Portfolio

Certain stocks are providing regular dividends and stable earnings irrespective of the state of the market. These are companies which have a steady flow of revenues and profits and believe in rewarding their shareholders. They are companies of products which are stapled in nature and their sale is mostly stable throughout the year. Their nature is to appreciate in share price less than the normal market when the company is expanding.  Such stocks provide stability to the portfolio. 

Hybrid Portfolio

This is actually the most commonly used type of portfolio. It entails having a healthy mix of assets – equity, bonds, ETFs, bullion, and others. Each asset has a certain percentage in a proportion that the returns are maximized. The portfolio is checked and re-adjusted according to the changes in the underlying factors of the assets. The idea is to have a healthy mix of assets so that there is no exposure to the specific type of market event, cycle, or issues due to market economic cycles. The downs in one asset will be compensated positively by another asset and this creates a balance and safety of capital.

Passive or Active Portfolios

The other types of portfolios are by the style of management of the portfolios. Active and Passive are the 2 styles.

The most important aspect before creating a portfolio is to also look at the costs of acquiring and selling the assets. The assets sometimes can be more expensive in transaction costs while not giving much return. (real estate). Thus again risk appetite is a good benchmark.


Last updated on : January 30th, 2018
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