Chapter 5 INVESTMENT POLICYSTATEMENTS AND ASSET ALLOCATION ISSUES
Chapter 5 Questions• What is asset allocation?• What are four basic risk management strategies?• How and why do investment goals change over a person’s lifetime and circumstances?• What are the four steps in the portfolio management process?
Chapter 5 Questions• Why is a policy statement important to the planning process?• What objectives and constraints should be detailed in the policy statement?• Why is investment education necessary?• What is the role of asset allocation in investment planning?• Why do asset allocation strategies differ across national boundaries?
What is asset allocation?• The process of deciding how to distribute wealth among asset classes, sectors, and countries for investment purposes.• Not an isolated choice, but rather a component of the portfolio management process.
Managing Risk Since risk drives expected return, investing involves managing risk rather than managing return.
Risk Management Strategies• Risk Avoidance – Can avoid any real chances of loss – Generally a poor strategy except for a part of an overall portfolio• Risk Anticipation – Position part of your portfolio to protect against anticipated risk factors – For example, maintain a cash reserve
Risk Management Strategies• Risk Transfer – Insurance and other investment vehicles can allow for the transfer of risk, often at a price, to another investor who is willing to bear the risk• Risk Reduction – Effective diversification and asset allocation strategies can reduce risk, sometimes without sacrificing expected return.
Individual Investor Life CycleThe individual investors life cycle can often be described using four separate phases or stages:• Accumulation Phase• Consolidation Phase• Spending Phase• Gifting Phase
Accumulation Phase• Early to middle years of careers• Attempting to satisfy intermediate and long- term goals• Net worth is usually small, debt may be heavy• Long-term investment horizon means usually willing to take moderately high risks in order to make above-average returns
Consolidation Phase• Past career midpoint• Have paid off much of their accumulated debt• Earnings now exceed living expenses, so the balance can be invested• Time horizon is still long-term, so moderately high risk investments are still attractive
Spending Phase• Usually begins at retirement• Saving before, prudent spending now• Living expenses covered by Social Security and retirement plans• Changing emphasis toward preservation of capital, but still want investment values to keep pace with inflation
Gifting Phase• Can be concurrent with spending phase• If resources allow, individuals can now use excess assets to provide gifts to other individuals or organizations• Estate planning becomes important, especially tax considerations
The Portfolio Management ProcessA four step process:1. Construct a policy statement2. Study current financial conditions and forecast future trends3. Construct a portfolio4. Monitor needs and conditions
The Portfolio Management Process1. Policy statement – Specifies investment goals and acceptable risk levels – The “road map” that guides all investment decisions
The Portfolio Management Process2. Study current financial and economic conditions and forecast future trends – Determine strategies that should meet goals within the expected environment – Requires monitoring and updates since financial markets are ever-changing
The Portfolio Management Process3. Construct the portfolio – Given the policy statement and the expected conditions, go about investing – Allocate available funds to meet goals while managing risk
The Portfolio Management Process4. Monitor and update – Revise policy statement as needed – Monitor changing financial and economic conditions – Evaluate portfolio performance – Modify portfolio investments accordingly
The Policy Statement• Understand and articulate realistic goals – Know yourself – Know the risks and potential rewards from investments• Learn about standards for evaluating portfolio performance – Know how to judge average performance – Adjust for risk
The Policy Statement• Don’t try to navigate without a map!• Important Inputs: – Investment Objectives – Investment Constraints
Investment Objectives Need to specify return and risk objectives – Need to consider the risk tolerance of the investor – Return goals need to be consistent with risk tolerance – These will change over time
Investment ObjectivesPossible broad goals:• Capital preservation – Maintain purchasing power – Minimize the risk of loss• Capital appreciation – Achieve portfolio growth through capital gains – Accept greater risk
Investment Objectives• Current income – Look to generate income rather than capital gains – May be preferred in “spending phase” – Relatively low risk• Total return – Combining income returns and reinvestment with capital gains – Moderate risk
Investment ConstraintsThese factors may limit or at least impact the investment choices:• Liquidity needs – How soon will the money be needed?• Time horizon – How able is the investor to ride out several bad years?• Legal and Regulatory Factors – Legal restrictions often constrain decisions – Retirement regulations
Investment Constraints• Tax Concerns – Realized capital gains vs. Ordinary income? – Taxable vs. Tax-exempt bonds? – Regular IRA vs. Roth IRA? – 401(k) and 403(b) plans• Unique needs and preferences – Perhaps the investor wishes to avoid types of investments for ethical reasons
Investment Education• The type of information necessary to construct a good policy statement is neither “common sense” or “common knowledge.”• Many investors fail to diversify.• Many fail to plan completely.• Data indicates that many Americans have greatly under-invested for the future.• The bottom line: If you do not plan for the future, you will likely not be prepared for it.
Asset Allocation DecisionsFour decisions in an investment strategy:• What asset classes should be considered?• What should be the normal weight for each asset class?• What are the allowable ranges for the weights?• What specific securities should be purchased?
The Importance of Asset Allocation• The asset allocation decision (which classes and at what weights) is very important. Using fund data: – About 90% of return variability over time can be explained by asset allocation. – About 40% of the differences between returns can be explained by differences in asset allocation.• Asset allocation is thus the major factor that drives portfolio risk and return.
Risk/Return History and Asset AllocationLooking at return data on various asset classes indicate some important factors for investors: – Over long time horizons, stocks have always outperformed low-risk investments. – So the additional risk of stock investing (higher return standard deviations) over shorter time horizons seems to all but disappear over time. – Need to consider real investment returns over taxes and costs
Asset Allocation and Cultural Differences• Differences in social, political, and tax environments influence asset allocation.• For instance, 58% of pension fund assets are invested in equities in the U.S. – 78% in equities in United Kingdom, where high average inflation impacts this choice – 8% in equities in Germany, where generous government pensions and greater risk aversion seem to play a strong role
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