The Importance of a Diversified Portfolio

Content Producer · 15 October 2020
Diversification is a simple and powerful tool investors can use to help mitigate risk and achieve more consistent returns within their investment portfolio.

It could mean investing in a variety of different asset classes to limit your exposure to any one particular sector. As renowned investor and fund manager Sir John Templeton once said, “The only investors who shouldn’t diversify are those who are right 100% of the time”.

Put simply, diversification means don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

How diverse is your portfolio?

To assess the diversity of your portfolio, list all of your investments and what they’re worth. This may include cash in savings accounts and term deposits, equities and ETFs, fixed income investments, cash style investments, and property holdings such as direct property ownership or an investment in a property trust. Reviewing the asset classes you’re currently invested in can help to understand the balance within your portfolio.

As a first step, consider your diversification across growth and defensive investments. Growth investments of are often higher risk and aim to provide capital growth over the long term such as property or equities. Defensive investments on the other hand, are generally lower risk and aim to provide income and preserve capital such as cash or fixed interest investments.

The right balance between the two will be determined by your personal objectives, financial circumstances and risk appetite. Engaging a licensed professional to assist you with this may be beneficial.

A higher weighting of growth assets is generally more suitable for long-term investors who are able to withstand market volatility, while those more focused on generating a consistent income and lowering their risk of potential and significant capital loss should hold more defensive assets within their portfolio.

→ Related story: 3 Diversified Investment Options For Your Portfolio

Choosing the right investment mix can be challenging. We recommend seeking advice from a licensed financial adviser before making any investment decisions.

If most of your wealth is currently invested in only one or two assets or asset classes, there may be opportunities in the current environment to further diversify your portfolio. In the case of equities, for example, there are opportunities to pursue several different types of diversification at once, including industry, company size, and region.

The same principle applies across other asset classes too. In the case of property, for example, if a single investment property makes up a large proportion of an investor’s portfolio, this could mean their risk is highly concentrated.

Investing in property indirectly through a vehicle such as a diversified property fund, may enable wider exposure to different property types and locations, which can perform very differently to each other over time.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, some retail property values have been impacted while the industrial property sector has generally performed much better.

An ongoing process

Diversification is not a ‘set and forget’ exercise, and ongoing portfolio maintenance is important. This is because investors’ personal circumstances and risk profiles change over time, as do the values of their assets. To manage the diversification of your investment portfolio, we recommend seeking advice from a licensed financial adviser.

If you’re comparing Online Share Trading companies, the comparison table below displays some of the companies available on Canstar’s database with links to the company’s website. The information displayed is based on an average of 6 trades per month. Please note the table is sorted by Star Rating (highest to lowest) followed by provider name (alphabetical). Use Canstar’s Online Share Trading comparison selector to view a wider range of Online Share Trading companies.

Trilogy logoLearn more about investing in Trilogy’s range of mortgage trusts, diversified income funds and property trusts.

Share this article