What You Should Know About Portfolio Allocation

What You Should Know About Portfolio Allocation
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Despite regular advice to the contrary, many investors continue to believe the path to reaching their financial goals comes through constant monitoring of the market, frequent trading, and significant risk.


But instead of remaining glued to your TV or trading app, consider how you’ve structured your existing investment portfolio, and whether it matches your goals of wealth accumulation or preservation.


Consider three basic types of assets:

  • Stocks: These can be volatile in the short term, but their long-term results are necessary for wealth creation.
  • Bonds: These assets are relatively steady compared with stocks, and they tend to move counter to stocks, but they don’t offer the long-term returns needed to build wealth.
  • Cash: This provides the most stable value, but without the returns required to offset taxes and inflation.  


Using those building blocks, construct your portfolio based on your goals and needs. Younger investors or those seeking to build wealth will want a stock-heavy portfolio. Older investors or those seeking to maintain wealth rather than create it over the long term should consider fewer stocks and more stable assets.


Your situation will vary by individual needs and tastes, but MOAA’s Asset Allocation Calculator may offer a good baseline.


[RELATED: More Financial Calculators From MOAA]


The right portfolio allocation puts you on the right financial track. Instead of “timing the market” or endlessly stressing over daily stock prices, make sure your portfolio works for you … not the other way around. 


Learn more about financial resources available to MOAA members – and get the latest news regarding your investments, military pay, taxes, and much more – at MOAA.org/finance.


MOAA's Financial Planning Guide

MOAA PREMIUM and LIFE Members can get advice and insights on how to navigate life’s critical decisions.


About the Author

Lt. Col. Shane Ostrom, USAF (Ret), CFP®
Lt. Col. Shane Ostrom, USAF (Ret), CFP®

Ostrom is MOAA's former Program Director, Financial & Benefits Education/Counseling