Saturday, December 5, 2009

Choosing Value versus Growth Does Make a Difference

Some interesting observations regarding portfolio components. Notice how the Intermediate Diversification porfolio outperforms the Maximum Diversified portfolio. Additional diversification is supposed to first of all, reduce risk and often improve performance. In this case, the maximum diversfied portfolio, that contains mixtures of Value and Growth capitalizations, underperforms the simpler Intermediate portfolio, which only includes large cap, mid cap, small cap. Obviously, I need to do my homework and choose value and growth allocations in a better managed way so those using the Max diversified portfolios don't suffer.

Also, notice how the riskiest (#9) portfolios all outperformed the SP 500, even in the basic allocations. I use the IShares Total Market ETF (IYY) in some of my portfolios. Notice how the IYY has outperformed the SP 500 this year.

Although there are differences between the results of the three diversification models, you can get a good idea of how well your portfolios are meeting benchmark portfolios. If you are underperforming benchmarks for your risk tolerance by a reasonable amount, you might want to consider getting better advice. If you are outperforming these returns by a reasonable amount, you might want to review the amount of risk you are taking.

You should always understand your risk tolerance level and diversify your portfolio accordingly. Keep in mind also that mutual fund fees and expenses can eat away at your net return. You must be aware of your costs as expenses must reduce your return. If you are still getting strong returns despite high costs, then you must be taking more risk in your portfolio.

In the end, always review your investment decisions with a qualified financial planner who is not trying to sell you products.

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