Every investor has his or her own strategy, style and risk tolerance. Obviously no one investment will be appropriate for everyone. Have you ever considered that certain investments may be more or less suitable for your portfolio based on your age? Below is an overview to help you identify investment opportunities according to your stage in life.
When we talk about investments and consider the age factor, it all boils down to risk. We've all heard the old cliche about greater risk bringing greater rewards. On the other hand, it can also result in greater loss. So as we define which types of investments are appropriate at each stage of the human life cycle, we do it within the framework of risk level involved.
Ah, to be young! Early-life investors have one tremendous weapon against the downside of risk – time. People in this age group can and should invest is speculative stocks and other high-risk (and possibly high-reward) investment. The reasoning is that if the high-risk stocks result in loss, the investor has plenty of time in which to make up for that loss.
Ages 36 – 55
As an investor enters the early-midlife stage, he or she must start building a strong portfolio base. In order to do so, a widely recommended strategy is to start adding more growth-oriented stocks to your mix of speculative investments. The percentage of growth stocks to risky stocks will depend greatly on the individual's comfort with risk as well as his or her investment history and experience.
Ages 56 – 65
The later midlife stage naturally produces greater risk intolerance. This age group of investors should be focused on growth and income investment opportunities more than high-risk speculative stocks. The strategy here is to protect and grow a solid portfolio. Investors who have done well in the past and are comfortable with risk may still choose to engage in speculative opportunities, especially if they have keen instincts.
Ages 65 and Up
Investment opportunities that are most appropriate for this age group include income driven stocks and safe investments that will generate interest that the individual can live off. Most people spend a lifetime building up a nest egg. Though retirement is seen by many as the time to finally enjoy the rewards of a lifetime of investment, it is also important to secure some regular, ongoing income by way of interest and / or dividends.
No matter what age group you fall into, you must know that the only way to grow a portfolio while minimizing risk and volatility is to diversify. Spreading your assets among various different types of investments will balance your portfolio and minimize downside. Some of the asset classes you should include are stocks, bonds and short-term investments. You should also aim to diversify your investments within each asset class. By doing so, you minimize risk further because you are less likely to take a big hit when a single investment performs poorly.