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Behind the Balance Sheet is a top training consultancy for professional equity analysts with clients including Schroders, Legal and General, Baillie Gifford, Ruffer, Pictet and many more. Founder Steve Clapham is a veteran analyst with many years of experience on the sell side and as a partner and head of research at two multi billion hedge funds. He now also runs online courses for private investors. Watch the video to learn more.
An investment strategy is what guides an investor’s decisions based on goals, risk tolerance, and future needs for capital. Some investment strategies seek rapid growth where an investor focuses on capital appreciation, or they can follow a low-risk strategy where the focus is on wealth protection.
Diversifying your portfolio is important to manage your risk. What does diversification mean? It means spreading your risk between investments with different characteristics, so that if one investment, or group of investments doesn’t perform well it doesn’t do too much damage to the overall performance of your portfolio.
For example, it is unwise for your portfolio to be invested in only one or two companies: should one of those companies fail, you could lose a very large part of your available capital, which it would be hard to recover from.
There are various ways you can diversify your portfolio. Most obviously by investing in several companies. Another consideration, however, is geographical diversification, i.e. not having all your investments linked to the economic performance of one country or region. A common failing of investors is “home country bias”, i.e. focusing your investments on companies operating in the country you live in or are most familiar with. Should that country underperform economically (or if shares in that country’s markets appear overpriced), that will damage your returns, so it makes sense to include investments that are exposed to a variety of regions in your portfolio (biasing towards those that appear to offer the best prospective returns).