Accumulation planning addresses an individual’s investment needs, asset allocation, and the suitability of different types of securities and other assets in light of your goals and risk tolerance.
Asset allocation is used to distribute your investable assets among a variety of investment categories. This process aims to:
- Reduce overall investment risk
- Create more reliable investment forecasts
- Improve the risk/return tradeoff of your assets
Accumulation planning also involves the choice of securities for your investment portfolio. Basic securities are stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Separately managed accounts, option strategies, short-term assets, and annuities also may be used to optimize your portfolio.
Alternative investments may also be an option for the right investor. One of the premier features of alternative investments is diversification, resulting from the inclusion of investments that tend to react differently to the markets than more traditional investments. Managed futures, hedge funds, oil and gas, tax shelters, and real estate are all examples of alternative investments. These products generally involve substantially more risk and limited liquidity.
Some situations require different expertise than typical stock and bond portfolio implementation. These situations usually pertain to employer-related retirement plans and stock options, margin strategies, and real estate exchanges.
Most investors understand that as risk increases, the potential for return also increases. But there is a point for every individual where the level of risk is not worth the potential return. The goal of asset allocation is to provide you with the risk/return scenario that is most comfortable for you.
Investors should note that asset allocation and diversification do not assure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets and neither can guarantee that any objective or goal will be achieved.
Alternative investments may be illiquid in nature, redeemed at more or less than the original amount invested, are subject to special risks, and are not suitable for all investors. There is no assurance that the investment objective will be attained.