Finance: A Diversified Portfolio To Stabilize Your Investment Income

By Adriana Noton

Investing in the stock market is a risk, but it can be managed if it is handled the right way. One of the biggest downfalls of many beginner investors is the fact that they do not spread their money out enough and when one sector of the market gets hit, they end up losing their entire portfolio. A diversified portfolio will protect you against that from ever happening.

Having a diversified portfolio is like having an emergency brake on your investment account. Just when you think that the investment world is speeding out of control, your diversification is there to slam on the breaks and ensure that you are protected against a sure disaster. For every market that goes down, there is one that goes up and if you correctly diversify, your other stocks can recover from the ones that are hurting you.

One of the keys to a diversified portfolio is to have your money spread out over several sectors. The market can shift without warning and while you may have one sector that is in decline, you will have others that will continue to grow and offset those losses. As you are putting together your portfolio, a nice mix of cyclical and countercyclical investments is strongly recommended.

The cyclical stocks are going to be where you will see the greatest fluctuation in income and where you will probably have the most movement in your account. These are the types of investments that pay off during flourishing times. For instance, when the "cash for clunkers" promotion was going on, the auto industry received a quick boost. Ford stock went through the roof compared to its price just a few short weeks prior and this paid off for its investors.

Now just because the market or economy is on a downward trend does not mean that cyclical stocks are bad to have in your portfolio during down times. It is actually quite the contrary. There are still business that flourish when other industries and the market as a whole are spiraling downward. A good example in recent times would be the shipping industry and steel industry as they ramp up for the upcoming push in construction and shipping of goods to suppliers.

However, you still want to mix in countercyclical stocks for stabilization. These are stocks that are going to show moderate gains regardless of what the overall market is doing. Investing in food companies along with energy and health care companies will go a long way to even everything out in good times and more importantly, in bad.

Volatility in a stock is also something to be concerned with. While most of your countercyclical stocks will be higher priced investments, you can take a larger risk with small cap stocks that have a huge payoff on them when you are right. These stocks will usually be associated with smaller companies that show dramatic swings. When the swing is in your favor, you can see upwards of a 500% profit on your investment in a single day.

Having a diversified portfolio is what every investor strives for and what keeps them in the market when other people are still watching from the sideline. Having a good mix allows you to take the slow and steady profits from the big name companies and also allows you to explore some riskier investments with the possibility of a huge payoff. You can spread your money around and hopefully allow yourself to build an investment portfolio that will truly make those retirement years golden. - 31382

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