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When thinking about generating wealth, a stock portfolio is usually one of the first things that comes to mind. However, constructing a stock portfolio that aligns with your investment goals can be challenging.
If you’re looking to invest in the stock market but don’t know where to start, you’re in the right place for a beginner’s guide. Here, we’ll walk you through what you need to know to begin building a stock portfolio from scratch.
Knowing your financial preferences and limits, understanding your investor profile, and setting clear and realistic investment goals are crucial for making informed investment decisions. Here are a few questions that can help you in your process:
Determining the kind of investor you are is key to setting up your asset allocation and constructing your stock portfolio, as different investment goals and profiles come with distinct time horizons and specific diversification strategies.
You should also take into account other factors such as your age, your professional and personal situation, and the tax implications of your investment decisions, as these elements typically influence the level of savings and investments you can afford and play a crucial role in determining how much you should allocate to each asset class.
For example, a long-term goal like retirement could mean a higher allocation to riskier types of stocks like growth stocks or an overall larger portion of your portfolio dedicated to equities, while short-term goals may need a more conservative approach to protect value, with more stable stocks like value stocks or lower-risk assets like bonds and money markets.
There are many different ways of categorising stocks, and knowing the characteristics, pros, and limits of each type will help you build a more efficient stock portfolio and to decide whether or not now is a good time to buy these stocks.
You can, for instance, determine which kind of shares to invest in depending on their market capitalisation, like penny stocks, small caps, mid-caps, and large-caps, depending on their ’goals’ such as growth, value, or income stocks, or depending on their sensitivity to the economic cycles, like cyclical and defensive stocks.
Investing in stocks can be done in different ways, which allows every type of stock investor to find the right investment vehicle for their strategy.
In addition to buying physical individual shares, you can gain exposure to the stock market through other financial products like index funds, mutual funds, or Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) on shares, which offers diversification as they represent a basket of different stocks.
You can also use financial derivatives over the short-term like Contracts for Difference (CFDs) to speculate on the bullish or bearish price movements of underlying assets without owning them directly.
Because the economic landscape evolves, it’s important to occasionally adjust your asset allocation to market conditions and to your personal circumstances, as some of your investment positions may now be over or under-weighted compared to their values’ proportion to your whole portfolio.
It’s important to periodically review and rebalance your stock portfolio to be sure that your holdings still align with your current financial planning, risk tolerance, and objectives, as well as future needs.
Is It Better to Construct Your Stock Portfolio Independently or Seek Assistance from a Financial Advisor?
Beginners often prefer to get investment advice from a financial planner to develop a personalised investment strategy, to navigate the complexities of the different asset classes, and receive step-by-step guidance tailored to their investment style and to their level of risk tolerance.
However, if you have enough knowledge of the different types of investments that exist and how they can be integrated into your portfolio management strategy, then you’ll be able to build your own portfolio by yourself. But remember that past performance does not guarantee future success, and that you should always create a diversified stock portfolio to mitigate your overall risks.
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