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Diversification could pay dividends

By John Hayward
This article is published on: 14th December 2013

For most people the aim of diversifying their savings and investments is to reduce risk. This is a creditable approach but the proof of its creditability can generally be seen over the long term.

The danger of focusing on the FTSE100
“The FTSE100 has gone up 50% over the last year. Why haven´t my savings gone up by the same amount?” Focusing on the FTSE100 can be misleading as it represents a small percentage of global economic performance and, for the cautious investor, is not a realistic indicator. If the savings had increased by 50% in a year, undoubtedly they would have gone down by a similar amount in times gone by. When putting together a cautious portfolio for the retired expatriate, who tends to focus on capital protection, firing 100% of the cash at equities would seem risky if not careless.

Investment cycles
The fact is that ALL investments tend to work in cycles. With a diversified range of investments, whether this is based on asset type or geographical area, history has shown us that when one might be going down there is another going up. If everything moved by the same amount, albeit at different times, there is the risk that, over time, nothing would be accomplished as the ups would merely counter the downs.

Timing the markets
There is an expression that it is time in the markets not timing the markets. The perfect situation would be to time exactly when to get into, and then out of, investments. There are not many, if any, that get timing correct.

The benefits of dividends
In volatile equity markets, dividend paying shares and funds can create cashflow. Whilst the underlying capital might be reducing in value due to a major global catastrophe in or mismanagement of finances by those in global authority, many companies could be making significant profits and translating these into dividends. There are funds which have been pay 5% or more a year in dividends. In time, whilst the dividend flow has been merrily producing the necessary income stream, the underlying investments should rise. One thing is clear. After a perceived Armageddon there has often been an opposite and greater Valhalla.

The long term view
The problem is that, as much as people say they understand the long term nature of investments, when there is a downturn in markets there tends to be panic. They sell when markets have fallen and potentially guarantee a loss.

The need to improve on bank deposit returns
The simple truth is that interest rates are low and are likely to stay that way for some time to come. Traditional savings are not paying what they use to. Low interest rates are great for mortgage holders but not for those who rely on interest to pay their bills. Therefore there is the need to find other sources for the desired income.

With a well-diversified portfolio ranging from deposits for today´s expenses through to equities for longer term needs, reviewed on a regular basis, the chances of having an affordable retirement are greatly improved. Wrapped in a Spanish compliant life bond, you can also benefit from very low taxes in Spain.

Whether it is QROPS, financial planning, or life assurance advice in Javea, Denia, Moraira, Valencia, Madrid, Barcelona or Malaga, we can help with your financial planning needs.

Article by John Hayward

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