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The art of stock portfolio management is about putting together an investment strategy that will help you achieve specific goals, whether it is funding retirement, building wealth, affording your kids' school, or any long-term or short-term goals.
A person’s typical investments and savings include a home, investing in 401K, exchange-traded funds (ETF) and mutual funds, money in the bank accounts and money market, and stocks.
But what is the best way to invest your money?
Compared to other investments, stocks provide the best way to build a nest egg. Yes, there was the hard-hit decade 1998 - 2008, when American stocks actually declined. But this was an anomaly. If you look at historical records while going back to the early 1900s, stocks have performed better than bonds or precious metals.
When you compare an investment in real estate to stocks, for over 20 years stocks provided better returns than real estate. For most of American history, housing prices have risen only a bit more than the level of inflation in the economy. The stock market may have experienced more booms and busts, but it has provided better overall returns.
The kind of returns on investment over the last 20 years that have been experienced by companies such as Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and various telecommunication businesses show the enormous potential of the stock market to build wealth.
There are two styles of portfolio management: active and passive.
With passive management, investors merely accept market returns, believing that markets are efficient and their returns cannot be beaten. Low-cost investments held for the long-term are supposed to provide the best returns.
Those who adhere to passive management embrace the efficient market theory. It’s impossible to beat the market because they automatically reflect all information that affects it - interest rate announcements, changes to company management, and so on).
With active asset management, a portfolio manager tries to beat the market performance, using a specific style of analysis or management. A properly managed active portfolio has the potential to yield high returns while minimizing the risk.
A good active portfolio manager has a knack for value investing – determining the intrinsic worth of a company on the strength of their financial statements and other criteria. By buying undervalued stock with the right performance fundamentals in place, the managers can build a portfolio with long-term wealth potential.
Not only is diversity good for your overall savings portfolio, but it is also an essential strategy for your investment portfolio. You might want a mix of safe mutual funds for retirement savings, stocks with the potential for immense growth but come with more risk and little or no income, and blue-chip stocks that exchange high risk and growth for safety, including good income and quarterly dividends. Undervalued stocks with immense growth potential can be paired with those offering passive growth tied to market indices.
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