8/20/2012 2:45 PM ET|
Determine your asset mix
PORTFOLIO 105: Your asset allocation is your portfolio's blend of stocks, bonds and cash. Finding the best asset mix is crucial if you want to meet your goals.
You've built your emergency fund, determined your goals and their costs, and thought about how much risk you can take. But how do you know which securities to buy? Which ones are going to get you where you need to go?
Before you begin choosing individual mutual funds and stocks, you need to think in broader strokes. You need to consider your asset allocation.
Your asset allocation is your portfolio's blend of stocks, bonds and cash. Finding the best asset mix is crucial to meeting your goals. In fact, most financial advisers agree that setting up the right asset mix is more important than choosing great investments. Determining your asset allocation is easier than ever, thanks to a variety of online calculators and other tools.
This course addresses what you need to know before determining your asset mix and how to use Morningstar.com's Asset Allocator to figure out your blend. It will also discuss the limitations of online asset-allocation tools.
What you need to get started
No matter which asset-allocation tool you use, you'll need to know a few bits of information first. For starters, you need to know your goal. Let's say it's to have $1 million when you retire. You then need four pieces of information about that goal to determine your asset mix.
- The number of years until your goal is reached. You want to retire in 30 years. That's the number of years to your goal.
- How much money you need for your goal. You want to have $1 million when all is said and done.
- How much money you can invest right now. You have $20,000 set aside, so that's your starting amount.
- How much money you can contribute each month. You can invest $800 per month.
Using Morningstar.com's Asset Allocator
Morningstar.com's Asset Allocator can show you how likely you are to reach your goal using a variety of asset blends. It tells you how much risk you'll need to assume to get close to your goal. (Note: Asset Allocator is a benefit of Premium Membership. If you're not a Premium Member yet, you can sample the benefits for free with a trial membership.)
Figuring out what your portfolio should look like is just a matter of plugging in the appropriate information.
For example, we've filled in Asset Allocator's blanks using the information from the last step in this course. The Portfolio Value is $20,000, Monthly Investments are $800, Number of Years is 30 and Financial Goal is $1 million as a lump sum.
Asset Allocator's default asset mix is 0% cash, 30% bonds, 45% large-cap stocks, 15% mid-/small-cap stocks and 10% foreign stocks. The probability of reaching the goal given this default mix isn't that great, though. Asset Allocator estimates that you have only a 26% chance of winding up with $1 million. Your possible three-month loss from this portfolio is an estimated 10.3%.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: -4.30. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: -9.30. The stock market is on track for a lower start as futures on the S&P 500 trade four points below fair value.
Index futures have retreated from their overnight highs following another round of disappointing data from China. This time, it was the Foreign Direct Investment report, which revealed a 1.8% decline (previous -0.4%), leading to concerns about a potential hard landing.
The ... More
More Market News
|There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.|
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'