Diversification

Diversification is a portfolio strategy that combines multiple low or uncorrelated assets to reduce overall risk exposure.
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Diversification is a form of hedging and is key to a balanced portfolio. A mixture of diverse securities minimizes the unsystematic risk associated with allocating capital to a single stock or sector and reduces the effects of market volatility.  

Diversification has shown the ability to produce more consistent returns over long time periods. As with any form of hedging, diversification comes at a compromise of total profit potential.

Diversification allows investors to construct a portfolio that maximizes return while limiting risk by varying asset allocation between domestic and international equities, bonds, money markets, commodities, and cash to help reduce the risk of individual security price fluctuations and maximize overall portfolio performance. Because different asset classes tend to perform better in different parts of the economic cycle, diversification provides exposure to assets that may outperform the returns of underperforming assets to bolster the overall portfolio.

Investors may use beta-weighting, R-squared correlation, or delta-neutral strategies to measure their portfolio’s correlation to major index benchmarks to forecast how the portfolio will perform and react to changes in market conditions.

Diversification can help lower the variance of a portfolio and help create a smoother equity curve over time. In theory, diversification works because some assets will perform well while others underperform. Research has shown that when volatility increases, investments tend to move in sync with one another, thus rendering diversification less effective when markets crash.

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FAQs

How does diversification protect investors?

Diversification is a portfolio strategy that combines low or uncorrelated assets to reduce overall risk exposure. Because different asset classes tend to perform better in different parts of the economic cycle, diversification provides exposure to assets that may outperform under-performing assets’ returns to bolster the portfolio’s overall performance.

A mixture of diverse securities minimizes the unsystematic risk associated with allocating capital to a single stock or sector and reduces the effects of market volatility. Diversification is a form of hedging and is key to a balanced portfolio. Diversification has shown the ability to produce more consistent returns over long time periods.

As with any form of hedging, diversification comes at a compromise of total profit potential. Diversification allows investors to construct a portfolio that maximizes return while reducing risk by varying asset allocation between domestic and international equities, bonds, money market securities, commodities, real estate, alternative investments, and cash to help reduce the risk of individual security price fluctuations to maximize the overall portfolio performance.

What is an example of diversification?

Diversification allows investors to construct a portfolio that maximizes return while reducing risk by varying asset allocation between domestic and international equities, bonds, money market securities, commodities, real estate, alternative investments, and cash to help reduce the risk of individual security price fluctuations and maximize overall portfolio performance.

Because the performance of different asset classes varies in different parts of the economic cycle, diversification provides exposure to assets that may outperform under-performing assets’ returns to bolster the portfolio’s overall performance.

Investors may use beta-weighting, R-squared correlation, or delta-neutral strategies to measure their portfolio’s correlation to major index benchmarks and forecast how the portfolio will react to changes in market conditions.

For example, with beta-weighting, if a portfolio consisted of one position with a positive delta of .50, a new position could be added with a negative delta of -.50 to create a diversified portfolio. Diversification can help lower the volatility of a portfolio and help create a smoother equity curve over time.

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