Tag Archives: Purchasing power

Capital preservation: more than a strategy

People out from investments usually think that this business is easy and high returns are the common rule. If you say: “I invest”, then they look at you as a rich person, when you probably try to avoid a lost of purchasing power caused by inflation. That is usually the most conservative strategy, but the idea behind that behaviour is capital preservation.

Capital preservation is defined as a conservative strategy that tries to avoid the loss of value of your investments. Some investors are just quiet if their money does not decrease, but this little ambition has an enemy: inflation. If the financial goal reduces only to that narrow meaning of capital preservation, they will surely lose purchasing power in the long term. That’s why this strategy is recommended for safe short-term investments, as bonds or certificates.

However, capital preservation means something else, because it is behind every investment strategy. Whether it is more aggressive or more conservative, it does not mean that the goal behind the scene will not be the same: to keep at least the same as we invest and keeping the same purchasing power. Possibly, someone argues that the more aggressive portfolios are designed to obtain the highest return accepting volatility, but no investor is so fool to accept losing their money without a B-plan.

This B-plan to preserve the capital is rebalancing. When an investor receives alerts from their system, he has to decide when to change his strategy. Regular investors are not traders, but they prefer to invest in the long-term. That’s why these investors have to avoid panic in certain periods when markets are bearish or react negatively due to any external reason (e.g. Brexit or similar). Investors have to look at the long term and analyse with their tools the real effect over their strategy and if they have to rebalance their portfolios. What for? First of all, to preserve their capital; secondly, to serve their strategy (more conservative or more aggressive).

In other words, as the main goal for companies is surviving in the markets, the main goal for an investor is preserving his capital. Returns will come, higher or lower, but these will be the second step. Alerts, optimising modules and bootstrapping systems (as T-Advisor has) are the tools to be successful for it.