Tag Archives: rebalance

Ideas to survive with your investments in political risky times

Investments: bearish against bullish

The current year has been commented several times as a year in which political risks will play a role: Brexit, Trump, elections in France and Germany, amongst others. We usually think in other kind of risks when we speak about investments, but in this case it is possible that we have to consider the political factor.

Anyway, we want to obtain the best returns with the lower risk. How could you move your assets in 2017 with this scenario?

First of all, check yourself. No, we do not speak about your health, but about your financial needs and plans. Do your budget, organise a cash flow, analyse your expenditures and think about your financial goals.

Secondly, analyse quietly your portfolio. Is it correctly diversified? Have you recently checked the evolution and consider a rebalance? It is important to take into account that diversification is not a matter of number of securities or different kind of them (equities, fixed-income…). It has more to do with avoiding correlations and considering factors. What does factor here mean? Think about that you have different kind of securities from UK. If all your investments are connected with this country, you have the Brexit factor and this political issue will condition the returns. That needs a wide view over the reality.

Thirdly, in order to choose the best assets for your portfolio in uncertain times, remember to check some figures, as:

  • Trading volume and liquidity: it is very relevant that the asset has a high trade rate and it is easy to sell, in order to avoid counterparty risks.
  • Volatility: the higher it is, the higher is the risk that you have to deal with deep price changes.
  • Past performance and bootstrapping: it is true that past returns do not guarantee future ones, but an analysis of the past trend combined with a forward testing with a bootstrapping tool can be helpful to select better securities for your portfolio.
  • Correlation with its benchmark: this is quite important, even more if the market is risky.

Finally, the main rule for investors in uncertain times (as we are living now) is common sense. Invest only the money left, not the amount to pay your mortgage, think about how regular and safe are your incomes and be reasonable with your goals.

What does portfolio optimisation mean?

Think about your portfolio. It does not perform as you would like and you do not know how to implement changes to improve the returns. Should you read all kind of reports? Of all possible assets? That’s nonsense. There should be a method to optimise and change efficiently your portfolio. There is actually and method: portfolio optimisation.

When we talk about it, it means the process of choosing the weights of different assets for your portfolio in order to obtain the best possible returns compared with similar portfolio compositions or risk profiles. The main measures taken into account are the expected returns and the expected volatility. Optimisation systems include limits of accepted volatility and weight per assets.

The system is linked to the Markowitz Efficient Frontier model that pretends to guide your investments maximizing your performances and reducing the risk. The main point that supports this model is choosing low-correlated or uncorrelated assets. Smart diversification is the idea behind it. An efficient portfolio means a well-diversified one.

Portfolio optimisation efficient frontier

Optimisation systems are professional tools to improve the portfolio results, but it has been implemented in T-Advisor for individuals. It is not easy, because you have to play with the following indicators:

  • Asset correlation
  • Maximum volatility
  • Expected return
  • Maximum weight per asset

The smart combination of the four indicators provides the success of the investment. They can change depending on your risk profile, but accepting a higher risk does not mean being suicidal.

Portfolio optimisation result charts

There is also another very important point: the costs. If you optimise your portfolio and follow the results of the optimiser tool, you have to rebalance your portfolio. A rebalance means trades to buy and sell in order to compose the portfolio following the optimisation indications and… it has costs. However, we have to remind that investments are for long-term and rebalances should be executed every certain time. In these cases, costs can be balanced out with the improvement of the returns. If you are a day trader, then forget this, because you are other kind of investor.

The results of the T-Advisor model portfolios in 2016

T-Advisor, as wealth management solution for individuals and professionals, has not only tools for own investments, but also proposals to follow or even copy. That’s why our system has its own model portfolios. They are nine: five related to risk profile (from aggressive to very conservative) and five related to countries (Germany, UK, Spain in Europe and Mexico and Nasdaq 100 in the Americas).

How do they work? We select between four and six ETFs for the risk-profiled portfolios and up to ten stocks for the country portfolios. The main point for us is capital preservation. That’s why our results, when they are negative, are better than the markets. To obtain those results, we rebalance the portfolios every two months. These rebalances let us improve the results, as we exclude the positions more affected by market negative waves and substitute them for better stocks or ETFs. Diversification is also part of the strategy. We select the securities with the best score and relevant figures to obtain the best results.

These are the results for 2016 for our risk-profiled model portfolios:

1-Y-return 2016 1-Y-return 2015 Volatility Sharpe ratio
Aggressive

5.85%

-2.53%

12.51%

1.51

Dynamic

5.29%

1.47%

11.14%

1.52

Balanced

1.79%

3.53%

6.18%

1.42

Conservative

2.68%

1.52%

2.82%

1.35

Very conservative

0.90%

0.80%

2.07%

0.55

The figures were collected on January, 2nd, and we compare the results of 2015 and 2016. There is a general improvement (except the balanced strategy, although it is positive anyway). We have to remember that the year was quite unstable in the markets, as there have been several surprises that affected negatively. Despite this instability, none of our strategies closed with negative returns.

And now the results of our country portfolios:

1-Y-return 2016 1-Y-return 2015 Volatility Sharpe ratio Index
Germany

41.37%

44.70%

14.01%

6.98

6.87% (DAX)

Spain

1.31%

5.74%

16.17%

2.13

-2.01% (Ibex)

México

14.58%

23.96%

13.98%

5.61

+6.20% (IPC)

Nasdaq 100

24.68%

2.97%

9.58%

4.71

+7.50% (Nasdaq)

UK

9.03%

18.32%

15.99%

4.69

+14.43% (FTSE)

Except the UK portfolio, our strategies outperformed their benchmarks, but even the British one obtained a quite good return. The best performer was the German strategy again and the worst was the Spanish, but in this last case, the benchmark Ibex finished with a negative result.

Learn more about our portfolios and the assets included in our platform. Aren’t you tempted to clone them? We have a tool to let our users do it. Let’s try it and compare the results with your investments!