We know that each of property, shares and fixed interest asset classes satisfy certain investment objectives, and that your short-, medium-, and long-term needs and goals ought to determine what proportion of each you hold in your portfolio.
If long-term capital growth is your goal, you should bias or "weight" your portfolio towards shares and property. If you need regular income and security, you should weight your portfolio towards cash and fixed interest. If you want both growth and income, then you should have an even spread of investments across all these assets.
So far, so good, but how are you going to do all this? How do you know what proportion of each class you should hold and how will you know which specific investments' progress? Do you have access to all the raw information you'll need to keep up-to-date with the markets and will you be able to make sense of it when you get it anyway? And what about the time involved - how much have you got to spare?
If it all sounds like too much hard work, don't worry. There is an easy way around the difficulties, namely, investing in professionally managed investment funds.
The idea behind managed funds is very simple. You let investment professionals do some or all of the work involved in creating and managing an investment portfolio for you. They charge a fee for this service but, in return, they save you the time and effort involved in selecting stock and monitoring its performance. Theoretically, they should also be able to achieve better returns than you or the average man or woman on the street because they're the professionals with their fingers on the market pulse. (The theory's good - but it doesn't always hold up in practice.)
Whether managed investments are right for you depends on:
- to what extent you want to control the investment selection process yourself
- how much you want to be involved in your portfolio's ongoing management
If you have the confidence and the time to manage you own investments and are reluctant to delegate this responsibility to someone else, that's fine - it's a perfectly acceptable way of managing your affairs and one I recommend to many investors, particularly those with some market experience. But for those of you with limited time, limited investment experience, and limited confidence in your ability to pick the right assets, investing through managed funds is a sensible way to go.
Other people would seem to think so too. Managed funds are a very popular investment in many parts of the world and Australians have around $ 2,633 billion invested in them, which includes around $2,032 billion invested in superannuation funds