Building an investment portfolio is a complex task. It requires several tasks, including setting goals, risk tolerance, and time horizons. After settling these, the investor needs to choose the assets matching these criteria. Besides these, regularly monitoring and evaluating the portfolio performance is also essential to ensure that the assets successfully work together to help reach the financial goals.
There are several ways to evaluate how well the portfolio is performing. Professional portfolio monitoring services use these crucial keys for the purpose.
- Stocks Quality
Evaluators can assess the stocks quality in an investment portfolio by looking at its ability to bring higher returns over a period of time. They check the mutual funds’ leadership position in the industry to get an idea. Good quality stocks in a portfolio will reflect in performance hence returns. Portfolio monitoring services use historical performance and qualitative statistics to evaluate performance.
- Investment Goals
When investors build a portfolio, they likely set their financial goals and determine the average return they must meet in a year. Considering this data, portfolio monitoring services review their portfolio performance and check whether it is on the right track to fulfill those goals.
For investors, it is crucial to understand that investment is a long-term venture that provides returns over time. Those who have started investing only recently will experience greater effects on their portfolio with short-term market fluctuations. They may not show in their long-term plan’s annual returns. However, those investing for a long time will observe effects on their portfolio for the longer-term performance.
Investors whose long-term returns are not aligned with their investment goals must reconsider their objectives and choose cost-effective alternatives. They may also need to reconsider their risk tolerance and enrich their portfolio with stocks. These assets are riskier but have the potential to deliver higher returns.
- Risk Tolerance
An investor’s risk tolerance level plays a crucial role in building the investment portfolio. Consequently, it is a critical key to evaluating portfolio performance as well. Those with a low-risk tolerance level are likely to invest in assets that smoothen over volatility as far as possible. However, a volatile portfolio brings higher returns as compared to low-risk investments bringing lower returns. If a low-risk portfolio is underperforming in a rising market, it might be smoothing out the ups and downs. If a portfolio outperforms an increasing market, it might be because the portfolio is more concentrated in one type of investment.
- Market Index
One key to evaluating a portfolio’s performance is benchmarking it against the market index. For instance, investors may compare their S&P 500 portfolio performance with its performance with the market in a broader sense. If portfolio performance is down along with a market downturn, the problem is with the market rather than the investor’s portfolio. In certain situations, lackluster returns during up-market conditions may require the re-allocation of the portfolio assets.
Even so, an investor’s portfolio may differ from the market indices in multiple ways. For instance, those with low-risk tolerance levels often hold conservative assets that usually do not perform well under low market conditions.
- Fund Manager’s Competence and Track Record
Fund managers are essential people who select stocks and make investment decisions on behalf of the portfolio owners. The fund manager’s competence, management knowledge, and ability are crucial keys to evaluating portfolio performance. Their past performance is an excellent parameter to track their record and bring value from the investments.
- Relative and Absolute Returns
While evaluating performance, portfolio monitoring services look at the relative and absolute returns. They use blended benchmarks to determine how a portfolio performs compared to the diversified index. Although investors are most interested in their relative returns, finding a standard and comparing it to a diversified portfolio is an imperfect measure.
Absolute returns look at the actual returns after deducting investment taxes and fees. It measures the net positive returns and the real money earned. Investors want to prevent losing money. So, evaluators calculate the absolute returns to monitoring portfolio growth over time.
Regularly monitoring portfolio performance is an integral part of investing. However, it is crucial to place recent returns in the proper context for this monitoring to succeed. It requires focusing on the investment goals, preferences, and current economic issues. Portfolio monitoring services can help evaluate portfolio performance using these keys and ensure the investors are on the right track to meet their financial goals.