business Personal FinanceWall Street 101

Introduction | What is the Asset Allocation Process? | Finding the Right Ingredients | No Single Investment Has It All | Correlation | Ideal Asset Allocation | Optimizers

Asset Allocation

Why No Single Investment Has It All

Stocks are the most exciting investment option because they have consistently outperformed other asset classes. They are far more volatile and risky in the short term, but stocks as a class have done better than bonds or cash investments year in and year out, and have produced better overall returns over the long term.

In the 72 year period from 1926 through 1997, the S&P 500 Index reported positive annual returns 52 times. Of course, that also means you've got to be prepared for declines about 28% of the time.

You don't, however, have to bear the full brunt of those declines. Mutual funds have techniques for minimizing this kind of loss. What's more, the "zig-zag" effect that you get from investments with a degree of covariance (that move out of sync) helps to smooth out the rough spots in your account's performance.

The information provided here is intended to help you understand the general issue and does not constitute any tax, investment or legal advice. Consult your financial, tax or legal advisor regarding your own unique situation and your company's benefits representative for rules specific to your plan.
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