Portfolio Management - Return Objectives and Investment Constraints

Return objectives can be divided into the following needs:

  1. Capital Preservation - Capital preservation is the need to maintain capital. To accomplish this objective, the return objective should, at a minimum, be equal to the inflation rate. In other words, nominal rate of return would equal the inflation rate. With this objective, an investor simply wants to preserve his existing capital.
  1. Capital Appreciation -Capital appreciation is the need to grow, rather than simply preserve, capital. To accomplish this objective, the return objective should be equal to a return that exceeds the expected inflation. With this objective, an investor's intention is to grow his existing capital base.
  2. Current Income -Current income is the need to create income from the investor's capital base. With this objective, an investor needs to generate income from his investments. This is frequently seen with retired investors who no longer have income from work and need to generate income off of their investments to meet living expenses and other spending needs.
  1. Total Return - Total return is the need to grow the capital base through both capital appreciation and reinvestment of that appreciation.


Investment Constraints
When creating a policy statement, it is important to consider an investor's constraints. There are five types of constraints that need to be considered when creating a policy statement. They are as follows:

  1. Liquidity Constraints - Liquidity constraints identify an investor's need for liquidity, or cash. For example, within the next year, an investor needs $50,000 for the purchase of a new home. The $50,000 would be considered a liquidity constraint because it needs to be set aside (be liquid) for the investor.
  2. Time Horizon - A time horizon constraint develops a timeline of an investor's various financial needs. The time horizon also affects an investor's ability to accept risk. If an investor has a long time horizon, the investor may have a greater ability to accept risk because he would have a longer time period to recoup any losses. This is unlike an investor with a shorter time horizon whose ability to accept risk may be lower because he would not have the ability to recoup any losses.
  3. Tax Concerns - After-tax returns are the returns investors are focused on when creating an investment portfolio. If an investor is currently in a high tax bracket as a result of his income, it may be important to focus on investments that would not make the investor's situation worse, like investing more heavily in tax-deferred investments.
  1. Legal and Regulatory - Legal and regulatory factors can act as an investment constraint and must be considered. An example of this would occur in a trust. A trust could require that no more than 10% of the trust be distributed each year. Legal and regulatoryconstraints such as this one often can't be changed and must not be overlooked.
  1. Unique Circumstances - Any special needs or constraints not recognized in any of the constraints listed above would fall in this category. An example of a unique circumstance would be the constraint an investor might place on investing in any company that is not socially responsible, such as a tobacco company.


The Importance of Asset Allocation
Asset Allocation is the process of dividing a portfolio among major asset categories such as bonds, stocks or cash. The purpose of asset allocation is to reduce risk by diversifying the portfolio.

The ideal asset allocation differs based on the risk tolerance of the investor. For example, a young executive might have an asset allocation of 80% equity, 20% fixed income, while a retiree would be more likely to have 80% in fixed income and 20% equities.

Citizens in other countries around the world would have different asset allocation strategies depending on the types and risks of securities available for placement in their portfolio. For example, a retiree located in the United States would most likely have a large portion of his portfolio allocated to U.S. treasuries, since the U.S. Government is considered to have an extremely low risk of default. On the other hand, a retiree in a country with political unrest would most likely have a large portion of their portfolio allocated to foreign treasury securities, such as that of the U.S.

Portfolio Management Theories
Related Articles
  1. Career Education & Resources

    How Hard are the CFA Exams?

    Learn about the difficulty of the CFA exams with a description of the tests, some statistics on pass rates and suggestions that can help you pass the exams.
  2. Professionals

    What it Takes to be a Financial Analyst

    A financial analyst researches companies and economic conditions to make business, sector and industry recommendations.
  3. Career Education & Resources

    Financial Analyst: Career Path & Qualifications

    Read about what it takes to become a financial analyst in a corporation or securities firm, and learn how far you can rise in the profession.
  4. Career Education & Resources

    Financial Planner: Career Path & Qualifications

    Learn what education and certifications you need to become a financial planner, as well as the future prospects and earnings potential for financial planners.
  5. Career Education & Resources

    Where to Find Non-Profit Finance Jobs

    The non-profit sector offers a stable selection of jobs for those who seek other types of fulfillment from their jobs than just purely financial.
  6. Career Education & Resources

    Portfolio Manager: Career Path & Qualifications

    Learn about the basic requirements for getting hired as a portfolio manager, and discover how most professionals in the field rise into the position.
  7. Your Practice

    4 Professional Associations Advisors Should Join

    These four professional organizations are among the most respected and well known in the industry.
  8. Professionals

    Equity Research: Career Path and Qualifications

    Find out what equity research analysts do on a day-to-day basis, and learn more about the typical career progression for these securities professionals.
  9. Professionals

    What's on the CFA Level II Exam?

    The Chartered Financial Analyst Level II exam is the second of three tests that CFA candidates must pass.
  10. Professionals

    Financial Data Analyst: Career Path & Qualifications

    Learn more about the career options available to financial data analysts, and determine whether the profession is a good match for you.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Personal Financial Advisor

    Professionals who help individuals manage their finances by providing ...
  2. CFA Institute

    Formerly known as the Association for Investment Management and ...
  3. Chartered Financial Analyst - CFA

    A professional designation given by the CFA Institute (formerly ...
  4. Security Analyst

    A financial professional who studies various industries and companies, ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. What are the differences between a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and a Certified ...

    The differences between a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) are many, but comes down ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How do I become a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)?

    According to the CFA Institute, a person who holds a CFA charter is not a chartered financial analyst. The CFA Institute ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What types of positions might a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) hold?

    The types of positions that a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is likely to hold include any position that deals with large ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Who benefits the most from prepaid expenses?

    Prepaid expenses benefit both businesses and individuals. Prepaid expenses are the types of expenses that are bought or paid ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. If I am looking to get an Investment Banking job. What education do employers prefer? ...

    If you are looking specifically for an investment banking position, an MBA may be marginally preferable over the CFA. The ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Can I still pass the CFA Level I if I do poorly in the ethics section?

    You may still pass the Chartered Financial Analysis (CFA) Level I even if you fare poorly in the ethics section, but don't ... Read Full Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Black Swan

    An event or occurrence that deviates beyond what is normally expected of a situation and that would be extremely difficult ...
  2. Inverted Yield Curve

    An interest rate environment in which long-term debt instruments have a lower yield than short-term debt instruments of the ...
  3. Socially Responsible Investment - SRI

    An investment that is considered socially responsible because of the nature of the business the company conducts. Common ...
  4. Presidential Election Cycle (Theory)

    A theory developed by Yale Hirsch that states that U.S. stock markets are weakest in the year following the election of a ...
  5. Super Bowl Indicator

    An indicator based on the belief that a Super Bowl win for a team from the old AFL (AFC division) foretells a decline in ...
Trading Center