90/10 Strategy


DEFINITION of '90/10 Strategy'

An investing strategy that involves deploying 90% of one's investment capital in interest-bearing instruments that have a lower degree of risk, and the balance 10% in high-risk investments. This is a relatively conservative investment strategy that aims to generate higher yields on the overall portfolio. Potential losses will typically be limited to the 10% that is invested in the high-risk investments, depending on the quality of bonds purchased.

BREAKING DOWN '90/10 Strategy'

A common application of the 90/10 strategy involves the use of short-term Treasury Bills for the fixed-income component (90% of the portfolio), with the balance 10% used for higher risk securities such as equity or index options or warrants.

For example, assume an investor with a $100,000 portfolio uses the 90/10 strategy. He or she invests $90,000 in one-year Treasury Bills that yield 4% per annum, with the balance $10,000 deployed in equity in the S&P 500. If the S&P 500 returns 10% at the end of one year, the overall return on the portfolio would be 4.6% (0.90 x 4% + 0.10 x 10%). However, if the S&P 500 declines by 10%, the overall return on the portfolio after one year would be 2.6% (0.90 x 4% + 0.10 x -10%).

  1. Warrant

    A derivative security that gives the holder the right to purchase ...
  2. Call Option

    An agreement that gives an investor the right (but not the obligation) ...
  3. Index Option

    A financial derivative that gives the holder the right, but not ...
  4. Risk

    The chance that an investment's actual return will be different ...
  5. Treasury Bill - T-Bill

    A short-term debt obligation backed by the U.S. government with ...
  6. Put-Call Parity

    A principle that defines the relationship between the price of ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing Basics

    Achieving Optimal Asset Allocation

    Minimizing risk while maximizing return is any investor's prime goal. The right mix of securities is the key to achieving your optimal asset allocation.
  2. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    4 Steps To Building A Profitable Portfolio

    This is a step-by-step approach to determining, achieving and maintaining optimal asset allocation.
  3. Investing Basics

    How To Be A Conservative Investor

    It may not be the most exciting path to take in the investing world, but conservative investing is an extremely safe bet.
  4. Options & Futures

    An Alternative Covered Call Options Trading Strategy

    This different approach to the covered-call write offers less risk and greater potential profit.
  5. Investing Basics

    What Does Plain Vanilla Mean?

    Plain vanilla is a term used in investing to describe the most basic types of financial instruments.
  6. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Mutual Funds Are Not FDIC Insured: Here Is Why

    Find out why mutual funds are not insured by the FDIC, including why the FDIC was created and how to minimize your risk with educated mutual fund investments.
  7. Professionals

    How to Sell Mutual Funds to Your Clients

    Learn about the various talking points you should cover when discussing mutual funds with clients and how explaining their benefits can help you close the sale.
  8. Stock Analysis

    5 Cheap Dividend Stocks for a Bear Market

    Here are five stocks that pay safe dividends and should be at least somewhat resilient to a bear market.
  9. Professionals

    Fund and ETF Strategies for Volatile Markets

    Looking for short-term fixes in reaction to market volatility? Here are a few strategies — and their downsides.
  10. Investing Basics

    Tops Tips for Trading ETFs

    A look at two different trading strategies for ETFs - one for investors and the other for active traders.
  1. Can mutual funds invest in hedge funds?

    Mutual funds are legally allowed to invest in hedge funds. However, hedge funds and mutual funds have striking differences ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. When are mutual funds considered a bad investment?

    Mutual funds are considered a bad investment when investors consider certain negative factors to be important, such as high ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What fees do financial advisors charge?

    Financial advisors who operate as fee-only planners charge a percentage, usually 1 to 2%, of a client's net assets. For a ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Can your car insurance company check your driving record?

    While your auto insurance company cannot pull your full motor vehicle report, or MVR, it does pull a record summary that ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Can mutual funds invest in options and futures?

    Mutual funds invest in not only stocks and fixed-income securities but also options and futures. There exists a separate ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Are mutual funds considered retirement accounts?

    Unlike a 401(k) or Individual Retirement Account (IRA), mutual funds are not classified as retirement accounts. Employers ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  2. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  3. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
  4. Operating Cost

    Expenses associated with the maintenance and administration of a business on a day-to-day basis.
  5. Cost Of Funds

    The interest rate paid by financial institutions for the funds that they deploy in their business. The cost of funds is one ...
  6. Cost Accounting

    A type of accounting process that aims to capture a company's costs of production by assessing the input costs of each step ...
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!