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%).

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