How to Diversify a $1 Million-Plus Portfolio

For people whose portfolios are worth $1 million or more, the diversification of those investments is a key aspect of maintaining and growing wealth.

Once you reach a certain asset level, it can be hard to manage your investments without worrying that you’ll blow your hard-earned cash. Using a variety of diversification methods to protect your portfolio against the market is one of the best ways to preserve retirement savings.

Manage Your Portfolio Like Any Other

“A diversified million-dollar portfolio should be diversified just like a $100,000 portfolio,” said CFP Daniel Zajac. “The value of the account shouldn’t matter.”

The way that you correctly manage your portfolio, whether it has $1,000,000 or only $10,000, is by evaluating your investments thoughtfully, calculating what kind of diversification you need, and not reacting quickly to short-term problems.

Of course, the more you have invested, the bigger of a hit you can take if something happens to the market. Meeting with a financial advisor who specializes in million-dollar portfolios can help identify your weak areas and find investments to balance your assets properly. This will also help you in the future as your portfolio continues to expand.

Think Alternative to Diversify

One of the best ways to diversify is to choose investments that have a low correlation with each other. That way, you’re always protected if the market drops because your investments won't all behave the same way.

“Certain asset classes behave differently under different market conditions, and a combination of assets featuring low correlation to one another can potentially improve a portfolio's ability to mitigate against market turmoil,” said CEO and founder Sang Lee of DarcMatter. “Incorporating alternatives such as venture capital, private equity, hedge funds, and fixed income products has become a prevalent diversification technique among both institutional and individual investors seeking to enhance the risk-return profiles of their respective portfolios.”

Lee says that these types of alternative investments have a low correlation to stocks and bonds that make up a typical portfolio.

Diversify Based on Your Social Causes

CFP Andrew Novick of The Investment Connection said that some people choose to diversify not based on what kind of investments they’re buying but by what those companies represent to the investor. These are generally called socially responsible investment mandates. Generally, they include promoting values like environmentalism, sustainability, community involvement, and more. Like giving to a charity, these options represent you choosing to help companies whose values align with yours. Plus, you don’t have to give up returns and security to support your favorite causes.

“Examples include avoiding businesses involved in alcohol, tobacco, gambling, pornography, and weapons production while favoring businesses that serve low-income and underprivileged communities, run clean technology, generate jobs and introduce products that will yield community and environmental benefits,” said Novick.

If you want to diversify based on what you choose to support—or what you choose to oppose—you can find a large number of choices based on your values.

The Bottom Line

If you’re worried that your robust portfolio looks like vanilla pudding instead of a pink frosted donut with sprinkles, increasing your diversification is the best way you can protect it. If you use a variety of strategies to tap different asset classes, you’ll likely be able to hedge against market volatility and unpredictability.

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