What Is a 100% Equities Strategy?

A 100% equities strategy is a strategy commonly adopted by pooled funds, such as a mutual fund, that allocates all investable cash solely to stocks. Only equity securities are considered for investment, whether they be listed stocks, over-the-counter stocks, or private equity shares.

Key Takeaways

  • A 100% equities strategy involves only long positions in stocks.
  • Such a strategy is common among mutual funds that allocate all investable cash solely to stocks, forgoing higher-risk instruments such as derivatives or riskier strategies such as short selling.
  • With 100% equity strategies, a portfolio's style can be further subdivided into capital appreciation, aggressive growth, growth, value, capitalization, and income, among others.

Understanding a 100% Equities Strategy

100% equities strategies represent portfolios that only select investments from the equities (i.e., stocks) universe. 100% equity strategies are predominant in the market and encompass a large majority of offerings.

Generally, very few funds would be able to deploy all available capital to equity market investments without holding some cash and cash equivalents for transactions and operating activities.

In practice, many 100% equity strategies will have an investment objective or mandate to invest at least 80% in equities. The 80% threshold is a formality used in regulatory or registration documentation for the majority of equity funds in the marketplace, with many funds deploying anywhere from 90% to 100% to equities.

100% equity means that there will be no bonds or other asset classes. Furthermore, it implies that the portfolio would not make use of related products like equity derivatives, or employ riskier strategies such as short selling or buying on margin. Instead, 100% equities implies a more focused, traditional approach to equity investment.

Special Considerations

Equities are generally considered a riskier asset class over alternatives such as bonds, money market funds, and cash.

A well-diversified portfolio of all stocks can protect against individual company risk, or even sector risk, but market risks will still persist that can affect the equities asset class. Thus, both systemic and idiosyncratic risks are important considerations for aggressive equity investors. As a result, most financial advice recommends a portfolio that includes both equity and fixed-income (bond) components.

100% Equities Strategy Types

In the 100% equity strategy category, an investor will find a wide range of sub-classes to choose from, including those that focus on one (or a combination of) labels like capital appreciation, aggressive growth, growth, value, and income. Outlined below are some of the characteristics investors can expect from some of the most prominent 100% equity strategies.

Growth

Growth investing is a style used by many aggressive equity investors who are comfortable with higher-risk investments and seek to take advantage of growing companies. The Russell 3000 Growth Index is a broad market index that helps to represent the growth category.

Growth companies offer emerging technologies, new innovations, or a significant sector advantage that gives them above average expectations for revenue and earnings growth.

Value

Value stocks are often known as long term core holdings for an investor’s portfolio. These equity funds will rely on fundamental analysis to identify stocks that are undervalued in comparison to their fundamental value.

Investment metrics for value investing often include price-to-earnings, price-to-book, and free cash flow.

Income

Income investing is also a top category for core long-term holdings in a portfolio. Income funds will invest in equities with a focus on current income. Income from equity investments is primarily focused on mature companies paying steady dividend rates.

In the income category, real estate investment trusts and master limited partnerships are two publicly traded stock categories with unique incorporation structures that require them to pay high levels of income to equity investors.

Market Capitalization

Capitalization is a popular investing strategy for all equity portfolios. Generally, capitalization is broken down by large cap, mid cap, and small cap.

Large-cap companies can offer the lowest volatility as they have established businesses and steady earnings that pay dividends. Small-cap companies, on the other hand, are usually considered to have the highest risk since they are typically in the early stages of their development.