Despite the risks you might now know of like, dollar cost ravaging and inflation, some advisors still put everything in a lump sum for systematic withdrawals. They will craft a portfolio that seems beautiful in its asset allocation, but really the income derives from withdrawing a percentage of the portfolio. And that puts the entire portfolio at risk.
Let’s say it’s in a 60-40 mix of stocks and bonds, and the market tumbles. “You don’t have all your eggs in one basket,” you will hear, and that’s the line of “modern portfolio theory,” which isn’t so modern anymore, having been around for 60 years or so. It came from a time when the United States was the dominant investment player in the world. Today’s global economy behaves differently. Simply put, Modern Portfolio Theory tells you that diversification leads to retirement success. But don’t feel too reassured. Diversification is too often defined as stocks, bonds and cash. In times of extreme volatility, investments get more closely correlated to one another. Often portfolios don’t include other types of investments or downside protection strategies that truly help to build a diversified portfolio. Guaranteed income products may be an effective alternative investment.
An investment strategy that requires luck—luck that you will retire into a bull market and not a bear—isn’t much better than a strategy that requires flipping a coin. An appropriate strategy for you depends on your investment objectives, risk tolerance and time horizon.