Various market environments may call for different types of investment techniques. While you may hold one long-term strategy, how you implement that strategy may call for the creative and resourceful management of one or more of the following types of investment tactics.
- Fixed asset allocation. Fixed management is more of a long-term commitment to a predetermined asset allocation strategy. In general, whatever percentage of your assets you place in each asset class, you continue to maintain despite what may be happening in the markets.
- Dynamic asset allocation. Dynamic management is an active approach similar to market timing. Basically, you or your authorized investment representative changes your allocation percentages in reaction to current market conditions. This approach not only frees you to take advantage of strong asset class performance, but can also shield you from prolonged downturns in a particular asset class.
- Growth investing. Buying companies whose earnings and/or share prices are on the rise
- Value investing. Buying companies selling at a discount to the market and then holding them for the long-term. If the company has solid fundamentals, you need only to wait until the rest of the market realizes its value, and then the stock price will rise.
- Top-down investing. Evaluating a potential security by first looking at the overall health and well being of a particular sector, industry, or country; then examine the next level to see what specific industries are poised for profits, and then narrow down choices to individual companies.
- Bottom-up investing. Analyzing individual companies by reviewing financial reports, interviewing managers, customers, suppliers, etc.; then evaluating peripheral factors such as whether the overall industry is poised for success, if other similar sized businesses are taking off, and if the country where the business is headquartered is viable or on the edge of collapse.
Tactical buy & sell moves
You consult a financial or tax advisor before using any of these techniques. They are complicated and quite risky if not implemented carefully as part of your overall investment strategy.
- Buying on margin. Using money borrowed from a broker/dealer to purchase securities
- Buying options. The right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell a specific amount of stock at a specified price during a specified period of time. There are two types of options: Put is a contract to sell stock at a certain price. Call is a contract to purchase stock at a certain price.
- Hedging. An investment made in order to reduce the risk of adverse price movements in a security by taking an offsetting position in a related security, such as an option or a short sale
- Shorting. Borrowing a security from a broker and selling it with the understanding that it must later be bought back (hopefully at a lower price) and returned to the broker
- Market timing. Investing based on predictions made by examining recent price, volume, or economic data
- Day trading. The purchase and sale of the same security on the same day
- Indexing. A passive investment strategy in which a portfolio is designed to mirror the performance of a stock index, such as the S&P 500