Accumulation planning also involves the choice of securities for your investment portfolio. Basic securities are stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Separately managed accounts, indices, option strategies, short-term assets, and annuities are also used to optimize your portfolio.
Alternative investments may also be an option for the right investor. One of the premier benefits of alternative investments is diversification, resulting from the inclusion of investments that react differently to the markets than more traditional investments. Managed futures, hedge funds, oil and gas, tax shelters, and real estate are all examples of alternative investments. These products generally involve substantial risk and limited liquidity.
Some situations require different expertise than typical stock and bond portfolio implementation. These situations usually pertain to employer-related retirement plans and stock options, margin strategies, and real estate exchanges.
Most investors understand that as risk increases, the potential for return also increases. But there is a point for every individual where the level of risk is not worth the potential return. The goal of asset allocation is to provide you with the risk/return scenario that is most comfortable for you.