To access the 'No retirement for investments' white paper, please click the download now button above.
Important notice: a previous version of this whitepaper incorrectly stated the ASFA comfortable retirement standards for a couple as $43,787/year and superannuation balance of $545,000. These figures relate to the comfortable retirement standards of a single not a couple. The standards for a couple are $61,786/year and $640,000 in superannuation balance.
Managing a retirement portfolio for income and growth
Retirement portfolios offer a particular challenge in advice, given their more complex needs. They need to generate a stable income, preserve capital and still offer some level of growth to allow investors to manage inflation and longevity risks, along with a reasonable standard of lifestyle.
In the paper No retirement for investments, ETF Securities considers how assets, portfolio construction and product selection can be used to manage retirement in the current market environment. You can download the full paper above, or read the summary following.
Part of the solution comes down to diversification of the assets used for income. Retired investors have traditionally relied on domestic fixed income to support their yield needs but are now forced to consider other options. Fixed income can still play a role, for example, diversifying to international sources such as US fixed income which currently offers a higher interest rate may be part of the answer.
Commonly, investors are being forced into riskier income approaches, such as through dividend streams.
High yield equities may work for some retired investors, pending their risk tolerance along with overall portfolio construction. For example, they may consider how to offset the higher risks of high yield shares in other parts of their portfolio. Using alternatives in the form of commodities like gold may assist with offering stability and diversification to manage the volatility which could occur in high yield shares.
Alternatively, looking to investments in more stable, less cyclical industries may be more suitable. Infrastructure is one option. It includes many essential services areas like utilities, telecommunications, industrials and transport which tend to be less vulnerable to market movements and cycles.
Finally, product choice can be part of the solution to market conditions. Flexibility is important in this environment, but retired investors also need to be conscious of costs, risks and quality. Bearing these in mind, ETFs may be a suitable option due to characteristics such as low costs, ease of use, liquidity and a wide range to assist in meeting specific portfolio needs or gaps.
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