4th January 2016

Make sure that any changes in your attitude to risk are accurately reflected

It is important to carry out regular portfolio reviews to consider the suitability of your investments and to make sure that any changes in your attitude to risk are accurately reflected. Over time, your attitude to risk is likely to change. If you are approaching retirement, for example, you may want to preserve capital or generate an income, while if you are investing for growth, you may need to take on more risk to potentially boost returns.

There are two key questions that you should
ask yourself:

• How much capital can you afford to lose?
• How long is your investment horizon?

The general rule is that the more risk you are prepared to take, the greater your potential returns could be. At the same time, however, it is important to realise that there is a greater potential for loss.

Reviewing the amount of risk
As these two factors can change over time, it is crucial that you are able to adjust your portfolio to reflect them. Please remember that the value of your investments and the income received from them may go down as well as up, and you may not get back the full amount invested.

As well as regularly reviewing the amount of risk taken in your portfolio, it is also important to make sure your portfolio remains as diversified as it can be and that it reflects any changes in your investment objectives. The key to building a diversified portfolio is to take a balanced approach. This means combining a range of investments that can help you meet your investment goals within an appropriate level of risk.

Exposure to different markets
Income-seeking stock market investors may want to diversify away from their home UK market to take advantage of dividend opportunities globally. Meanwhile, in fixed income, the current low yield environment means that investors may need to look across a wider range of global bond sectors and markets to maintain attractive future returns. Either way, you need to make sure you have the right levels of exposure to different markets for the outcomes you’re looking for. However, please note that diversification does not guarantee investment returns and does not eliminate the risk of loss.

Investing outside of the UK can involve a higher degree of risk and also involves a degree of exchange rate risk. If you are in any doubt about the suitability of an investment or understanding your risk appetite, you should always seek professional financial advice.

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