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Investing Guide: How Should You Restructure Your Portfolio Away From Fixed-Income Securities When Real Rates Turn Negative?


March 5th, 2024 06:28

We usually receive questions from our readers about how to structure an investment portfolio. So we bring this brief article to you to help you understand how you should structure your investment portfolio with research and analysis.

How to restructure your portfolio?

Over the past few years, mutual funds have become more popular as a reliable investment. The public understanding of the effectiveness, makeup, and advantages of various equity and hybrid systems has grown dramatically over time. 

Investments maintained through mutual funds for three years qualify as long-term capital gains. Mutual funds serve as a legal vehicle and offer tax arbitrage to debt investors. Before you rush to restructure your portfolio to include debt-based investments, know this: investing in debt is still less understood than investing in stocks. And a slew of recent credit crises has forced investors to examine their fixed-income exposures.

Debt or fixed-income investments are less hazardous than equity investments, but the performance of the fixed-income asset class during the last eighteen months defies conventional opinion. Most investors adapt to investing in bank fixed deposits, where they know the exact rate of interest or return they will receive. Investors in debt mutual funds prefer to rely on portfolio yield with an expected return, ceteris paribus, and previous returns, which may not be the best predictor of future returns. Keep this in mind while you restructure your portfolio.

The values of the assets vary, changing the investment return during the investor's holding term even though debt funds invest in securities or bonds that, for the most part, give fixed coupons or interest payments. But if you wish to restructure your portfolio, you must understand the changes in the interest rate environment and the issuer's credit standing, as they may affect the bond's price. 

Bond prices tend to decline when bond markets become illiquid, which might happen from time to time. Assuming circumstances do not change significantly over the duration of the investment horizon, bond funds will provide returns that are comparable to their portfolio yield after expenditures. The realized return, however, is either more or lower than the portfolio yield, as nothing ever stays the same.

Several credit crises have recently shaken the world of fixed-income investments, resulting in wide write-downs in fund valuations. While there have been incidents of credit defaults in mutual funds throughout the years, the value of the defaults was generally small, and the impact on many schemes or investors was minimal. Recent markdowns have shown the underlying lack of liquidity in lower-rated bond markets, forcing you to reconsider your fixed-income assets and restructure your portfolio.

To their dismay, investors have discovered that while the portfolio yield may have accurately indicated the credit risk in the fund, it provided little insight into the liquidity of the underlying portfolio. So, when a fund faced extensive redemptions, the fund ceased taking new subscriptions or redemptions, resulting in client investments being illiquid. Based on this experience, investors are likely to avoid credit risk or high-yield funds, which is unfortunate because any developed market requires a liquid high-yield market where investors can evaluate and then engage in high-yield trades. Therefore, when you restructure your portfolio, avoid a polarized market where a few issuers control all the liquidity.

Fixed-income investments may yield substantial returns, at least on a periodic basis, if the duration is correct. So, when you need to restructure your portfolio, think about the market situation! 

The economy is slow, and inflation is low. Every central banker will aim to cut interest rates, raise the amount of money in the system, and incentivize banks to lend to the current economy by decreasing alternative rates of deployment. Bonds tend to appreciate under these conditions, and the capital gains add to the portfolio yield, resulting in spectacular returns.


There are multiple variables in a fixed-income portfolio. A knowledgeable adviser can typically separate the wheat from the chaff. The fixed income component of the portfolio should contribute stability to total returns rather than be a cause of anxiety and stress. 

A skilled investment adviser with a decent head on their shoulders, common sense, and a track record should be able to detect the various dangers involved with debt schemes and appropriately assess the client's risk profile. An adviser may also assist you in identifying better-managed fund managers and schemes to help you to avoid obvious errors. We hope this article gave you insight into how to structure your portfolio.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is reorganizing your portfolio? 

Portfolio reorganization applies to items that are derivatives. Recomposition is the process of changing the asset mix of a portfolio by offsetting undesirable asset classes (such as cash, debt, or equities) or individual securities within those classes with desired classes or securities.

2. Is it a good idea to rebalance your portfolio? 

Rebalancing your portfolio is vital because the balance of each asset class will change over time based on the performance of your assets, modifying the risk profile of your portfolio.

3. What exactly does "portfolio" mean? 

A portfolio is a collection of financial assets, such as securities, bonds, commodities, cash, and cash equivalents, such as closed-end funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Most people think that a portfolio's core consists of stocks, bonds, and cash.

4. What does a balanced portfolio look like? 

Bonds and equities are included in a balanced portfolio to lower possible volatility. A mid-to long-term investing time horizon, patience with short-term market swings, and a willingness to accept moderate growth are all characteristics of an investor seeking a well-balanced portfolio.

5. When is it appropriate to reallocate a portfolio? 

When the intended asset allocation wanders by a specific percentage, such as 5% or 10%, an investor may rebalance the portfolio.

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