Your Most Important Investment Decision

Yves SchoofBusiness

If you believe that timing the share market or picking the right shares are your most important investment decision, you are mistaken.

Instead, your asset allocation, or how you construct your portfolio has by far the biggest impact on your portfolio performance.

Studies dating back as far as 1986 highlight that asset allocation explains on average more than 90% of the variation in total return.

So what does that mean for investors?

Well, your first decision should be with regards to the appropriate asset allocation for your portfolio.

Think about your attitude to risk, your goals and your timeframe to retirement/accessing the funds when setting your asset allocation.

This will determine your split between growth (shares, property) and defensive assets (cash, fixed interest).

The next step is then how you invest within those categories: how much do you allocate to cash and fixed interest (Australian vs international), property vs shares (Australian, international, emerging markets)? Do you include alternative assets in your portfolio?

On further levels, you will then need to think about how you implement those investments:

– Do you use managed funds, ETF’s, LIC’s?
– How will you achieve good diversification?
– Do you use passive or active investments, or a mix?
– How will you minimise costs?

As you can see, constructing your portfolio is a multi-layered process, and the more time you spend on this process, the more likely it is you will also stay the course when the share market does retreat, which it always does at some point.

Ultimately, this is where most investors go wrong: they react too emotionally and end up selling low and buying high, leading to underperformance compared to the market.

Trust the evidence: focus on your asset allocation and stay the course – your future self will thank you for it.

You might also be interested in some further evidence in this article.

If you have any questions about your current portfolio or don’t know where to start in building one, please contact us on 08 9381 2704 or email me at

Yves Schoof
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Yves Schoof

Author | Specialist Adviser for Medical Specialists and Surgeons at Affluence Private Wealth
I specialise in managing and coordinating the financial affairs of medical professionals and have been recognised as one of the best financial planners in Australia. I am a Certified Financial Planner and member of the Financial Planning Association of Australia.

As I understand your time is extremely valuable and scarce, I am able to offer flexible meetings times, including outside business hours and during the weekend. I can even come and meet you somewhere convenient, or talk via videoconference on Skype.

My first consultation is free. I allocate up to 90 minutes to discuss your personal circumstances and to establish how I may best assist you. Where you already have an existing adviser, I would be happy to offer a second opinion. I always quote a fixed dollar fee before we start working together.

Please contact me on or call me direct on 0432 885 295. You can follow me on Twitter @YvesSchoof or connect with me on LinkedIn to receive new articles.

Yves Schoof and Affluence Private Wealth are Authorised Representatives of Synchron, AFS Licence No. 243313. 

The information posted is intended to be general in nature and is not personal financial product advice. It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs.
Before acting on any information, you should consider the appropriateness of the information provided and the nature of the relevant financial product having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. In particular, you should seek independent financial advice and read the relevant product disclosure statement (PDS) or other offer document prior to making a decision.
Yves Schoof
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