5 April 2023

Diversity is your Defence: Mitigating Risks in Portfolio Diversification


The world of financial markets can be complex and unpredictable, and traders are always pursuing the greatest ways for them to protect their investments from markets that may turn against them. In this endeavor, portfolio diversification is a common strategy employed by investors to assist them in mitigating the risks of trading by spreading their investments across various asset classes, industries, and geographical regions. This article will delve into the concept of diversification, its importance, and illustrate potential ways this can be effectively implemented by traders.


This will be achieved by outlining the:

  • Benefits of Diversification

  • Types of Diversification

  • Understanding Correlations

  • Rebalancing Strategies and Over-Diversification Risks

  • Key Takeaways


Benefits of Diversification

Having a diverse asset portfolio offers several key benefits, including reducing concentration risk, smoothing out individual market volatilities, and potentials to hedge against inevitable inflation. By investing in assets with different risk and return profiles, traders can attempt to create a balanced portfolio with the potential to minimise risks.


Types of Diversification

When seeking to diversify their portfolios, traders typically consider the following types of diversification strategies: 

  • Asset class diversification: Traders invest in different asset classes such as equities, commodities, real estate funds, and cash equivalents.

  • Sector diversification: Achieved through allocating investments across various sectors, such as technology, healthcare, energy, and consumer goods.

  • Geographical diversification: Investors choose to spread their investments across different localities and regions of the world, in the attempt to mitigate risks associated with politics, economic, social, or other factors.

  • Currency diversification: This strategy sees traders diversify their foreign exchange trading across different currency pairs to reduce the impact of currency fluctuations or devaluations.


Understanding Correlations

Correlations help traders understand the extent to which the performance of their different assets are connected, typically represented in values ranging from -1 to 1, with 1 meaning the two assets are in perfect sync, and -1 indicating they move in opposite directions. In the context of diversification, a trader’s goal may be to have assets that do not move in perfect harmony and rather, if one asset under performs, to have the other asset be more likely to perform better, therefore balancing the trader’s portfolio.

For example, if an investor has a portfolio consisting of stocks and bonds, in times of economic uncertainty, the investors stocks may experience a decline, while bonds could remain stable or even increase in value if issuing institutions take monetary actions on interest rates. By holding both stocks and bonds in this illustrative example, an investor is more able to minimise the risks associated with market volatility, as the performance of one asset helps offset the other.

Rebalancing Strategies and Over-Diversification Risks

Rebalancing strategies represent the process of adjusting the allocation of assets in a trader’s portfolio to maintain a desired level of risk to return ratios. Traders who use this approach regularly rebalance their portfolios to ensure they remain diversified and aligned with their unique financial goals. However, they are careful not to over-diversify their investment portfolios, as this can also present its own set of risks and drawbacks.


This includes:

  •  Increased costs: Managing a highly diversified portfolio may lead to higher transaction costs, as more assets are traded. Different asset classes experience difference transaction costs, including brokerage fees, commissions, and taxes.

  • Diminished returns: If a trader spreads their investment portfolio too thinly across a large number of assets, the trader risks reducing their own gains, as positive performance may be diluted by the average or below-average performance of other investments.

  • Complexity: Over-diversifying can also make it more challenging for traders to manage and monitor the performance of their assets. This risks potential suboptimal decision-making and possibly missed opportunities.


Key Takeaways

Diversifying asset portfolios is a powerful risk management strategy used by traders to mitigate the associated risks of trading in international markets. Through the act of spreading a portfolio across different asset classes, sectors, and geographies, investors can work towards balancing their portfolios. However, investors should always be mindful of the aforementioned risks of over-diversifying.

Disclaimer: Any information presented is for general education and informational purposes hence, not intended to be and does not constitute investment or trading advice or recommendation. No opinion given in the material constitutes a recommendation by M4Markets that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.

It does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. Any information relating to past performance of an investment does not necessarily guarantee future performance.

Trinota Markets (Global) Limited does not give warranty as to the accuracy and completeness of this information.

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