Every portfolio should have a definable structure, says Ashish Bhandari ex-banker. The best way to grow your money and see a return on your investments is to have clearly defined objectives and a structured plan to help you achieve those goals. The best plan for you will depend on your risk tolerance and timeline. Use some of these tips to add structure and clarity to your portfolio as you get started.

No Position Should Make Up More than 5% of Your Portfolio

A “position” is the amount of an asset, property, security, etc. that you own in your portfolio. The entirety of your investments is your portfolio and the different investments within it are positions. Assigning and monitoring your positions is how investors over- or under-weight an industry or sector.

While there is nothing wrong with having no investments in a certain industry (under-weighting), investing too much of your portfolio in one position can be Enron-levels of disastrous. You never know when a certain industry or commodity may suffer a blow, causing its value to plummet, warns ex-banker Ashish Bhandari wealth manager.

Diversification is the best way to protect yourself from losing everything when something goes wrong. If each position in your portfolio holds 5% or less, you won’t be taking a massive hit should the worst-case scenario unfold.

Develop a Long-Term Mindset Advises Ashish Bhandari of Dubai

When you’re starting out, you should always be making long-term investments. History shows us that the most secure path to solid returns is choosing your investments, diversifying, and then leaving them in the market for as long as possible. In the short term, the market is incredibly volatile, but over the course of decades, it consistently earns returns.

As age or bad health shortens your timeline, start shifting your money into less volatile assets, advises Ashish Bhandari ex-banker. Put money in bonds and money market accounts or liquidate them into cash. Pull away from the more volatile stock market to ensure that you don’t lose the money you’ve worked so hard or up until now.

Don’t Try to Become a “Day Trader” Overnight

The secret to making money is to invest, not to try and game the marketplace, says Ashish Bhandari Dubai private banker. Even people who have advanced finance degrees and literally work on Wall Street have no idea what the market will do from day to day. Trying to “time the market” or game the system isn’t investing–it’s gambling.

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