Sample Investment Strategy

In every game, you need to have a good strategy to win. The same also applies in stock investing. A good strategy when well implemented always assures a win or profit in the investment. If you are planning to make an investment you must at least have a strong strategy to use. If you do not have yet you can start making it now before you delve into a risky investment. You can ask for advise from other investors or you can search the net for a sample investment strategy that you can use or at least analyze. You can review this sample and learn how it works and how it was made so you can also make your own based from the sample.

There are several websites in the Internet where you can get a sample investment strategy. Most of these sites offer different types of strategies that were proven effective in some types of investments. You can search for the one that is fitted to work on the type of investment that you will make. Almost all of the strategies that were used by successful investors are available on the net. You just have to patiently search for the right strategy for you and your business. You can check the reviews about those strategies to know the possible results or problems that you may encounter when using that strategy. It is wise to listen from the ones who have used it.

Making you own strategy is a tricky task. You have to think of several things such as the type of your investment, the duration of your plan, the advantages of your strategy, the risk of your investment and how you are going to treat it, etc. This work can be simplified if you are going to use a sample investment strategy that will serve as your guide. You don’t have to go deep into thinking of what your strategy will do for you. You don’t have to do a series of trial and error experiments to get the best out of your prepared strategy. The Internet has it all and all you have to do is use it in the actual investment as if you are not new to the stock market.

When getting into an investment you must not rely to only one strategy. You might use at least two strategies. You should have a backup strategy if ever your first strategy fails or won’t give you the result that you wanted. Drafting out two strategies means you have to use another sample aside from the first sample investment strategy that you have used. Once you have them all you can face the challenges and the risks that your investment might have. Just be confident and use your strategy according to your plan.

Having an Active Investment Strategy

More and more investors are realising the dangers of not having an active investment strategy. So many investment and retirements accounts were wiped out by the stock market crashes of 1987, 2010 and 2011, and even 90% of mutual funds (which are supposed to be well managed, safe investment vehicles) were badly affected by the market downturns. The average inflation rate in the USA in 2012 is 2.3%, but the best savings account yields, at most, 1% returns. This means that you are losing money when you simply place your investments in a simple savings account, although not as much as if you had employed a ‘buy and hold’ strategy in the stock market. Even investing in ‘safe, blue chip’ high dividend stocks can have sting in the tail, especially considering that dividend earnings may subject to taxation. So, how can you develop your own investment plan?

Steps to a Your Own Investing Plan

Work actively with an investment broker (not a fund manager) – listen to his recommendations, but actively do your own research. Remember that brokers often receive incentives to ‘pump’ certain stocks, so it pays to get your own information. Find out how to understand fundamental details of a company, and learn to understand important terms such as PE ratio. Have a list of questions to ask your broker, and never allow him to push you into a stock that you are not completely comfortable with.

Open your own investment account with an online broker – this is a great way to manage your own portfolio, and the brokerage fees are the cheapest. However, it is really important that you pay attention to diversification. Spread your investment over several sectors and different investment vehicles, so that if one crashes, you are protected in other sectors. Put some money in growth funds, some in growth stocks, some in high dividend stocks, some in REITs and some in safe bonds or treasuries.

Build up an investment plan, which you have paper traded and refined. This plan is very important, must be well thought out, and must have different rules for different strategies. Above all, stick with your plan! Do not trade with your emotions!

Some Investment Strategies to Consider

Momentum Trading – learn the simple skill of identifying a trend in the market, and use a swing trading strategy, or a momentum strategy, to get the most out of the market direction. You may consider using DITM (Deep-in-the-money) option strategies in order to give your investment some safe leverage, without increasing your risk.

Use Option Strategies to reduce the cost of your investment, and to lower your risk of loss. A covered call strategy is perfect for this, in that you can protect your investment from heavy losses, and simultaneously recover some of your investment over time.

Option strategies – there are relatively simple, lower risk option strategies that allow you to take advantage of market trends without exposing your funds to danger. For examples, selling credit spreads allows you to take advantage of both upwards and downwards trend in a market.

Using a strategy such as ‘Buy and Hold’ or simply using a savings account is nowadays simply irresponsible, and these are simply not inves

Lucrative Investment Strategy: A Good Plan to Grow On

Okay, you’ve decided what you want to accomplish by investing, and you know what kind of stocks you are looking for. You have a handle on the potholes that can hold you back, and you’ve learned how to number-crunch to analyze a stock’s performance. You have one step left: deciding how you will apply all this knowledge to your investments. This is both the easiest and the most difficult step of all.

Think of it as buying a car. You’ve done your research: You’ve compared the prices at other dealers, you’ve checked the prices of comparable cars. You’ve checked the car sales market to find out how this brand is selling and when the best time to buy one is. You’ve even spoken to prior customers to learn just how the salesmen here haggle. What’s your initial offer for the car going to be? How much will you accept for payments? What options do you want in the car? It’s time to start making some real choices.

An investment strategy is rarely black-and-white. Instead, investment strategies are usually a mix of the different options available. My own experience has been that as my portfolio grows, my investment options grow in direct proportion. In addition, the number of investment strategies represented in my portfolio grows, also in direct proportion. Investment strategies, like investment objectives, should remain fluid in order to adapt to the different circumstances in which you will find yourself, as well as to accommodate any new ideas you yourself will come up with.

An exhaustive list of investment strategies is impossible because they are as individual as the people who employ them. Stories circulate about people who pick their investments by using dart boards, astrology, and (so I’ve heard) even monkeys. As a new investor, however, you should be aware of some of the more popular (and saner) methods people employ for investing in their stocks:

The recommendation strategy
The research strategy
Buy and hold
Dollar cost averaging

Mix and match as you see fit; take what you want and leave what you don’t like. In the world of investing, the only right answer is yours.

Recommendations

When people learn you have begun your investment career, “experts” will begin to crawl out of the woodwork. In all fairness, a significant number of recommendations you receive will have true merit. People who discuss the companies they work for are certainly in a better position to discuss their internal structures than the average person on the street.

TIP:

A recommendation is advice or information, sometimes unsolicited, received from other people who may possibly have better insight into the stock than you do.

Furthermore, your friends and family may be able to provide real insight into a company and its products and services with which you may be unfamiliar. When deciding whether to invest in Home Depot, for example, I asked a friend of mine who is an engineer to tell me of his experiences with them. I write financial books; I couldn’t hang drywall if it came up and introduced itself to me. After our discussion, however, I felt much better about my final decision.

I asked my brother for much the same kind of information before making an investment in a video game stock. I don’t play video games, but he does extensively. My discussions with him enabled me to make an intelligent decision about which games were hot, which systems had problems, and what innovations were being anticipated by consumers.

The other side of the coin is best illustrated by a great commercial currently running on television. A young guy walks up to a very distinguished gentleman in an art gallery and whispers to him, “I overheard your stock recommendation last week and put all my money in XYZ stock.” The older gentleman replies, “Good for you. They will be the only company authorized to produce Widgets once the Martians take control of Earth,” as his nurse leads him back to the home.

The moral is obvious: Recommendations are a wonderful source of information as long as you know their source and the recommender’s expertise on the subject.

Research

Research is a vague term, and it could include pretty much anything. Asking people to share their experiences is research, so is requesting a copy of the company’s annual report. Checking the general press is research, as is digging up evaluations of the stock on the Internet. As a result, a precise definition of “research,” one that applies to every stock and/or investor, is difficult to give.

That does not mean that research in itself is impossible to determine, but rather that each individual investor needs to determine for himself or herself which “research” pertains to the type of investment decisions he or she is evaluating. Besides asking my brother for his insight into video games, I also checked the total sales of video games per year in the United States on the Internet. I read several articles on the system that was being launched and its implications on the video game market.

Any investment decision you make should require some research. The extent is really up to you, but the time you are willing to contribute toward being ultrafamiliar with your investment decision correlates absolutely with the investment’s success. By cheating on investment research time, you are ultimately cheating yourself. Make no mistakes about it; this kind of cheating will cost you cold hard cash.

Buy and hold

Buy and hold is a wonderful strategy for any newcomer to the market and is equally attractive to investors of any experience level. Basically, buy and hold works like this: Since the inception of stock markets, the value of the stocks being traded has eventually risen almost without exception. This passive strategy, buy and hold, works on the principle that if you purchase a stock and let it sit where it is long enough, you will eventually realize a profit. Whether that means 5, 10, or 20 years is uncertain, but remembering that your investments are part of a larger goal, it’s pretty certain you’ll see a profit before your dream becomes accessible and you are therefore ready to sell your shares.

TIP:

Buy and hold is an investment strategy whereby an investor purchases a stock and leaves it alone. Buy and hold usually implies that dividends will be reinvested in subsequent purchases of the stock.

For a buy and hold strategy, you would want to consider stock in companies that have the potential to be around for the long term. Consider blue chip stocks or stocks with good growth potential to achieve this. In addition, instead of collecting dividends, newer investors should seriously consider reinvesting their dividends into subsequent stock purchases. Many companies will execute these subsequent purchases without adding sales loads, making the investment even better. In addition, by negating broker fees and allowing compound interest to perform its magic on the initial investment and its subsequent dividend reinvestments, even the most novice investor is better placed to realize a profit.

Finally, the most important benefit of the buy and hold strategy is almost certainly not having to spend an inordinate amount of time researching and following other investments. The buy and hold strategy is often referred to as the buy and forget it strategy for that very reason. As a new investor, you will have your hands full becoming familiar with the entirety of the market. Rather than make several different investments over time, you are bound to do better by thoroughly researching one investment and “letting it ride.” Your broker will hate you because his or her commission is based on the number of total trades you perform, but your banker is going to love you as you keep those brokerage fees in your own account in the bank.

Dollar Cost Averaging

Dollar cost averaging is another wonderful investment strategy that merits serious consideration by newer investors. In dollar cost averaging, you invest a specific amount at a regular interval: taking a set amount out of each paycheck, for example. The critics are undecided whether this type of investing produces an optimal or a mixed result, and statistics can be found to accommodate either view. What is certain, however, is that dollar cost averaging does not produce bad results, and it brings people to the table who might not otherwise be investing.

One of the single biggest excuses people give for not being in the stock market is that they don’t have enough extra money to invest. However, if the average investor waited until he or she had hundreds of thousands of dollars to invest before becoming active, the American stock market would be a very different place than it is. People with large portfolios are rarely those who have received a lump sum equal to the current size of their portfolios. Rather, these large portfolios were created by making systematic smaller investments.

By the way, dollar cost averaging is not guaranteed to produce higher stock prices for people who choose to invest this way. Should you be concerned about the price you will pay for stock as it fluctuates over the period of a year, you can use the following table to chart the average price you would have paid for a stock by using dollar cost averaging versus the average price of the stock over the same period. Used in retrospect (over the previous year), you can garner a pretty good idea of the potential for an optimal price using dollar cost averaging to purchase your prospective stock.

The Best Investing Strategies

The whole idea behind making financial investments is to get a good return on your investment. Making smart investments should be your goal. Not researching your options can possibly be the biggest mistake you can make. You want to learn as much as you can understand. Taking the time to find the most lucrative investment strategy can make the difference between you losing or winning.

How you choose to invest your money will most likely be based on how much risk you’re willing to take. As with all investment endeavors, there is a loss risk. Having a good financial plan from the start is essential. Researching the various investment strategies can help you figure out what you feel safest with.

Buy Long

Buying stock long is not a lucrative investment strategy. With this particular strategy, you can only lose what you have put into it. It may sound good to know that it offers minimal risk; it also offers the least return.

Buy short, sell long

This strategy has a little bit of risk attached to it but can be lucrative if it’s used properly. With this particular type of investment, the assets or securities that are being sold have been borrowed from a third party; intending on buying the same assets later on. The seller unloads the assets at a higher price. When the price of the assets drops, is when they pay the original owner. The seller is simply profiting from the drop in price. This strategy is profitable as long as the drop in price is substantial enough.
Buy and Hold

A passive technique, the “buy and hold” can be considered a lucrative investment strategy. The investor buys the stock and holds onto it, no matter what happens with the market. Equities to yield a higher return than assets do. This strategy is also beneficial tax wise because long term investments are taxed at a lower rate than short term investments.

Set triggers

This is not an investment technique but can also be considered a lucrative investment strategy. Set triggers for yourself. For example, a downturn in the market can be used as a trigger to buy stock that may have been too rich for your blood before. This strategy can aid in you acquiring very lucrative assets. However, you should set guidelines and limits and be sure to stick to them.

These are only four investment strategies among many. Only a professional truly understands how any of them work. Before you make any investment decisions, it would be wise to seek counsel. Let them guide you on how to make your money grow. Keep in mind however, that it is your money being invested. Just because they recommend it, doesn’t mean you have to do it if you’re uncomfortable with their suggestions.

Finding a lucrative investment strategy is a key factor in making your investments worth anything. The idea is to yield a return that is noticeable. As was stated before, with any investment there is risk. The right strategy should decrease the risk factor for you.

Investment Strategy Synopsis

Investment strategy is a little like religion in the financial advisor community. There are few situations that would get emotions boiling, fists flying, and require police action faster than putting a buy-and-hold advocate and a market timing zealot in a room and asking them to resolve their differences. The truth is that most strategies work some of the time, a few work most of the time, and only Bernie Madoff figured out how to make one work all the time, right up until he got caught. Investment strategies have two major parts: 1) what investments to buy, and 2) when to buy and sell. Because I’m an investment advisor and human, I have some built-in biases, but following is an attempt to objectively look at several common strategies with a minimum of sarcasm.

Allocation Strategies (what to buy)

Strategic Asset Class Allocation

Traditional asset classes include stocks, bonds and cash. These classes are then divided into subcategories based on geographic location (U.S., developed foreign countries, emerging markets), company size (small-cap, mid-cap, large-cap), and bond style (treasuries, mortgage-backed, high-yield, etc). Real estate, commodities, and hedge funds are sometimes added as additional asset classes. The idea behind Strategic Asset Class Allocation is to come up with a portfolio of non-correlated assets that meets an acceptable risk profile, and then stick with that allocation as the market goes up and down. The portfolio is typically rebalanced periodically to maintain the percentages of each asset class, but mostly the portfolio is left alone.

Most Common Supporting Arguments:

Easy to set up with mutual funds, which are typically aligned with asset classes.
Mutual funds provide diversification by owning many stocks with professional management.

My Rebuttal:

Many mutual fund managers tend to favor certain stock sectors at the same time, making the portfolio less diversified than it appears (e.g. overweighted in Energy or Financials).
Most stock asset classes are highly correlated when looked at over the last decade.

Semi-Objective Opinion:

Dividing the stock world by geographic location (U.S. & foreign) or by company size no longer results in a diversified portfolio. This has been a long-term trend developing and getting worse over the last 20 or so years. As an intuitive example, when oil drops from $150/barrel to $35/barrel, all energy companies get hurt, whether they are large or small, based in the U.S. or based in Brazil. However, it is true that an asset class allocation model is easy to implement with mutual funds, and the addition of non-correlated alternative investments can improve overall diversification.

Balanced Sector Allocation

As stated above, a major problem with Asset Class Allocation is that the major equity classes do not behave differently enough to do an effective job of diversification. Balanced Sector Allocation gets around this by diversifying across low-correlated sectors (Technology, Energy, Financials, Healthcare, etc). This is not a new concept. Just about any portfolio that uses individual stocks diversifies this way, and the strategy can be implemented using either individual stocks or sector-based Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).

Most Common Supporting Arguments:

Spreading investments across non-correlated sectors does a much better job of diversification than dividing investments by company size or where their headquarters happens to be located.
Individual stocks and ETFs typically have significantly lower expenses than mutual funds.
Sector allocation can be precisely controlled.

My Rebuttal:

If Sector Allocation is implemented with a few individual stocks for each sector, there is a significant amount of company-specific risk added to the portfolio.

Semi-Objective Opinion:

In addition to showing a significant performance improvement over the last 10-20 years, Sector Allocation passes the “this just makes sense” test. Intuitively, a Healthcare stock and an Energy stock will do a better job at diversification than a large-cap Energy stock and small-cap Energy stock. The manager of an actively-managed mutual fund is typically doing sector allocation within a particular Asset Class (e.g. Large Cap Value), but if you own several mutual funds, there is obviously no coordination between the managers.

Tactical Asset Allocation/Tactical Sector Allocation

These strategies are similar, with the difference being that one uses traditional asset classes and the other uses stock sectors. In both cases, the objective is to predict which stock class or area of the market will perform better in the near future, and overweight the portfolio to take advantage of that market segment or segments. The basis for determining which asset class or sector to invest in or stay out of can be based on a computer model, economic indicators, or (more commonly) an advisor’s opinion or gut feel.

Most Common Supporting Arguments (some with questionable accuracy):

The advisor has a track record of picking the winning sectors.
When in a bear market, it’s better to be in bonds, cash, or defensive sectors (e.g. healthcare).
It is possible to time the market, it’s just that most people do it wrong.

My Rebuttal:

There are enough advisors trying new things that, statistically, some will be right on their predictions. When this happens, they get their own radio show. When they’re wrong, you never hear about them.
Unpredictable events or government intervention can make any prediction completely worthless.
Overweighting some sectors and ignoring others adds risk.

Semi-Objective Opinion:

In order to significantly beat the market, you have to take some additional risk, and this strategy does that. When called correctly, this strategy can make huge gains. It can also lose a significant amount of money while everyone else is making money. By picking the right sectors or asset classes at the right time, it is possible to make money in practically any environment. However, similar to flipping a coin and trying to get “heads”, I’m not sure past success is a great predictor of future success.

Buy and Sell Strategies

Buy-and-Hold

A pure buy-and-hold strategy involves buying a high-quality investment such as stocks or a mutual fund, and then holding the investment through highs and lows until either your investment objectives change or you find out the investment is not as high-quality as you thought it was. The rationale is that the overall market goes up over time, and you don’t want to miss a big up day in the market by holding cash.

Most Common Supporting Arguments (some with questionable accuracy):

The majority of market gains occur on a relatively few number of days, so if you miss one of these days, your returns will be significantly less.
“Time in the market” is more important than “timing the market”.
Warren Buffet is a buy-and-hold advocate.

My Rebuttal:

Missing the worst days of the market is far better than catching all of the best days. However, since no timing system exists that misses only the best days or misses only the worst days, both situations are ridiculous and using them as arguments stretches the definition of integrity.
Warren Buffet does not “buy-and-hold” like you and I would, unless you have the resources to buy a company, install the management, hold the management accountable for performance, etc.

When It Works/When It Doesn’t Work:

Buy-and-hold makes money when investments go up, and loses money when they go down. Therefore, it works well during bull markets and works poorly during bear markets. For this strategy to continue to work for the next 30 years like it did the last 30 years, you have to assume that investments will continue to go up like they have during a period of economic growth that was fueled by the Baby Boom generation, an Energy bubble, a Technology bubble, and a Real Estate bubble.

Market Timing (prediction-based)

Market Timing is one of the most loosely-defined terms in the financial industry. There are many advisors who deride market timing, and yet routinely practice market timing themselves. Broadly-defined, market timing is a strategy that makes changes to a portfolio based on predicted market performance. These changes may involve selling all investments and moving to cash, or simply adjusting the percentage of stocks and bonds because of economic conditions or anticipated market behavior. Prediction-based market timing bases decisions on an advisor’s assessment of future conditions. If high-inflation is anticipated, investments that hedge against inflation would be added. If economic contraction is anticipated, an advisor might move to a heavier cash position.

Most Common Supporting Arguments:

By using indicators such as inflation, unemployment, factory usage, etc, it is possible to anticipate which sectors have a higher chance of outperforming in the future.

My Rebuttal:

Economic indicators work when nothing interferes with them, but unexpected events such as government action or national conflict override any statistical probability used for predictions.
Overweighting some sectors and ignoring others adds significant risk to a portfolio.

When It Works/When It Doesn’t Work:

This method is highly dependent on the person or statistical model making the prediction. If the predictions are accurate, this strategy has a good chance of significantly outperforming other methods. If the predictions are wrong, the opposite is true. Because of the large number of advisors who make predictions, a certain number will get it right several times in a row, but statistically this will not indicate any greater likelihood that they will continue to be right in the future. As mentioned above, unanticipated news events or government action will instantly derail most statistical models.

Market Timing (momentum-based)

Momentum-based market timing uses technical indicators (stock charts and current market behavior) to determine whether the market is in a downtrend or an uptrend. Downtrends occur when more people want to sell than want to buy, and uptrends occur when more people want to buy than want to sell. Price movement and trading volume can determine whether there is more buying pressure or more selling pressure at any given time, and the theory behind momentum is that once a trend is in place, it tends to stay in place. For how long? Until it stops.

Most Common Supporting Arguments:

Price movement and trading volume offer strong clues about buying pressure and selling pressure, and whether large institutional traders are buying or selling.
Institutional traders do not establish or eliminate entire positions in a single trade, and typically spread trading over several days or weeks. Therefore, trends tend to stay in place for some period of time once they are established.

My Rebuttal:

This makes a lot of sense to me, so I don’t typically argue against it. However, it has some weak points (see below).
Some advisors can go over-board on technical patterns (head and shoulders, cup and handle, shallow birdbath with a floating stick…I made that one up). These advisors are traders looking for short-term movements. Trends, on the other hand, are determined more by a pattern of higher-highs or lower-lows, and it doesn’t need to be very complicated.

When It Works/When It Doesn’t Work:

There are some key components required for this system to work.

1) The method for determining trends must not be too early or too late. Stocks seldom move in a straight line. They typically make a strong move, and then rest or pullback. Assuming too early that a trend is being established or ending will result in jumping in or out during pullbacks or corrections. Waiting too long or for too many confirmation signals will result in missing a good portion of the trend.

2) Investments must be liquid. You must be able to act when your system tells you to buy or sell.

3) Whether you use Moving Averages, charting, or any other system to determine a trend, the trend will not always hold. Each system will break down under certain conditions, so the objective is to use a system that works under the widest set of conditions and/or breaks down under the narrowest set.

Market Timing (emotion-based)

This is not a strategy that is typically planned for or entered into intentionally, and is the form of market timing most often practiced by those who swear they hate market timing. Many practitioners of this strategy consider themselves to be buy-and-hold investors, but they end up moving to cash when the pain gets too great or the market is too scary. Typically, this happens after a significant loss is already on the books, which actually makes this a form of momentum. The rationale is that if my investments have already lost money, they may continue to lose money. The problem is that if emotion or fear drives the sell decision, then the decision to get back in is typically based on “feeling better”, which almost always happens at a higher price than the sell price.

Most Common Supporting Arguments:

Not too many people are active proponents of this strategy, but a lot of people practice it.

My Rebuttal:

Not much to rebut, other than pointing out that you can’t call yourself a buy-and-hold investor if you move to cash or change your stock allocation when the market gets scary, and no one should use this method as an example to “prove” that all market timing systems are doomed to failure.

When It Works/When It Doesn’t Work:

This strategy seldom works, and is the reason that the vast majority of investors buy when the market is high and sell when the market is low. It doesn’t matter which strategy you use; just about anything is better than basing investment decisions on emotion.

Disclosure (my bias)

I use a Balanced Sector Allocation strategy using low-correlated ETFs, and momentum-based market timing. The objective is to participate as much as possible in uptrends, and avoid as much of the downtrends as possible. This requires a set of rules that makes the decision points unemotional. A Balanced Sector Allocation guarantees participation in the hottest trending sector at any given time, but with a mechanism to get out of a sector when it starts heading back down.

Weak Points:

Because it takes a little while for a downtrend to show itself, sell decisions will never happen right at the top of a trend. The same holds true for uptrends and buy decisions. If the market gets indecisive and swings far enough that it keeps looking like uptrends and downtrends are forming but no follow-through happens, a condition could occur where losses are exaggerated. This would be a very specific and narrow set of conditions, and I have other checks that attempt to minimize this condition, but it still exists.