Retirement Portfolio Investing Strategies To Know – Forbes


Ready to get serious about funding your retirement? Here’s a look at the importance of retirement investing plus four strategies that could ultimately pay the bills in your senior years.

The Importance Of Retirement Investing

Retirement investing is the process of buying assets that can provide income once you leave the workforce. Retirement income can take the form of interest payments, dividend payments or stock liquidations that fund account withdrawals.

You need to learn how to invest for retirement because:

  • Cash deposits don’t grow quickly enough to amass sufficient wealth for retirement.
  • Social Security, on average, only replaces 40% of working income.
  • It’s common for seniors to be pushed out of the workforce earlier than planned due to health issues or employers’ changing needs.

In other words, cash savings, Social Security and working indefinitely are not realistic retirement plans. You’ll have far greater success by investing regularly for 20 years or more during your working years.

Key Points

  • Income investing is a conservative approach that produces regular cash income but minimal-to-no capital appreciation.
  • Dividend investing splits your returns between income and capital appreciation.
  • Value investing involves choosing stocks that are currently underpriced or out of favor, on the assumption that their market value will rise later.
  • Growth investing favors stocks that are poised to outperform the market in the coming months and years.
  • Most savers will benefit from combining these investing strategies into one diversified retirement portfolio.

Investing in stocks is one of the best moves you can make to grow your wealth and build your nest egg. The Forbes investment team has identified undervalued stocks poised to surge in this exclusive report, 7 Stocks To Buy Now.

Retirement Investing Strategies To Know

Below is a look at four top retirement investing strategies: income investing, dividend investing, value investing and growth investing. They are ordered from least to most aggressive.

Retirement Investing Strategy #1: Income Investing

Income investing is the process of buying securities that produce cash income but offer little-to-no capital appreciation.

As a refresher, capital appreciation is a gain in value over time—as in when a stock you buy for $100 is later worth $400. To benefit from that appreciation, you’d sell some or all your shares.

Income investing doesn’t require as much liquidation because the assets generate regular payments. You may still need to liquidate assets periodically if your retirement portfolio doesn’t produce enough income to fund your retirement living expenses.

Note that without appreciation, contributions alone won’t be enough to grow your income portfolio sufficiently. For that reason, you must reinvest the income while you’re working. Otherwise, you’ll struggle to amass enough assets to satisfy your income needs.

Asset Types For Income Portfolios

The best retirement income strategies combine diverse assets to enhance income potential and reduce risk. Popular asset choices include real estate investment trusts (REITs), bond funds and dividend stocks.

  • REITs deliver high yields but carry more risk than bonds and bond funds. The income and the value of REIT shares can fluctuate.
  • Bonds and bond funds generally provide reliable income and low volatility. You can customize a bond portfolio to suit your yield requirements and risk tolerance. Riskier bonds pay higher yields and vice versa. A portfolio of only bonds can be problematic because the stable income loses purchasing power over time due to inflation.
  • Dividend stocks can appreciate and pay cash income. Premier dividend stocks often raise their dividends periodically, which makes them a good hedge against inflation.

Retirement Investing Strategy #2: Dividend Investing

Dividend stocks are a hybrid strategy of sorts because they deliver capital appreciation and income. Generally, it’s easier to amass a big portfolio over 10 or 20 years with retirement investments that appreciate vs. those that don’t.

The downside is that appreciation potential comes with added risk. An economic or industry downturn or poor results at specific companies can lower the value of your dividend stocks. Economic or industry-specific issues tend to create temporary value losses, while problems at the company can cause temporary or permanent stock price declines.

As with pure income investing, it’s best practice to reinvest the dividends until you retire. This expedites the growth of your portfolio.

Asset Types For Dividend Portfolios

You can mix and match different types of dividend stocks to optimize your portfolio risk and overall dividend yield. Options to consider are:

  • Dividend Aristocrats: These are S&P 500 stocks that have raised their dividends annually for the last 25 consecutive years. Coca-ColaKO
    and Walmart
    are examples.
  • Blue-Chip Dividend Stocks: Large, well-established companies with low volatility and stable dividends. JPMorgan (JPM) and Target
    are examples.
  • Growth Dividend Stocks: Deliver stronger appreciation potential plus a modest dividend payment. Microsoft
    and Nvidia (NVDA) are examples. These stocks pay yields of 0.76% and 0.03%, respectively.
  • High-Yield Dividend Stocks: Pay out more income for your investment dollar. The trade off is that these stocks may be less reliable with their dividend payments or more volatile in terms of stock price. Examples include AT&T (T) and KeyCorp
    , which have yields of 7.1% and 7.3%, respectively.

[Note: Forbes has a premium investment newsletter, Forbes Dividend Investor, that recommends 25 dividend stocks with strong fundamentals.]

Retirement Investing Strategy #3: Value Investing

Value investing involves choosing stocks that are underpriced relative to their income potential and financial strength.

You can identify value stocks through analysis of financial metrics and business conditions. They tend to have strong performance outlooks, steadily rising cash flow and low P/E, P/B and P/S ratios.

Value stocks are usually less volatile than growth stocks. Many pay dividends, too. They do require a longer holding period, however. It can take time for the stock price to rebound to where it should be.

As with any investing strategy, you’d want to diversify your value stock holdings into multiple industries and company sizes.

Asset Types For Value Portfolios

Subsets of the value stock category include:

  • Contrarian value stocks. These are stocks that are out of favor with investors, often due to bad press. If the factors in play are temporary, contrarian stocks can deliver nice growth when they eventually rebound.
  • Turnaround value stocks. Companies that have faced hard times but are working their way back to financial stability are turnaround stocks.
  • Defensive value stocks. This type of stock is the safest of the options listed here. They operate in stable, less reactive sectors such as utilities, healthcare and consumer staples.

Retirement Investing Strategy #4: Growth Investing

Growth investors buy stocks that are positioned to outperform peers and the market. Growth stocks don’t typically pay dividends because they’re reinvesting excess cash into strategic initiatives.

To build a growth portfolio, you’d invest in diversified stocks that have strong growth characteristics. These include a track record of revenue and earnings increases, aggressive future growth targets, loyal customers plus a large and growing addressable market.

You can diversify by holding 20 to 25 individual stocks that represent different industries, geographies and company sizes. Or you can buy mutual or exchange-traded funds that invest in growth stocks.

Growth stocks can be volatile, but the risk of loss moderates somewhat with longer holding periods.

Asset Types For Growth Portfolios

There are many types of growth stocks, including:

  • Small- and mid-caps: These companies have more room to grow than mega cap players like Apple
    . They can appreciate quickly but also can be quite reactive to macroeconomic trends.
  • Emerging market stocks: Emerging markets are economies that are transitioning to more mature, developed states. These economies can exhibit rapid growth and expansion as well as extreme volatility.
  • Disruptive technology stocks: These companies invest and develop technologies that transform existing industries or markets. TeslaTSLA
    (TSLA) is an example. The electric vehicle (EV) maker has forever changed the century-old automotive industry.
  • Established growth stocks: These stocks blend the best of both worlds: solid growth prospects with financial strength. Alphabet (GOOGL) and AmazonAMZN
    are examples.

Investing in stocks is one of the best moves you can make to grow your wealth and build your nest egg. The Forbes investment team has identified undervalued stocks poised to surge in this exclusive report, 7 Stocks To Buy Now.

What Is The Best Strategy For Retirement?

How to invest for retirement? There’s no single answer. Most investors will benefit from having some level of exposure to all the investing strategies outlined here. The retirement portfolio allocations you use to blend income assets with dividend stocks, value stocks and growth stocks depends on your timeline, risk tolerance, savings goals and even the types of investment accounts you use.

Say you are targeting a $2.5 million account balance by 2038. That demands a more aggressive, stock-heavy strategy than, say, someone who’s targeting $1.5 million by 2045. Or perhaps you are investing for retirement in a taxable account. In that case, you’d avoid income-producing assets to avoid triggering a tax bill and lean in on growth stocks.

You can also modify your retirement portfolio by age, as your needs change. Many savers will invest aggressively when retirement is decades away. As retirement nears, they shift into a strategy that preserves the wealth they’ve created.

Keep in mind that the initial steps for building your retirement portfolio are the same, no matter what strategy you choose. Those steps are:

  1. Determine income needs: Retirement experts say to assume you’ll need 80% to 90% of your income to cover living expenses once you stop working.
  2. Define your risk tolerance: Higher risk assets have the most potential. Lower risk assets generally have lower income or growth characteristics.
  3. Choose appropriate asset types: Consider your timeline, risk tolerance, savings goals and tax needs. Additionally, think about how much work you want to take on. If you prefer to be hands-on, you’d opt for individual positions. If you want to keep things low-maintenance, a mutual fund portfolio or an index fund portfolio will suit you better.
  4. Target a 15% contribution rate. Many experts recommend investing 15% or more of your income for retirement: Think of it this way: The more you contribute in your working years, the less worry you’ll have later on.

Bottom Line

Your retirement portfolio allocations can position you for income, capital appreciation or both. An income strategy prioritizes bonds, which don’t grow in value but should produce reliable cash flow. An appreciation strategy relies heavily on stocks which can be volatile.

Fortunately, this isn’t a black-and-white choice. You can take a blended approach or modify your strategy later as you learn more about your own retirement investment preferences.

What you can’t do is make up for time you stayed out of the market. So start investing today, monitor your progress and adjust as needed. Those steps will put you firmly on the path towards a comfortable, well-funded retirement.

Read Next

Investing in stocks is one of the best moves you can make to grow your wealth and build your nest egg. The Forbes investment team has identified undervalued stocks poised to surge in this exclusive report, 7 Stocks To Buy Now.

Hi, I’m Investing