Investment Strategy, Guide to Investment Strategy

November 23, 2010Investingby EconomyWatch

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A well-planned investment strategy is essential before having any investment decisions. A business strategy is generally based upon long run period. Formation of business strategy largely dependent upon the factors such as long-term goals and risk on the investment.

As the return on investment is not always clear, so the investors prepare the strategy so as to face the ongoing challenges in investment. A balanced investment strategy is generally required in the process of investment, which possesses long time period and some risk tolerance.

In the case, when a strategy is aggressive the chance of attaining a higher goal is higher. An efficient strategy can be obtained from portfolio theory, which shows good estimates on risk and return.

Investment Strategy is usually considered to be more of a branch of finance than economics. It is defined as set of rules, a definite behavior or procedure guiding an investor to choose his investment portfolio. For example, investing in mutual funds has recently emerged as a very favorable investment strategy.

An investment strategy is centered on a risk-return tradeoff for a potential investor. High return investment instruments such as real estate and mutual funds usually have more risks associated with it than low return-low risk investment opportunities. Return on investment can be calculated on past or current investment or on the estimated return on future investment.

Symbolically, it can be expressed as:

Vf/Vi -1 where Vf denotes final investment value and Vi is the initial investment value.(“f” and “i” should be noted as subscripts)

Return on investment (ROI) is profitable when Vf/Vi-1>0 and the investment is deemed to be unprofitable when the value of final investment is less than that of the initial investment. ROI is calculated to be 1 or 100% when the value of the final investment is twice the value of the initial investment.

Types of investment strategies can be defined as follows:
A passive investment strategy attempted to minimize transaction costs.
An active investment strategy guide used to maximize returns based on moves such as proper market timing. This usually mean, “buying in the lows and selling in the highs” or buying investment instruments when they are cheap and selling them off when their price appreciates. This strategy, however, is not very beneficial for small time investors.

Small time investors can adopt the buy and hold investment strategy to invest in equities, which although volatile in nature, give favorable long run returns. Investing in equity markets for small time investors is associated with the investors holding on for very long periods. In the case of real estate, the holding period extends the lifespan of the mortgage. Notably, in case of this strategy, indexing or buying a small proportion of all the shares in market index or a mutual fund is a purely passive variant of the above strategy.

The strategy of value investing, a classic investment strategy propagated by Benjamin Graham simply concentrates on the strategy that an investor buys shares of a company as if he was buying off the whole company without paying any attention to the stock market scenario or any exterior conditions such as the political climate. At the end of the day, if he can buy the stock at less than that its actual future worth to the buyer, the person is said to have discovered a “value investment.”

Investment strategies can also denote the investment strategies a national or federal government should follow to bring about economic growth in a country. This can only be achieved by domestic investment as well as significant FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) flows to particular sectors of countries, especially the less developed ones of Asia and Africa.

In case of India, infrastructural problems, excessive government intervention, rigid labor laws and corruption are stifling the flow of FDI in the critical sectors. Less developed countries such as those in the Asia- Pacific region and Africa can bring about much needed development in these economies.

An investment strategy in mutual funds is probably the best bet for a profitable investment. Mutual funds is defined as a pool of money supplied by different investors and in turn used by the mutual fund company to invest in various assets such as stocks and bonds. However, a detailed research has to be conducted for choosing the mutual fund companies and only those should be considered which have a professional investment manger. This will ensure that the funds get channeled towards the right investments. This also applies for investing in stock markets where a decision to invest should follow a through research about the past and current trends of the stock prices and their Net Asset Values (NAV). Analyses from market researchers about the predicted future trends should also be considered otherwise gains from capital appreciation; capital gain distribution (in case of mutual funds) and dividends might not be realized.

Lastly, investment strategies leading to green investments or investments in renewable sources of energy will be the next big thing in the investment spectrum.