Peter Switzer: Hello, and welcome to Switzer Investing Insights brought to you by Nabtrade. It is the start of a new financial year, so let’s review the strategies that will help keep your portfolio in good shape.
Paul Rickard: Let’s start with your asset allocation, because the investment research says this is the major driver of risk adjusted investment performance. It is important to remember that asset allocations are not static because as markets change, the value of individual investments rise and fall – meaning that the amount invested in each asset class changes. We also make new investments and sell others during the year, so periodically, we should re-balance our portfolio to make sure that our exposures are where we want them to be.
Of course, there is no right or wrong asset allocation. What is right for you depends on your own investment objectives, your need to grow capital or preserve capital, your need for income, your tolerance or enthusiasm for risk and many other factors.
Some target allocations, using generic risk descriptions, are shown on the screen below. As you move from left to right, the proportion of income assets – things like cash and fixed income – reduces from 100% down to 1%, and the proportion of growth assets – those that are expected to provide most of their return from an increase in price – assets such as shares or property - increase from 0% to 100%. For example, a balanced investor with a 40/60 split between income and growth assets.
Cash & Term Deposits
Source: Switzer Report
Peter Switzer: Okay, so that’s re-balancing to make sure your overall asset exposure is where you want it to be, what about the actual assets themselves?.
Paul Rickard: Yeah, that’s the next step – particularly for diverse assets like company shares – to ensure that the exposures to different industries and the drivers that will take different parts of the economy forward – is where you want them to be. We call this our sector allocation.
Each company is categorised using a global scheme that breaks the market up into 11 sectors. These are shown on the screen, together with their respective weight, and some of the largest stocks in those sectors.
S&P ASX 200 Weight
Largest Stocks and ASX Code
Telstra (TLS), REA Group (REA)
Wesfarmers (WES), Aristocrat (ALL)
Woolworths (WOW), Coles (COL)
Woodside (WPL), Santos (STO)
Commonwealth (CBA), Westpac (WBC)
CSL (CSL), Ramsay (RHC)
Transurban (TCL), Brambles (BXB)
Computershare (CPU), Wisetech (WTC)
BHP (BHP), RIO Tinto (RIO)
Goodman (GMC), Sentre Group (SCG)
AGL (AGL) APA Group (APA)
As at 31 May 2019. Source: S&P Dow Jones
For example, the Financials Sector makes up 32.0% of the S&P/ASX 200. If you have a view that this sector has strong prospects, then you will want your portfolio to be overweight this sector – that is, the weighting of the individual stocks would sum to more than 32%. Conversely, if you don’t favour the sector, then you will want to be underweight.
Peter Switzer: So, this is about making sure you have the right biases – potentially overweight in some sectors and underweight in others. What about the actual stocks?
Paul Rickard: That’s the last step – to check the actual stocks. And the chances are that there will be some underperformers with poor prospects – so it’s time to do a clean up and throw out the dogs and perhaps add others.
Peter Switzer: Harder said than done?
Paul Rickard: Yes, it is hard, but it is a good discipline and the start of the financial year is as good a time as any.
Peter Switzer: We haven’t talked about superannuation. Are there any superannuation actions you should take?
Paul Rickard: The main change for 2019/20 is around the consolidation of inactive low balance super accounts – these are super accounts with a balance under $6,000 and where no contribution has been made for 16 months. There are also changes to inactive accounts in regard to insurance cover. If you have an inactive account that you want to keep, perhaps for the insurance cover, you should contact your super fund now.
There are no changes to the contribution caps - $25,000 for concessional contributions which includes your employer’s 9.5% and any salary sacrifice contributions – and $100,000 for non-concessional contributions – but the important point here is to do some planning now and not leave it to the end of the financial year. Things like seeing whether you can take advantage of salary sacrifice – put a plan in place now.
And if you want to split the concessional contributions made last financial year with your spouse – in other words, to boost your spouse’s super – you need to contact your super fund before you lodge your tax return.
Peter Switzer: Rebalance your portfolio, check your sector biases, throw out any dogs, and make sure that you are getting the best out of the super system – these are all strategies to make sure that you start the financial year in good shape. Thanks for joining us on Switzer Investing Insights, brought to you by nabtrade.