How to Manage Risks to Your Portfolio in an Uncertain Economy

In addition to volatility of individual securities, you also face risks related to your life span, market changes, and more. The following table explains how to minimize risks.

Risk Definition Management Techniques
Longevity risk The risk you’ll outlive your money Make sure you have a sensible withdrawal rate. Know what you
need for big purchases and for basic expenses. Consider a no-load,
low-cost immediate annuity to guarantee an inflation-adjusted
lifetime stream of income, at least sufficient to cover basic needs
that Social Security and any pension benefits don’t
cover.
Liquidity risk The risk that you won’t have the cash on hand when you
need it, forcing you to sell assets in a down market
Assign chunks of your money to each major goal. Plan to have
more accessible liquid assets, such as short-term bonds and cash,
in those accounts as the time approaches.
Inflation risk The risk inflation will outpace the return on your investments,
reducing your purchasing power
Long-term inflation is close to 4%; underestimating the effect
of price increases can put your portfolio and income stream at
risk. Use a realistic inflation factor in your planning. Make sure
you have enough equity in your mix to grow your long-term money
faster than inflation.
Market risk The risk that stock and bond markets as a whole will fall Get a mix of stocks, bonds, and cash that make sense for your
risk tolerance and time horizon.
Manager risk The risk that you’ll pick the wrong money manager, your
manager will leave, or your actively managed mutual fund will do
worse than the market on a risk-adjusted basis
Consider using index mutual funds or exchange-traded funds
(ETFs) that attempt to match the performance of their given market
sector. Be happy with what the markets give you and enjoy the lower
costs.