Portfolio Management

Portfolio management is the key skill that one requires for managing investment effectively. Then whether he is an individual or HNI or a big MNC. Where HNI stands for High Net Worth Individual and MNC stands for Multinational Company. Different attributes of investment alternatives are analyzed and the objective of investment guides where and how much money to allocate to each of the alternatives. Investing in more and more assets, with different attributes, diversifies the risk of a portfolio and thereby increases reasonable assurance of the returns.

For understanding portfolio management (PM), it is important to understand the term ‘portfolio’, the meaning of PM, who is a portfolio manager, what does PM service involve, classification of PM services, objectives, and importance of PM.

What is Portfolio and Portfolio Management (Definition)?

The portfolio is a collection of investment instruments like shares, mutual funds, bonds, FDs and other cash equivalents, etc. Portfolio management is the art of selecting the right investment tools in the right proportion to generate optimum returns with a balance of risk from the investment made.

In other words, a portfolio is a group of assets. The portfolio gives an opportunity to diversify risk. Diversification of risk does not mean that there will be an elimination of risk. With every asset, there is an attachment of two types of risk; diversifiable/unique/unexplained/unsystematic risk and undiversifiable/ market risk / explained /systematic risk. Even an optimum portfolio cannot eliminate market risk, but can only reduce or eliminate the diversifiable risk. As soon as risk reduces, the variability of return reduces.

Best portfolio management practice runs on the principle of minimum risk and maximum return within a given time frame. A portfolio is built based on investor’s income, investment budget and risk appetite keeping the expected rate of return in mind.

Objectives of Portfolio Management

When the portfolio manager builds a portfolio, he should keep the following objectives in mind based on an individual’s expectation. The choice of one or more of these depends on the investor’s personal preference.

  1. Capital Growth
  2. Security of Principal Amount Invested
  3. Liquidity
  4. Marketability of Securities Invested in
  5. Diversification of Risk
  6. Consistent Returns
  7. Tax Planning

Investors hire portfolio managers and avail professional services for the management of portfolio by as paying a pre-decided fee for these services. Let us understanding who is a portfolio manager and tasks involved in the management of a portfolio.

See Advantages of Portfolio Management

portfolio management

Who is a Portfolio Manager?

Portfolio Manager is a person who understands his client’s investment needs and suggests a suitable investment mix to meet his client’s investment objectives. This tailor-made investment plan is recommended keeping in mind the risk-return balance. 

Process in Portfolio Management

Portfolio management process is not a one-time activity. The portfolio manager manages the portfolio on a regular basis and keeps his client updated with the changes. It involves the following tasks:

  • Understanding the client’s investment objectives and availability of funds
  • Matching investment to these objectives
  • Recommending an investment policy
  • Balancing risk and studying the portfolio performance from time to time
  • Taking a decision on the investment strategy based on discussion with the client
  • Changing asset allocation from time to time-based on portfolio performance

Why is Portfolio Management Important?

It is important due to the following reasons:

  1. PM is a perfect way to select the “Best Investment Strategy” based on age, income, risk taking the capacity of the individual and investment budget.
  2. It helps to keep a gauge on the risk taken as the process of PM keeps “Risk Minimization” as the focus.
  3. Customization” is possible because an individual’s needs and choices are kept in mind i.e. when the person needs the return, how much return expectation a person has and how much investment period an individual selects.
  4. Taking into account changes in tax laws, investments can be made.
  5. When investment is made in fixed income security like preference share or debenture or any other such security, then in that case investor is exposed to interest rate risk and price risk of security. PM can take help of duration or convexity to immunize the portfolio.

Types of Portfolio Management

Portfolio Management Services are classified into two broad categories:

On the basis of a level of activity viz.

Active & Passive Portfolio Management

Active PM refers to the service when there is active involvement of portfolio managers in buy-sell transactions for securities. It ensures meeting the investment objectives of the investor. Whereas Passive PM refers to managing a fixed portfolio where the portfolio performance is matched to the market index. (i.e. market)

On the basis of discretionary powers allowed to Portfolio Manager i.e.

Discretionary & Non-Discretionary Portfolio Management

Discretionary PM refers to the process where portfolio management has the authority to make financial decisions. It makes those decisions for the invested funds on the basis of investor’s investment needs. Apart from that, he also does the entire documentary work and filing too. Non-Discretionary PM refers to the process where a portfolio manager acts just as an advisor for which investments are good and unprofitable. And the investor takes the decisions.

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Sanjay Borad

Sanjay Bulaki Borad

Sanjay Borad is the founder & CEO of eFinanceManagement. He is passionate about keeping and making things simple and easy. Running this blog since 2009 and trying to explain "Financial Management Concepts in Layman's Terms".

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