7/14/16

What do fine wines and financial portfolios have in common? Like a fine wine, quality portfolios take work. The best wines in the world are not made by accident. It takes time, planning, adaptation and perseverance to produce a top-quality bottle of wine. Likewise, there are a number of carefully calculated factors that come into play when it comes to creating a high-quality, perfectly balanced financial portfolio.

Here are just a few ingredients you need to make your investment portfolio a successful one:

Calculated Planning

Making a great wine starts with planning. The same is true when it comes to investing. With a vineyard, the process includes looking into the placement of the actual vineyard with respect to the sunlight, monitoring the soil quality, selecting high quality grapes, and implementing a good irrigation system. If something is not planned well in this stage, it can negatively affect the entire batch of grapes. When something goes wrong in this stage, it will most likely affect the entire harvest and not be something that can be fixed. Once, the quality of the grapes is damaged, the quality of the wine will surely suffer too.  

Investment portfolios are no different. A lack of planning at the start can cause the output of your portfolio to suffer. Just like you wouldn’t plant a vineyard with no plan, it would be unwise to just invest in anything without knowing what the outcome will be. Planning investment portfolios requires knowing what your primary financial objectives are, which assets you want to invest in, what your required return is, the amount of time you need and what you have to start with. If you take the time to plan your “vineyard”, you’ll be well on your way to reaping the rewards of your well-thought-out plan.  

Managing with Care

Even with the best roadmap, events that are out of our control are bound to happen. In farming, weather can be the biggest unknown. Going through a period of drought can drastically alter your crop, even after all the planning in the world. Other sudden events like fires, tornados, hailstorms or insect infestations can also have lasting and damaging effects on the fruits of your labor.

Investments, like vineyards, should be monitored and cared for all the way until the harvest, as investments too can be affected by external events. Some examples include the imposition of capital controls, changes in regulations, a severe financial crisis, or a major geopolitical event. As in the case of a vineyard, our portfolios can take a sudden and scary hit or go through a long drought that can impact our growing season. While we can’t control these external factors, we can deal with them as they come to make sure we don’t lose the entire crop.

Reaping the Fruits of Your Labor

The harvest and ensuing winemaking may be the best part of the winemaking process. The grapes are finally hand-picked, processed and fermented into wine. This is especially rewarding because you get to see and finally experience the fruits of your labor. After careful planning and management, the time that you’ve waited for has finally arrived. It’s time to sit back and enjoy the fine wine you’ve worked so hard to make.

Similarly, reaping what you sow in your investment portfolio is equally as rewarding. The time and effort you spent in planning and careful execution will eventually pay off, and you can enjoy the reward – whether it be retirement, sending a child off to college, or buying your first home. Investments, like winemaking, take discipline, care, and attention to detail. In the end, after all the planning and trials that you’ve been through, it will all be worth the effort.

 

The FMB Advisors Blog

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