Balancing Risk and Returns in Your Retirement Portfolio

As we approach our golden years, the importance of striking the right balance between risk and returns in your investment portfolio becomes even more paramount.

Investing can play a crucial role in building your nest egg. And as you near retirement, it’s essential to craft a strategy that aligns with your risk tolerance. In this blog, we’ll explore key principles and actionable tips to help you navigate the delicate art of balancing risk and returns as you get closer to transitioning.  

What Does Risk and Reward Mean for Investing?

The risk-reward ratio is a tool employed by investors to gauge the expected gains of an investment in comparison to the associated risk of loss. A lower risk/return ratio is generally more favorable as it indicates less risk for an equivalent potential gain. In contrast, higher risk often correlates with a higher expected return.

To compute the risk/reward ratio, apply the following formula:

Risk/Reward Ratio = Potential Loss / Potential Profit

Simply divide the potential profit (reward) by the potential loss (risk). For instance, if you purchased a stock at $100 with plans to sell it at $200, the net profit would be $100.

Some investors also use the reward/risk ratio, which reverses the formula mentioned above. However, in reward/risk ratios, higher numbers are considered more favorable for investors.

Balancing Your Investment Strategy

An effective investment strategy strives to achieve a balance between risk and return by diversifying asset classes within a portfolio. There are a variety of ways to put together a balanced portfolio, here are some of our top tips.

  1. Assess Your Risk Tolerance

Before making any investment decisions, take the time to assess your risk tolerance. Understand your comfort level with market fluctuations and potential losses. As retirement approaches, many individuals prefer a more conservative approach to protect their hard-earned savings. Knowing your risk tolerance sets the foundation for building a portfolio that aligns with your financial personality.

  1. Diversification

Diversifying your investment portfolio is a time-tested strategy for managing risk. Spread your investments across different asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, and real estate. This helps mitigate the impact of poor performance in any single investment and provides a buffer against market volatility. Adjust your asset allocation based on your risk tolerance and financial goals.

  1. Invest in Bonds

Bonds are often seen as a safer investment option than stocks, as they offer a fixed rate of return and are potentially less volatile. Generally, the best bonds for retirees to invest in are: 

  • Government Bonds: These are typically considered the safest, as they are backed by the government. 
  • Corporate Bonds: These types of bonds may be a bit riskier, but do generally offer higher returns.

Bonds can help provide a more stable income stream, which can make them an ideal investment option for those who need a reliable source of income during retirement. By investing in bonds, retirees can help create a more balanced portfolio that could help generate a predictable and steady stream of income.

  1. Consider Mutual Funds and ETFs

Mutual funds and ETFs (exchange-traded funds) can offer cost-effective avenues for diversifying investment portfolios. These investment vehicles aggregate funds from multiple investors, channeling them into a diverse range of assets like stocks, bonds, and commodities. Opting for mutual funds or ETFs provides retirees with access to a well-rounded portfolio, helping to effectively balance risk and return.

Mutual funds and EFTs also offer the benefit of professional management, which can be great for retirees who may not possess the time or expertise for active investment management. With lower investment minimums and fees compared to individual stocks or bonds, mutual funds and ETFs can sometimes be a more accessible investment option for retirees.

  1. Keep an Eye on Market Conditions

Stay informed about market conditions and economic trends. Periodically review and rebalance your portfolio to help ensure it aligns with your current financial objectives. Adjustments may be necessary based on changes in the economic landscape, interest rates, and your own life circumstances.

Consulting with a Financial Advisor

Seeking guidance from a financial advisor can be invaluable as you navigate the complexities of retirement planning. A professional can help tailor an investment strategy to your unique needs, provide insights on market conditions, and offer ongoing support to adapt your portfolio to changing circumstances.

Collaborating with a financial advisory firm, such as Johnson Wealth and Income Management, presents an excellent opportunity to develop an investment plan that aligns with your financial goals. A financial advisor can assist you with investment strategies and help retirees manage the risk and return of their investment portfolio.

A good financial advisor can provide the following benefits:

  • Help you comprehend and leverage employer matching contributions.
  • Help enhance your investment diversification.
  • Advise on the most suitable type of retirement account (Roth, Traditional IRA).
  • Help you to capitalize on Iowa state tax breaks.
  • Conduct periodic reviews of your portfolio and recommend adjustments when necessary.
  • Identify potential portfolio risks and recommend strategies to help mitigate them.

Final Thoughts

Balancing risk and returns in your investment portfolio as you near retirement requires careful consideration and a strategic approach. Assessing your risk tolerance, diversifying your investments, focusing on income generation, staying informed, setting realistic expectations, and seeking professional advice, can help you create a resilient and well-balanced portfolio that helps support your financial goals in retirement. 

Want to learn more? Contact our fiduciary advisors here today.


All written content on this site is for informational purposes only. Opinions expressed herein are solely those of Johnson Wealth & Income Management and our editorial staff. Material presented is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representations as to its accuracy or completeness. Investing involves risk. There is always the potential of losing money when you invest in securities. Asset allocation, diversification and rebalancing do not ensure a profit or help protect against loss in declining markets. All information and ideas should be discussed in detail with your individual advisor prior to implementation. The presence of this website, and the material contained within, shall in no way be construed or interpreted as a solicitation or recommendation for the purchase or sale of any security or investment strategy. In addition, the presence of this website should not be interpreted as a solicitation for Investment Advisory Services to any residents of states where otherwise legally permitted to conduct business. Fee-based financial planning and Investment Advisory Services are offered by Sound Income Strategies, LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisory firm. Johnson Wealth & Income Management and Sound Income Strategies LLC are not associated entities. Johnson Wealth & Income Management is a franchisee of the Retirement Income Source. The Retirement Income Source and Sound Income Strategies LLC are associated entities. © 2023 Sound Income Strategies.