With increased life expectancy, the goal posts for what are considered short, medium and long term are shifting, more so for younger individuals. This is because someone in their mid-20s today might spend 40 to 45 years working and then have 20 to 30 years in retirement. So those in their 20s and 30s may want to consider medium-term objectives to be between 10 and 30 years, and long term as anything over 30 years.
Asset allocation depends on your goals, your attitude to risk, your capacity for loss and market conditions. Understanding investment risk and determining what level of risk you feel comfortable with before you invest is an important part of the investment decision process. Potential returns available from different kinds of investment, and the risks involved, change over time as a result of economic, political and regulatory developments, as well as a host of other factors.
Spreading your money across different investment types and sectors
If we could see into the future, there would be no need to diversify our investments. We could merely choose a date when we needed our money back, then select the investment that would provide the highest return to that date.
Taking a more diverse approach to asset allocation
Investment trusts are a well-established way of investing. Many investors prefer to invest in a fund rather than by picking individual stocks, shares or other assets. Funds allow you to diversify your portfolio easily, as well as giving you the chance to benefit from the expertise of fund managers.