Wealth Management

What New Zealand’s export market and your investment portfolio have in common

Matt-Todd Matt Tod
18 January 2024
4 min read

Certain conditions impacting New Zealand currently highlight the importance diversification plays in managing risk. New Zealand is seeing prices for our most precious commodities fall. Dairy and lamb prices have fallen on the back of sluggish demand from our number one purchaser of these commodities, China. China’s growth from a COVID-induced lull has been underwhelming.

The Chinese consumer is facing their own challenges with both demographics, an ageing and declining population and a vulnerable property market that is seeing values decline. Conditions which cause the Chinese consumer to be more cautious with spending. On the back of this vulnerability, the New Zealand share market has recently been a laggard when compared to much larger and more developed economies like the United States.

Whether it be your own business, farm, or investment decisions, it is important your future does not rely solely on a single type of activity, commodity, product, or asset to provide you with the future certainty you may be looking for.

Whether you're saving for retirement, funding your child's education, or aiming for financial independence, making the right investment choices is crucial. One of the fundamental principles that can significantly enhance your investment strategy is diversification. Diversifying your investment portfolio involves spreading your money across a variety of assets and economies. Let's go through the numerous benefits to this strategy that can help you mitigate risk and optimise your returns.

Risk reduction

One of the primary advantages of diversification is risk reduction. Different asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, real estate, and commodities, have varying degrees of risk associated with them. By diversifying your investments across these asset classes, you can reduce the impact of a poor-performing investment on your overall portfolio. If one asset class experiences a downturn, the positive performance of others can help offset the losses, reducing the overall risk of your portfolio.

For instance, during economic downturns, stocks may perform poorly while bonds tend to perform better. By having a mix of these assets in your portfolio, you can minimise the impact of a weak or underperforming stock market on your overall wealth.

Enhanced consistency

Diversification can lead to more consistent returns over time. When you concentrate your investments on a single asset or sector, your portfolio becomes highly dependent on the performance of that particular investment. This can lead to significant volatility in your portfolio's value. However, when you diversify across multiple assets and economies you create a more balanced and stable portfolio that is less prone to extreme fluctuations.

Improved risk-return profile

Diversification can lead to an improved risk-return profile, allowing you to strike a balance between risk and potential reward. While some high-risk investments may offer the potential for substantial returns, they also carry a greater chance of losses. Diversifying your portfolio allows you to allocate a portion of your investments to riskier assets while keeping the majority in safer, more stable options.

This approach helps you achieve a mix that aligns with your risk tolerance and financial goals. As you diversify, you can optimise your portfolio for both stability and growth, depending on your unique circumstances and investment horizon.

Smoother ride in volatile markets

Financial markets are inherently volatile, with fluctuations driven by economic, political, and global events. A diversified portfolio can help you weather the storms of market volatility more effectively. While some investments may suffer during turbulent times, others may perform well or remain stable. This can provide a smoother and less stressful investment experience, as you won't be overly reliant on any single investment's performance.

New Zealand is a vulnerable small economy and a price taker of some of our most valuable exported produce, in the same way as diversifying your investments, a more diversified customer base could play a role in improving our export income receipts.

Those looking to protect and secure their financial future can diversify away their reliance on a single economy, asset class, or commodity and take advantage of better-performing economies. Building a diversified portfolio outside of their core business allows for a much smoother ride during volatile times. This diversification enables you to be one step closer to a successful financial plan.

Working with a financial planning and wealth management expert can help ensure your investment portfolio is appropriately diversified and able to mitigate the risks of differently performing economies. For more information and to talk about your specific circumstances contact a specialists today.

Author: Matt Tod | Associate Partner