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2 Reasons the Generic 60/40 Portfolio Fails

2 Reasons the Generic 60/40 Portfolio Fails EGSI Financial

Starting out your investing journey, you may have been advised to follow the 60/40 allocation strategy. This strategy tells you to put 60% of your portfolio in equities and 40% in bonds or other fixed-income offerings. For decades, this strategy has been revered for its balance, offering high growth potential from stocks and a safety net in bonds.[1] The assumption was that stock and bond markets would not dip at the same time, mitigating risk and enabling long-term growth of investment accounts. However, the 2022 economy has brought the classic 60/40 allocation strategy into question as both the stock and bond markets have declined at the same time.

  1. Yo-yo Stock Markets

Historically, stocks have thrived in environments of low-interest rates and low inflation. However, 2022 has seen the highest inflation rates in 40 years, prompting the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates six times this year alone.[2] With high inflation, rising interest rates, and economic uncertainty, stocks have taken a knock in 2022, falling by nearly 23%.[3] Stocks account for 60% of the 60/40 allocation, and their drop has affected these portfolios, greatly reducing their value. Equities are even more volatile than bonds, therefore a minor shift negatively impacts a 60/40 allocated investment account.[4] Even though the stock market may recover as the economy bounces back, the extent of recovery for these 60/40 portfolios is uncertain and may alter how you choose to spend or maintain investments in retirement.

  1. Sinking Bond Markets

Historically, bond values are set to rise when recession hits to spur investment back into the economy. Just like stocks, bonds also rise in economic environments with lower inflation and declining interest rates. Bonds have not offered much promise to investors in the past few years, offering returns as low as 0.69% in 2016, and even negative yields in government bonds in 2018.[5] Just as this trajectory was turning around due to pandemic factors, high inflation and rising borrowing costs sent the bond market down by 14% in 2022. In a 60/40 allocation, this negatively affects the whole portfolio, and the intended safety net failed at providing the protection many anticipated. The decline of bonds impacts when individuals are able to withdraw from their retirement funds and may change how they spend their money to ensure it lasts throughout retirement.

The economic uncertainty in 2022 has disrupted classic allocation models, prompting many to rethink where and how they invest their hard-earned money. While various financial professionals have suggested new allocation strategies, many investors do not feel confident in putting their funds at risk. To find out what investment strategy works best for you and your retirement goals, talk to us today and get a personalized complimentary review of your finances.


[1] https://www.advisorperspectives.com/newsletters12/pdfs/Why_a_60-40_Portfolio_isnt_Diversified.pdf
[2] https://www.bankrate.com/banking/federal-reserve/how-much-will-fed-raise-rates-in-2022/
[3] https://www.cnbc.com/2022/10/03/why-60/40-portfolio-is-on-track-for-its-worst-year-ever-says-cio.html
[4] https://www.advisorperspectives.com/newsletters12/pdfs/Why_a_60-40_Portfolio_isnt_Diversified.pdf
[5] https://www.investopedia.com/articles/06/centuryofbonds.asp

Advisory services offered through EGSI Investment Management, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor with the State of Ohio. Insurance services offered through EGSI Financial, Inc. Guarantees offered with insurance products are based on the claims-paying ability of the issuing company. Investing may involve risk and may result in the loss of principal. Ohio Insurance License # 619337. Please contact EGSI Investment Management if there are any changes in your financial situation or investment objectives, or if you wish to impose, add, or modify any reasonable restrictions to the management of your account, EGSI Investment Management Form ADV Part 2A&B is available for your review upon request.

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