Against the background of the asset allocation, fund managers consider the degree of diversification that makes sense for a given client (given its risk preferences) and construct a list of planned holdings accordingly. The list will indicate what percentage of the fund should be invested in each particular stock or bond. The theory of portfolio diversification was originated by Markowitz (and many others). Effective diversification requires management of the correlation between the asset returns and the liability returns, issues internal to the portfolio (individual holdings volatility), and cross-correlations between the returns.
Portfolio alpha is obtained by measuring the difference between the return of the portfolio and that of a benchmark portfolio. This measure appears to be the only reliable performance measure to evaluate active management. In fact, we have to distinguish between normal returns, provided by the fair reward for portfolio exposure to different risks, and obtained through passive management, from abnormal performance (or outperformance) due to the manager's skill (or luck), whether through market timing, stock picking, or good fortune. The first component is related to allocation and style investment choices, which may not be under the sole control of the manager, and depends on the economic context, while the second component is an evaluation of the success of the manager's decisions. Only the latter, measured by alpha, allows the evaluation of the manager's true performance (but then, only if you assume that any outperformance is due to skill and not luck).
Getting a pet. Adopting or getting a new pet is a big event for any family and pet insurance is often overlooked, says Nick Braun, founder of PetInsuranceQutes.com, in Columbus, Ohio. "However, the best time to invest in pet health insurance is when you first get your pet," he says. "Owning a dog or cat is a long-term commitment that can cost thousands of dollars over time, and making sure you have coverage in case of a major illness or accident is a key part of the equation of responsible pet ownership."
You might also encounter financial planners who cater exclusively to the rich and refuse clients with less than $250,000 to invest. Don’t take it personally—hugely successful planners would just prefer to deal with big accounts rather than beginner clients. You want a planner who’ll make the time to focus on your concerns and is interested in growing with you.
Children. Having children is another benchmark that individuals will begin exploring life insurance options, Mehta says. "When there is a child involved, it's paramount to have proper insurance in place that will ensure the future liabilities are covered," he says. "Since one of the most important aspects of life insurance is income replacement, life insurance becomes invaluable to cover future education expenses of the child if the primary income earner in the family is no more."