Diversifying for the New Millionaire

By Christopher E. Ritchie, Vice President and Wealth Advisor, Regions Private Wealth Management

You sold your business. You received a cash bonus. Aunt Gertrude left you part of her estate. No matter how it happened, you now have $1 million or more in investable assets sitting and collecting pennies of interest.

Chris Richie

Now you want to invest it someplace, but you’re not sure what will give you the returns to suit your goals. Global growth stocks? Municipal bonds? Commodities? Real estate?

The answer may actually be all of them.

If your money was made through a single source of income, diversification remains one of the most critical steps toward preserving and growing your money for the future. A diversified portfolio, invested across a broad range of instruments, market caps, industries and geographies, will help you weather market storms.

When done right, and when customized to your individual needs, a diversified portfolio gives you the potential for the highest possible return for the lowest possible risk. Here are five steps to get started.

1. Look at your goals. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to building a portfolio. Your asset allocation strategy should reflect your own unique goals, needs and aspirations, as well as your tolerance for risk. Looking at factors such as your age and time until retirement, as well as your lifestyle and tax bracket, will help you determine how long the funds need to last and how much income must be generated by the portfolio.

2. Keep taxes in mind. If your wealth is concentrated in one asset, such as company shares or real estate, diversifying will mean selling pieces of that asset and buying others. But be careful about selling too quickly: If the asset you own has climbed in value, a sale may trigger significant capital gains.

3. Make sure your choices work for you. You may come up with a portfolio strategy that makes perfect sense, but if the market risk involved has you tied in knots, you may need to rethink it. The more uncomfortable you are, the harder it’s going to be to resist selling when you shouldn’t.

4. Stick with your plan. When investors react to market swings with emotion, they tend to make poor investment moves, such as buying high and selling low. Commit to staying the course. And don’t forget to allocate some of the funds to something you’re passionate about, whether that’s starting a small business, traveling or philanthropy.

5. Get your team together. There may have been stocks you’ve always admired, but it’s best to leave the money parked in savings until you’ve brought in some experts, including your advisors and accountant. They can work collaboratively on the best solution for you.


This information is general in nature and is provided for educational purposes only. Regions makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information presented. Information provided and statements made by employees of Regions should not be relied on or interpreted as accounting, financial planning, investment, legal, or tax advice. Regions encourages you to consult a professional for advice applicable to your specific situation.