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Growth and Capital Preservation: How Do You Find the Right Balance? Thumbnail

Growth and Capital Preservation: How Do You Find the Right Balance?

By Daniel Baumgartner & Petra Peters

For high-net-worth individuals who have accumulated significant amounts of money, getting the absolute highest return isn’t always the main consideration when putting together their investment portfolio. Instead, factors such as capital preservation, tax efficiency, and legacy planning often take precedence. These individuals typically focus on maintaining their wealth and confirming it can support their lifestyle, family needs, and philanthropic endeavors over the long term. This shift in priorities leads to a more balanced approach, where the emphasis is on diversifying investments to achieve both capital preservation of some capital along with growth. Ultimately, the strategy is tailored to sustain and grow wealth in a way that aligns with their broader financial objectives and personal values.

While capital preservation seeks to safeguard the hard-earned principal against market downturns, growth focuses on expanding one’s financial resources to meet future needs and combat inflation. As life expectancies extend and market dynamics evolve, understanding the interplay between these two strategies becomes vital. This article delves into the nuances of capital preservation and growth, considering factors like longevity, market volatility, and individual risk tolerance and investment horizons. Understanding these concepts helps provide a road map for investors seeking to balance prudence with profitability in the future.

Defining Capital Preservation and Growth

Capital preservation is primarily about safeguarding the principal amount in an investment portfolio. This strategy is paramount for those who prioritize the stability and safety of their invested capital, especially individuals nearing retirement or with a low risk tolerance. It’s a strategy to consider if you’ve reached the point where you simply need to live off of the interest from your assets but don’t need to take on as much risk as other people. The goal here is to mitigate the risk of loss, focusing on stable, low-volatility investments such as bonds or high-quality debt instruments.

Conversely, growth is oriented toward increasing the value of the investment portfolio over time. This approach is more suitable for investors with a longer time horizon and a higher risk tolerance. These investments carry more risk but are essential for those trying to outpace inflation and meet long-term financial objectives like building wealth.

Both strategies have their place in a well-rounded investment portfolio. The key lies in finding the right balance between them, which varies based on your financial goals, longevity, and how you view market volatility, risk tolerance, and the investment time horizon. 

Financial Goals

For ultra-wealthy individuals, aligning investment strategies with financial goals involves a nuanced approach that extends beyond conventional wealth accumulation. These goals often encompass a range of sophisticated objectives, from sustaining a certain lifestyle and experiencing long-term family stability to engaging in significant philanthropic endeavors. This might lead to a mix of conservative investments for stability and carefully selected growth opportunities to support philanthropic activities and help plan for the longevity of their wealth across future generations. But the specifics of your investment allocation ultimately relies on your risk tolerance (and how you view market volatility), as well as your time horizon for realizing your goals.

Market Volatility, Risk Tolerance, and Time Horizon

Market volatility, risk tolerance, and investment time horizon are intertwined elements crucial in shaping an effective investment strategy. Market volatility refers to the frequent and sometimes substantial fluctuations in asset prices. For investors, it’s vital to understand how you respond to these inevitable days, weeks and months when the stock market is on an up-and-down swing. Perhaps it doesn’t bother you. But it might also bother you quite a bit, which is something to consider when you allocate between growth and capital preservation.  

Portfolios heavily invested in growth-oriented assets like stocks can experience significant value swings, which can be concerning for those focused on capital preservation. Conversely, a strategy that’s too conservative, prioritizing capital preservation, may miss out on growth opportunities essential for outpacing inflation and increasing lifetime investment returns.

How you view this volatility impacts your ultimate risk tolerance for your portfolio. Additionally, your time horizon is an important consideration. Investors with a longer time horizon, who may not need to access their funds for many years, can often afford to take on more risk and withstand periods of market downturns, with the expectation of higher returns over time. Those with a shorter time horizon may need to focus on shielding their capital, favoring investments that offer more stability, even if it means accepting lower returns. Balancing these factors—your personal comfort with market volatility, financial goals, and investment timeline—is critical in developing a strategy that aligns with your long-term objectives and risk appetite.

Discover Your Ideal Investment Balance

Ready to refine your investment approach to better balance capital preservation with growth potential? As you navigate through market volatility and consider your longevity, remember the importance of aligning your investment decisions with your personal risk tolerance and time horizon. 

For more information about our services or to discuss your specific financial situation, feel free to reach out to us directly at 212-355-1234 or ppeters@terranovausa.com for the New York office (Petra) or 855-248-6630 or baumgartner@terranovausa.com for the New Jersey office (Daniel). You may also contact us here to schedule a meeting and we’ll get in touch with you soon! 

About Daniel

Daniel Baumgartner is a founding partner of Terra Nova Asset Management LLC, a partner-owned investment advisory firm that manages individual portfolios for clients. Daniel has extensive experience in marketing, development of special U.S.-investment products, as well as customer acquisition and relationship management. His ultimate goal is to make a difference in his clients’ financial lives through honest investment advice. He strives to provide high-touch, personalized service and enjoys getting to know a client’s personality as it relates to their financial circumstances before crafting the right solutions. As money is a very personal subject, Daniel takes his responsibility as an advisor very seriously, forming long-term relationships with clients based on trust. 

Daniel received his degree in finance and international business from New York University. Outside of the office, he is a hobby landscape, street photographer, and has a great interest in U.S. and European history (16th-19th centuries), believing it helps him answer the question “Why is something the way it is?”

About Petra

Petra Peters is a founding partner and the Chief Executive Officer of Terra Nova Asset Management LLC, a partner-owned investment advisory firm that manages individual portfolios for clients. Petra has decades of experience in the banking industry, asset management, overseeing the administration of individual accounts, and designing and advising specialized funds tailored to the requirements of international private and institutional clients. With extensive knowledge of both Europe and the U.S., she’s able to provide advice and services beyond the typical investment advisor. Petra desires for her clients to live a financially care-free life so they can pursue their passions, and she values their trust and gratitude. Creating invaluable friendships formed over years of partnership, some clients even consider her part of their family.

Petra’s interests outside of work include classical music, history, travel, charities, motorcycling, and golf. She is also on the board of a German charity.