Understanding Portfolio Rebalancing in PMS: A Crucial Strategy for Wealth Management

by Alina Khan

Published On Jan. 10, 2024

In this article

Portfolio Management Services (PMS ) have become a popular choice for high-net-worth individuals (HNIs) and sophisticated investors looking to grow and manage their wealth. One of the fundamental strategies in effective portfolio management is rebalancing. In this article, we'll delve into the concept of portfolio rebalancing for PMS and explore how it plays a pivotal role in optimizing investment portfolios to achieve financial goals.

What is Portfolio Rebalancing?

Portfolio rebalancing is the process of realigning the asset allocation within an investment portfolio to bring it back in line with the investor's intended allocation. This practice is critical in ensuring that the portfolio maintains the desired risk-return profile. It involves buying or selling assets within the portfolio to restore the original asset allocation.

Why is Rebalancing Important for PMS?

For PMS investors, portfolio rebalancing is essential for several reasons:

    Maintaining Risk Tolerance:

    Different asset classes (equities, fixed income, real estate, etc.) carry varying levels of risk. Over time, market movements can lead to a shift in the asset allocation. Rebalancing helps ensure that the portfolio's risk remains in line with the investor's risk tolerance.

    Read this article to Find Out What Portfolio Risk Is & How to Reduce It

      Optimizing Returns:

      Rebalancing can capture profits from asset classes that have performed well and reallocate those profits to underperforming asset classes. This "buy low, sell high" approach can enhance overall returns.

        Discipline and Control:

        Rebalancing enforces a disciplined approach to investment management. It prevents emotional decision-making driven by market fluctuations and ensures adherence to a predefined investment strategy.

          Long-Term Strategy:

          PMS investments are typically long-term in nature. Rebalancing allows investors to stick to their long-term investment strategy and objectives.

            Risk Reduction:

            By reducing exposure to overperforming assets and increasing allocation to underperforming ones, rebalancing mitigates the risk of having an imbalanced portfolio in case of a market downturn.

            How Does Rebalancing Occur for PMS Portfolios?

            The process of portfolio rebalancing in Portfolio Management Services can be understood through the following steps:

            1. Establish Investment Goals and Risk Tolerance:

            The first step in rebalancing is to define your investment goals, risk tolerance, and asset allocation strategy. This entails understanding your financial objectives, time horizon, and the desired mix of asset classes.

            Understand and plot your financial goals and track them & get your risk profiling for free, to understand your risk tolerance and risk capacity levels.

            2. Set Target Asset Allocation:

            Based on your investment goals and risk tolerance, you'll determine the target asset allocation for your PMS portfolio. This allocation will specify the percentage of assets to be invested in various asset classes, such as equities, fixed income, or alternative investments.

            3. Periodic Review:

            A crucial aspect of rebalancing is setting a specific time frame or trigger for reviewing the portfolio. Investors can choose to rebalance their PMS portfolio on a quarterly, semi-annual, or annual basis, or when the portfolio's asset allocation deviates significantly from the target.

            Start your free portfolio review to make informed decisions based on your risk profile.

            4. Assess Current Asset Allocation:

            At the time of the review, the portfolio manager or investor will assess the current asset allocation. This includes evaluating the percentage of each asset class in the portfolio.

            5. Identify Deviations:

            The next step is to identify any significant deviations from the target asset allocation. For example, if the original allocation was 60% equities and 40% fixed income, and due to market movements, the portfolio now comprises 70% equities and 30% fixed income, a deviation has occurred.

            6. Determine Rebalancing Strategy:

            Once deviations are identified, investors must decide how to bring the portfolio back in line with the target allocation. There are a few strategies:

            • Percentage Rebalancing: In this method, investors will sell or buy assets to restore the original asset allocation percentages. In the example mentioned above, selling equities to bring the allocation back to 60% may be necessary.

            • Threshold Rebalancing: Investors can set a threshold, such as a 5% deviation from the target allocation, as the trigger for rebalancing. When deviations cross this threshold, rebalancing occurs.

            • Time-Based Rebalancing: This approach involves rebalancing at set intervals (e.g., annually) rather than waiting for specific deviations.

            • Hybrid Rebalancing: Some investors adopt a combination of the above methods based on their specific investment strategy.

            7. Execution:

            After determining the rebalancing strategy, investors instruct the portfolio manager to execute the necessary trades to realign the portfolio with the target allocation.

            8. Monitor and Document:

            Once rebalancing is complete, it is crucial to monitor the portfolio's performance and maintain a record of the rebalancing process for future reference. Monitoring helps ensure that the portfolio remains consistent with the investor's financial objectives.

            Interested in finding the best Quant & AI PMS portfolios in India? Learn more about Wright's top PMS portfolios.
            Get Started

            Example of Portfolio Rebalancing:

            Let's consider a hypothetical scenario to illustrate the concept of portfolio rebalancing. Suppose an investor allocates 60% of their PMS portfolio to equities and 40% to fixed income. Over the year, due to strong equity market performance, the equity allocation has increased to 70%, while the fixed income portion has decreased to 30%.

            Based on the target allocation of 60% equities and 40% fixed income, the investor has a deviation of 10%. To rebalance the portfolio, the investor would sell a portion of the equities and buy more fixed income securities, bringing the allocation back to the desired 60-40 split.

            Challenges and Considerations:

            While portfolio rebalancing is a critical strategy, it is not without its challenges and considerations:

            • Transaction Costs: Frequent rebalancing can lead to transaction costs, including brokerage fees, taxes, and spreads. Investors need to weigh the benefits of rebalancing against these costs.

            • Tax Implications: Depending on the tax structure and jurisdiction, selling assets in a rebalancing process can have tax implications. It's essential to consider the tax consequences of rebalancing and optimize strategies accordingly.

            • Market Timing: Timing the market for rebalancing can be challenging. Investors may need to make decisions on when to execute rebalancing trades, which can be influenced by market conditions and economic factors.

            • Emotional Discipline: Sticking to a rebalancing strategy can be challenging during periods of market volatility. Emotions can play a role in decision-making, potentially leading to suboptimal outcomes.

            • External Factors: External factors such as regulatory changes, geopolitical events, or global economic conditions can impact the effectiveness of rebalancing.

            Interested in finding the best Quant & AI PMS portfolios in India? Learn more about Wright's top PMS portfolios.
            Get Started

            To Sum Up:

            Rebalancing is a fundamental strategy in portfolio management, and it plays a crucial role in PMS to help investors maintain their intended asset allocation, manage risk, and optimize returns. While it may involve complexities and challenges, a disciplined and well-executed rebalancing strategy is an essential component of long-term wealth management. By ensuring that the portfolio remains consistent with the investor's financial objectives, rebalancing contributes to achieving investment goals and maintaining financial well-being in the ever-changing world of finance.

            Want to learn more about PMS? Here are some interesting articles related to Portfolio Management Services in India:

            1. What is Portfolio Management Service - Types and Benefits

            2. What is the Minimum Investment Ticket Size for Portfolio Management Services (PMS)?

            3. Complete Guide to Factor Investing & the Wright Factor Fund PMS

            4. Fee Structure for the Wright Portfolio Management Service

            Our Investment Philosophy

            Learn how we choose the right asset mix for your risk profile across all market conditions.

            Subscribe to our Newsletter

            Get weekly market insights and facts right in your inbox