Learn how the TD Ameritrade I-Portfolio tool can help you monitor and analyze your fixed-income investments.
Learn how I-Portfolio can help you visualize the data from your fixed-income portfolio
Review your portfolio components by asset class, maturity, duration, and ratings
Use the cash flow graph to understand the timing of coupon and principal payments
The idea of a fixed-income portfolio may come with a sense of certainty. You know the amount of your principal investment, the amount of your fixed-rate coupon payments, and the amount you expect to be repaid upon maturity, should all go well. It’s like driving on a road that has been thoroughly mapped out; a road made familiar, and to a certain extent, relatively predictable. This sense of certainty may not consider the possibly of default, the rise and fall of interest rates, and the adventures of bond ratings. So we create portfolios to help deal with these events, and thus the sense of certainly creeps in.
But then, there’s the fog of economic uncertainty that can change the nature of the road you’re on, making it less clear, much less certain, perhaps even obscuring the likelihood that you’re on the right road at all.
When it comes to mapping out in detail where you are, where you are headed, and where you might need to be, perhaps it would help to have some assistance. Like a GPS for bonds. How are the current economic conditions affecting your portfolio now? What kinds of changes in the interest rate environment might affect your portfolio? Might it be time for changes or adjustments in your asset allocation, and if so, how might other products respond to different interest rate scenarios?
Although no investor can predict the outcome of any investment, prognostication is not the same thing as the practical ability to see what’s on the immediate road, and anticipate possible scenarios depending on the adjustments you make as you drive forward.
Fortunately, the latter is achievable, given the right tools. One such tool you might want to add to your arsenal is the TD Ameritrade I-Portfolio, a new and cost-free service that lets you see what’s immediately in front of you and what might be ahead should you decide to change course. See figure 1.
Monitoring your fixed-income investments performance in detail is critical to knowing where you are with regard to your investment goals. It helps to receive regular reports analyzing the state of your current holdings—one of the key services that I-Portfolio offers.
Some investors own multiple fixed-income assets across more than one brokerage account. But analyzing those assets across multiple accounts can become an onerous task. Wouldn’t it be a relief to consolidate all your internal and external data into one screen so you can evaluate your holdings all at once? One key feature of I-Portfolio is its capacity to provide a combined report.
What might happen to your fixed-income portfolio if interest rates rise by a certain amount? Suppose you were considering switching to a different set of products (e.g., from a taxable to a tax-free product)? Before you make that switch, perhaps it would help to play out various scenarios involving different products and interest rate environments. In other words, why not give your current or virtual portfolio a shock test before jumping in?
If you have multiple investments, perhaps you want to know what your 12-month combined cash flow might look like. It might also help to know the maturity date for each product you hold. With I-Portfolio, you can easily access and view all this information, potentially saving you time and stress.
When it comes time to make complex decisions, especially those concerning your money, a simple yet comprehensive approach can often be helpful. Instead of reading lines upon lines of financial data, it may help to see it all at once, in a set of visual graphs illustrating your portfolio’s potential outcomes.
It’s all about seeing what’s up ahead with enough clarity, detail, and simplicity to make decisions that may be right for your financial goals.
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Content intended for educational/informational purposes only. Not investment advice, or a recommendation of any security, strategy, or account type.
Be sure to understand all risks involved with each strategy, including commission costs, before attempting to place any trade. Clients must consider all relevant risk factors, including their own personal financial situations, before trading.
Investments in fixed income products are subject to liquidity (or market) risk, interest rate risk (bonds ordinarily decline in price when interest rates rise and rise in price when interest rates fall), financial (or credit) risk, inflation (or purchasing power) risk, and special tax liabilities. May be worth less than the original cost upon redemption.
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