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What is an Investment Portfolio and How Do I Build an Effective One?

You’ve probably heard just how important investment portfolio management is when it comes to planning for a successful retirement . . . but what does that even mean? You don’t have to be a financial advisor to dive into types of portfolios or even to know how to create a portfolio. But if you’re a bit intimidated by the idea, you’ve come to the right place. Today we’re diving into the world of investments, types of portfolios, and even how to create one. 

What Is a Financial Portfolio?

A financial portfolio is a grouping of stocks, bonds, real estate, gold and other types of assets owned by an individual. All of these assets make up your financial portfolio and have the ability to provide you with income during your retirement. 

Types of Portfolios

Investing your money will always involve a level of risk. The amount of risk you’re willing to take is called “risk tolerance.” Usually, the closer you are to retirement age, the less risky you want to be with your investment strategy. The further away from retirement you are, generally the more room you have to take bigger risks. That’s why building a well-diversified financial portfolio is the key to investing wisely. Here are some of the most common types of investment portfolios:


You might be interested in this type of portfolio if your risk tolerance is high. Maybe you’re just starting out on your investing journey and you’re interested in finding ways to get bigger returns on your money. For example, this may look like putting most of your money into stocks and a small percentage into bonds.


You might be interested in the conservative type of portfolio if you’re pre-retirement or even just entering into retirement. Your financial goals are short-term and your risk tolerance is low. This type of portfolio is also known as the defensive portfolio. This may look like putting most of your money into bonds and a small percentage into stocks.


You might be interested in the income portfolio if you’re looking for an investment strategy that will replace your income in retirement. Your risk tolerance with this type of portfolio is lower, but can vary based on your timeframe. This may look like putting all of your money into bonds, going 80/20, or 70/30. 


You might be interested in a balanced type of portfolio if your risk tolerance is neither low nor high. You’re probably in the middle of short-term and long-term goals as well.  

How to Create a Portfolio

1. Work with a seasoned wealth professional.

This may sound like a no-brainer, but working with a financial advisor will be huge as you work towards creating a financial portfolio. They can help you take the big picture of your retirement dreams and set small financial goals to get there. 

2. Determine how much risk you’re willing to take. 

This step is key to figuring out the type of portfolio you want to create. If your risk tolerance is high and you’re pretty far away from retirement, you might lean more towards creating more of an aggressive portfolio. If your risk tolerance is low and you’re closer to retirement, you’ll probably want to be more careful about your investments. 

3. Diversify with stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.

That’s why diversification is so important. When you diversify your money between stocks and bonds, real estate, and other types of assets like gold, you’ll have different levels of return (and risk). The more you spread out your investments, the better.

4. Stay the course.

Life and the economy are unpredictable. Investing is a long game. No matter if we’re facing a bull or bear market, keeping your investments in one place will give them more of a chance to grow over time. 

No matter where you are on your investing journey, we can help. Reach out to a SageSpring Wealth Partner today. We’d love to help you on your journey to building the most suitable financial portfolio for your goals. Find your SageSpring financial advisor today.

Any opinions are those of SageSpring Wealth Partners and not necessarily those of Raymond James. The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete, it is not a statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision, and it does not constitute a recommendation. All opinions are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected, including asset allocation and diversification.  Past performance is not indicative of future results. 

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Jeffrey T. Dobyns


President, SageSpring | Financial Advisor, RJFS 

Jeffrey T. Dobyns

President, SageSpring | Financial Advisor, RJFS

Beyond crunching numbers and investment strategies, at SageSpring, we’re about building relationships. When you encounter Founder & President of SageSpring, Jeff Dobyns, it’s easy to understand why this is at the very heart of who we are as a firm. You won’t find stuffy formalities with Jeff; instead, you can expect to find him sharing a warm smile, communicating a compelling vision, or patiently untangling life’s complex challenges with clients. He believes in truly getting to know clients, understanding their aspirations and priorities, and navigating their financial plans with a tailored, comprehensive approach. Our team members have often been caught taking notes on Jeff’s effortless relationship skills from a distance, and we admire them for striving to learn from one of the best. 

Jeff’s financial expertise and wisdom are the perfect match to his innate people skills. Jeff holds the prestigious CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM certification, Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®), and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChLU®) designations, and has held executive positions with financial planning firms for more than two decades. 

His dedication extends beyond the office to the boardroom and the local community, where Jeff is passionate about giving back. He serves as Chairman of the Board of Men of Valor, a prison ministry and mentoring program. Jeff also serves on the board of Send Musicians to Prison, which shares hope, healing and restoration with the imprisoned through musicians & artists. Jeff actively supports other initiatives in the community by sitting on the board of The Signatry of Middle Tennessee and the Halftime Institute of Nashville. 

Witnessing his four children, Gracyn, Hunter, Tanner, and Logan, excel on the field is almost just as rewarding, if not more, than celebrating the victories of seeing his clients overcome obstacles and build wealth. Spending weekends boating on the lake, hiking mountain trails, and fishing with his family are the moments Jeff cherishes most. It’s this grounded perspective that reveals the true meaning of wealth for Jeff: not just numbers on a page, but the freedom to create experiences that enrich your life and the lives of those you love. When you choose the Dobyns McMillin Wealth Team, you choose more than financial expertise. You choose a partner who champions your dreams, celebrates your victories, and walks besides you on the path to achieving your unique goals.

**Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER TM, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.