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Investing at different stages of life requires different approaches. Many investors conveniently choose the ‘invest and forget’ approach – choosing an investment mix and neglecting it until the mood beckons to reassess the portfolio, which may never happen.


The ‘invest and forget’ strategy is one of the most common investment mistakes because it doesn’t maximise your returns. 


Why you need an age-based investment strategy

This is because our financial goals and risk profile change with age. For example, if you’re in your 20s, you might be able to weather higher risks. You could be single with little to lose, no family commitments and your investment goal might be savings for marriage.


Based on this, you create a relatively high-risk portfolio that will give you high returns in a short span of time. Once you get married, your next goal might be savings to buy a house or to save for you children’s education. However, this time round, you have dependents and you’ll need to readjust your investment allocation to adhere a lower risk.

What an age-based investment strategy looks like

The age-based approach favours looking at your current life situation and tailoring your assets to meet your life goals and risk profile. The following are examples of common profiles for each age bracket, as well as the corresponding investment allocation.


Note that these are just general examples used to demonstrate the principle of age-based investing, not actual recommendations. You should always consider your personal situation and consult a professional advisor when designing your portfolio.



Age Bracket Profile* Investment Mix
20-30 years old
  • Single, few commitments
  • Saving for marriage, house 
  • Little to lose
  • High risk, high return
  • 70% equities/unit trusts/mutual fund
  • 30% fixed deposits/insurance annuities/bonds
31-40 years old
  • Married, starting a family
  • Saving for kids’ education
  • Prudent with investment choices
  • Moderate risk, moderate return
  • 52% equities/unit trusts/mutual fund
  • 48% fixed deposits/insurance annuities
41-50 years old
  • Higher earning power, more disposable income, more resilient to losses
  • Focus on maximising returns on investments for retirement savings
  • High risk, high return
  • 61% equities/unit trusts/mutual fund
  • 39% fixed deposits/insurance  annuities
50-60 years old
  • Winding down for retirement
  • Kids are financially independent
  • Moderate risk, moderate return
  • 24% equities/unit trusts/mutual fund
  • 76% fixed deposits/insurance annuities
>60 years old
  • Might have sufficient savings for retirement
  • No major source of income but kids contributing financially
  • May wish to generate passive income to sustain cash-flow
  • Low risk, low return
  • 19% equities/unit trusts/mutual fund
  • 81% fixed deposits/bonds

The key is to invest based on your age profile, which is recommended to be a fundamental principle in any investment strategy. As you move into a new life stage, whether it’s a milestone or a significant turn of event, reassess your portfolio to make sure it represents your best interests.



This article is for informational purposes only and CIMB does not make any representation and warranty as to the accuracy, completeness and fairness of any information contained in this article. As this article is general in nature, it is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. You are advised to consult a financial advisor or investment professional before making any decisions based on the information contained in this article. CIMB assumes no liability for any consequences arising from your reliance on the information presented here.