Goals-Based Planning

Your concentrated holdings: Do you really need to diversify?

Apr 19, 2022

Discover how much of one stock you might hold—and still stay on track to reach your long-term goals.

Kaylin Klinger, Wealth Strategist  

 

Today’s market volatility has some investors wondering if they are a little too concentrated in some positions. It can be unnerving to watch stock values rollercoaster—especially when, since the start of 2021, a staggering one in 10 companies in the Russell 3000 Index has suffered a 70% drawdown from which it’s yet to recover.1

A look at your concentrated holdings may be advisable. Our research consistently finds that concentrated positions historically have been both the great creator and destroyer of fortunes.2

However, in our view  applying simple solutions to any concentrations you have might not always be the best approach. 

A widely accepted rule of thumb claims that a properly diversified portfolio must have no more than 10 to 20 percent of total investment assets in a particular stock. But reality is usually more complicated. Certainly, standardized percentage-based rules never made sense for many investors, especially the top executives and owners of public and private businesses who cannot help but have significant holdings in their companies.

Instead, we find it helpful to take a nuanced approach to help clients find their “numbers.” Your acceptable level of concentration will depend on your circumstances, objectives and tolerance for risk. A complete conversation is recommended.

Here, though, we can describe the general framework we use to help clients determine how much diversification they might need to achieve their goals.

Step 1: Identify why you hold a concentrated stock position

There are many paths that lead people into a concentrated position. 

Perhaps you are employed by the company whose stock you hold and there are limits to diversifying (e.g., company mandates and/or public perception).

Or maybe the root cause is a sense of control: Because you work at (or own) the company, you feel you understand it best and can have the most impact on its prospects?

We find many clients are simply waiting for their stocks to hit specific price targets. Especially in volatile times, it can feel difficult to sell a position for less than it was worth just a few weeks ago. Are you waiting for a rebound to prior highs?

Step 2: Assess your circumstances

Take a thorough look at your full financial picture so that you can be clear about how important diversification might be for your long-term fiscal health.  

Which category best describes your situation? 

1. Protected—You could lose your entire concentrated position tomorrow and still be able to support your current lifestyle and long-term goals

2. Vulnerable—You need a portion of your concentrated position if you are going to stay on track to achieve your long-term goals

It’s obviously reassuring to see proof that you are in the “protected” category, and to identify precisely how much downside you might absorb before your lifestyle is affected. Such knowledge can also help give you the confidence that if your stock values hold steady or improve, you might be able to dream bigger and start implementing a variety of planning techniques to achieve these new goals. 

If you find yourself in the “vulnerable” category (and even many of our wealthiest clients do), it can be helpful to tally what you are trying to achieve and back into the minimum amount you’d need to diversify to achieve these goals. This is your “minimum dose of diversification” benchmark.  

Then we suggest shifting your focus.    

Rather than looking at how much of your portfolio is in the concentrated position, we suggest evaluating how much (and which parts) of your future might be at risk due to your concentration.

This exercise is often empowering because it lets you see your target number and assess all potential fixes, given your earning capacity, potential stock performances, spending and goals. 

For example: Imagine an investor has a $100MM balance sheet, but $50MM is in a single stock. Obviously, she is concentrated by standard definitions. However, if she is 50 years old and spends $1MM/year, she should be able to sleep at night knowing that her entire concentration could zero out tomorrow and her lifestyle would not be impacted.

However, if that same person spends $1.5MM/year, the concentrated stock’s performance would be crucial to sustaining her current lifestyle.

Lifestyle spending is a vital factor in assessing your vulnerability

Assume a 50-year-old has $100MM net worth with $50MM in a concentrated position and $50MM in diversified assets*

Source: J.P. Morgan. Data as of April 2022.

*$30MM cost basis, invested in a balanced portfolio.

A 50-year-old investor has a $100MM balance sheet, but $50MM is in a concentrated position. If she spends $1MM/year, she does not need to diversify her concentrated holding and only needs her $50MM of diversified assets. If she spends $1.5MM a year, however, she will need to diversify $25MM of her concentrated position, and will need the $50MM of her diversified assets plus the $25MM net from the concentration.

Step 3: Free yourself to find your best path   

If all this assessing sounds like going for the medical exam you know you need but would rather not schedule, here are a few scientifically backed thought exercises that could liberate you:

  • Imagine it’s not yours—Pretend these investments belong to your friend James, and he asks you to give him financial advice. “Is this a good use of my capital? Does this look like a smart idea? Am I too concentrated?” What would you tell him?
  • Start from now—Imagine you don’t own your concentrated holding, but are instead presented with the opportunity, right now, to buy the entire position at a price exactly equal to however much you have invested. Would it be a good investment for your goals?
  • Regain control—In holding on to a concentrated position, we’re actually not exercising control, but rather relinquishing it. We’re sitting back, waiting for circumstances to dictate our options. Real control comes from creating a strategic plan for our wealth. 
  • Remember your goals—Why are you investing your money? What is the intention of your wealth? It’s rare that we want a specific number of shares in a specific company or industry. Few set out to have X percent of ABC Company. Instead, we want what that investment, that wealth, might provide. So ask yourself: Does this consolidated positions help you pursue these desires? Or is there a better way?

We can help  

Your concentration may be both an opportunity and a risk. But only by sizing that potential risk and what it may mean for you and your family, can you begin to choose from among the many solutions that might be available.

Speak to your J.P. Morgan team about having your concentration risk assessed. Turn any concern about volatile markets you might have today into a chance to chart an even better path to achieving your financial goals over the long term.

 

1 This includes well-known stocks such as Altice USA Inc., Beyond Meat Inc., Traeger Inc., Carvana Co., Draftkings Inc., Docusign Inc., Novavax, Inc., Pinterest Inc., Palantir Technologies Inc., Roku Inc. and Peloton Interactive Inc.

2 Michael Cembalest, Chairman of Market and Investment Strategy for J.P. Morgan Asset & Wealth Management, “The Agony & the Ecstasy,” J.P. Morgan, March 12, 2022.

Contact us to discuss how we can help you experience the full possibility of your wealth.

Please tell us about yourself, and our team will contact you. 

*Required Fields

Contact us to discuss how we can help you experience the full possibility of your wealth.

Please tell us about yourself, and our team will contact you. 

Enter your First Name

> or < are not allowed

Only 40 characters allowed

Enter your Last Name

> or < are not allowed

Only 40 characters allowed

Select your country of residence

Enter valid street address

> or < are not allowed

Only 150 characters allowed

Enter your city

> or < are not allowed

Only 35 characters allowed

Select your state

> or < are not allowed

Enter your ZIP code

Please enter a valid zipcode

> or < are not allowed

Only 10 characters allowed

Enter your postal code

Please enter a valid zipcode

> or < are not allowed

Only 10 characters allowed

Enter your phone number

Tell Us More About You

1000 Characters Maximum

Only 1000 characters allowed

Checkbox is not selected

Your Recent History

Important Information

This material is for informational purposes only, and may inform you of certain products and services offered by private banking businesses of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (“JPM”). Products and services described, as well as associated fees, charges and interest rates, are subject to change in accordance with the applicable account agreements and may differ among geographic locations. Not all products and services are offered at all locations. If you are a person with a disability and need additional support accessing this material, please contact your J.P. Morgan team or email us ataccessibility.support@jpmorgan.com for assistance. Please read all Important Information.

GENERAL RISKS & CONSIDERATIONS. Any views, strategies or products discussed in this material may not be appropriate for all individuals and are subject to risks. Investors may get back less than they invested, and past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results. Asset allocation/diversification does not guarantee a profit or protect against loss. Nothing in this material should be relied upon in isolation for the purpose of making an investment decision. You are urged to consider carefully whether the services, products, asset classes (e.g., equities, fixed income, alternative investments, commodities, etc.) or strategies discussed are suitable to your needs. You must also consider the objectives, risks, charges, and expenses associated with an investment service, product or strategy prior to making an investment decision. For this and more complete information, including discussion of your goals/situation, contact your J.P. Morgan team.

NON-RELIANCE. Certain information contained in this material is believed to be reliable; however, JPM does not represent or warrant its accuracy, reliability or completeness, or accept any liability for any loss or damage (whether direct or indirect) arising out of the use of all or any part of this material. No representation or warranty should be made with regard to any computations, graphs, tables, diagrams or commentary in this material, which are provided for illustration/reference purposes only. The views, opinions, estimates and strategies expressed in this material constitute our judgment based on current market conditions and are subject to change without notice. JPM assumes no duty to update any information in this material in the event that such information changes. Views, opinions, estimates and strategies expressed herein may differ from those expressed by other areas of JPM, views expressed for other purposes or in other contexts, and this material should not be regarded as a research report. Any projected results and risks are based solely on hypothetical examples cited, and actual results and risks will vary depending on specific circumstances. Forward-looking statements should not be considered as guarantees or predictions of future events.

Nothing in this document shall be construed as giving rise to any duty of care owed to, or advisory relationship with, you or any third party. Nothing in this document shall be regarded as an offer, solicitation, recommendation or advice (whether financial, accounting, legal, tax or other) given by J.P. Morgan and/or its officers or employees, irrespective of whether or not such communication was given at your request. J.P. Morgan and its affiliates and employees do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any financial transactions.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR INVESTMENTS AND POTENTIAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

Conflicts of interest will arise whenever JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. or any of its affiliates (together, “J.P. Morgan”) have an actual or perceived economic or other incentive in its management of our clients’ portfolios to act in a way that benefits J.P. Morgan. Conflicts will result, for example (to the extent the following activities are permitted in your account): (1) when J.P. Morgan invests in an investment product, such as a mutual fund, structured product, separately managed account or hedge fund issued or managed by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. or an affiliate, such as J.P. Morgan Investment Management Inc.; (2) when a J.P. Morgan entity obtains services, including trade execution and trade clearing, from an affiliate; (3) when J.P. Morgan receives payment as a result of purchasing an investment product for a client’s account; or (4) when J.P. Morgan receives payment for providing services (including shareholder servicing, recordkeeping or custody) with respect to investment products purchased for a client’s portfolio. Other conflicts will result because of relationships that J.P. Morgan has with other clients or when J.P. Morgan acts for its own account.

Investment strategies are selected from both J.P. Morgan and third-party asset managers and are subject to a review process by our manager research teams. From this pool of strategies, our portfolio construction teams select those strategies we believe fit our asset allocation goals and forward-looking views in order to meet the portfolio’s investment objective.

As a general matter, we prefer J.P. Morgan managed strategies. We expect the proportion of J.P. Morgan managed strategies will be high (in fact, up to 100 percent) in strategies such as, for example, cash and high-quality fixed income, subject to applicable law and any account-specific considerations.

While our internally managed strategies generally align well with our forward-looking views, and we are familiar with the investment processes as well as the risk and compliance philosophy of the firm, it is important to note that J.P. Morgan receives more overall fees when internally managed strategies are included. We offer the option of choosing to exclude J.P. Morgan managed strategies (other than cash and liquidity products) in certain portfolios.

The Six Circles Funds are U.S.-registered mutual funds managed by J.P. Morgan and sub-advised by third parties. Although considered internally managed strategies, JPMC does not retain a fee for fund management or other fund services.

LEGAL ENTITY, BRAND & REGULATORY INFORMATION

In the United States, bank deposit accounts and related services, such as checking, savings and bank lending, are offered by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. and its affiliates (collectively “JPMCB”) offer investment products, which may include bank-managed investment accounts and custody, as part of its trust and fiduciary services. Other investment products and services, such as brokerage and advisory accounts, are offered through J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (“JPMS”), a member of FINRA and SIPC. Annuities are made available through Chase Insurance Agency, Inc. (CIA), a licensed insurance agency, doing business as Chase Insurance Agency Services, Inc. in Florida. JPMCB, JPMS and CIA are affiliated companies under the common control of JPM. Products not available in all states.

In Germany, this material is issued by J.P. Morgan SE, with its registered office at Taunustor 1 (TaunusTurm), 60310 Frankfurt am Main, Germany, authorized by the Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin) and jointly supervised by the BaFin, the German Central Bank (Deutsche Bundesbank) and the European Central Bank (ECB). In Luxembourg, this material is issued by J.P. Morgan SE – Luxembourg Branch, with registered office at European Bank and Business Centre, 6 route de Treves, L-2633, Senningerberg, Luxembourg, authorized by the Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin) and jointly supervised by the BaFin, the German Central Bank (Deutsche Bundesbank) and the European Central Bank (ECB); J.P. Morgan SE – Luxembourg Branch is also supervised by the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF); registered under R.C.S Luxembourg B255938. In the United Kingdom, this material is issued by J.P. Morgan SE – London Branch, registered office at 25 Bank Street, Canary Wharf, London E14 5JP, authorized by the Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin) and jointly supervised by the BaFin, the German Central Bank (Deutsche Bundesbank) and the European Central Bank (ECB); J.P. Morgan SE – London Branch is also supervised by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority. In Spain, this material is distributed by J.P. Morgan SE, Sucursal en España, with registered office at Paseo de la Castellana, 31, 28046 Madrid, Spain, authorized by the Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin) and jointly supervised by the BaFin, the German Central Bank (Deutsche Bundesbank) and the European Central Bank (ECB); J.P. Morgan SE, Sucursal en España is also supervised by the Spanish Securities Market Commission (CNMV); registered with Bank of Spain as a branch of J.P. Morgan SE under code 1567. In Italy, this material is distributed by J.P. Morgan SE – Milan Branch, with its registered office at Via Cordusio, n.3, Milan 20123, Italy, authorized by the Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin) and jointly supervised by the BaFin, the German Central Bank (Deutsche Bundesbank) and the European Central Bank (ECB); J.P. Morgan SE – Milan Branch is also supervised by Bank of Italy and the Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB); registered with Bank of Italy as a branch of J.P. Morgan SE under code 8076; Milan Chamber of Commerce Registered Number: REA MI 2536325. In the Netherlands, this material is distributed by J.P. Morgan SE – Amsterdam Branch, with registered office at World Trade Centre, Tower B, Strawinskylaan 1135, 1077 XX, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, authorized by the Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin) and jointly supervised by the BaFin, the German Central Bank (Deutsche Bundesbank) and the European Central Bank (ECB); J.P. Morgan SE – Amsterdam Branch is also supervised by De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) and the Autoriteit Financiële Markten (AFM) in the Netherlands. Registered with the Kamer van Koophandel as a branch of J.P. Morgan SE under registration number 72610220. In Denmark, this material is distributed by J.P. Morgan SE – Copenhagen Branch, filial af J.P. Morgan SE, Tyskland, with registered office at Kalvebod Brygge 39-41, 1560 København V, Denmark, authorized by the Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin) and jointly supervised by the BaFin, the German Central Bank (Deutsche Bundesbank) and the European Central Bank (ECB); J.P. Morgan SE – Copenhagen Branch, filial af J.P. Morgan SE, Tyskland is also supervised by Finanstilsynet (Danish FSA) and is registered with Finanstilsynet as a branch of J.P. Morgan SE under code 29010. In Sweden, this material is distributed by J.P. Morgan SE – Stockholm Bankfilial, with registered office at Hamngatan 15, Stockholm, 11147, Sweden, authorized by the Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin) and jointly supervised by the BaFin, the German Central Bank (Deutsche Bundesbank) and the European Central Bank (ECB); J.P. Morgan SE – Stockholm Bankfilial is also supervised by Finansinspektionen (Swedish FSA); registered with Finansinspektionen as a branch of J.P. Morgan SEIn France, this material is distributed by JPMCB, Paris branch, which is regulated by the French banking authorities Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution and Autorité des Marchés Financiers. In Switzerland, this material is distributed by J.P. Morgan (Suisse) SA, with registered address at rue de la Confédération, 8, 1211, Geneva, Switzerland, which is authorised and supervised by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), as a bank and a securities dealer in Switzerland. Please consult the following link to obtain information regarding J.P. Morgan’s EMEA data protection policy: https://www.jpmorgan.com/privacy.

This communication is an advertisement for the purposes of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MIFID II) and the Swiss Financial Services Act (FINSA) and. Investors should not subscribe for or purchase any financial instruments referred to in this advertisement except on the basis of information contained in any applicable legal documentation, which is or shall be made available in the relevant jurisdictions.

In Hong Kong, this material is distributed by JPMCB, Hong Kong branch. JPMCB, Hong Kong branch is regulated by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, we will cease to use your personal data for our marketing purposes without charge if you so request. In Singapore, this material is distributed by JPMCB, Singapore branch. JPMCB, Singapore branch is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Dealing and advisory services and discretionary investment management services are provided to you by JPMCB, Hong Kong/Singapore branch (as notified to you). Banking and custody services are provided to you by JPMCB Singapore Branch. The contents of this document have not been reviewed by any regulatory authority in Hong Kong, Singapore or any other jurisdictions. You are advised to exercise caution in relation to this document. If you are in any doubt about any of the contents of this document, you should obtain independent professional advice. For materials which constitute product advertisement under the Securities and Futures Act and the Financial Advisers Act, this advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., a national banking association chartered under the laws of the United States, and as a body corporate, its shareholder’s liability is limited.

With respect to countries in Latin America, the distribution of this material may be restricted in certain jurisdictions. We may offer and/or sell to you securities or other financial instruments which may not be registered under, and are not the subject of a public offering under, the securities or other financial regulatory laws of your home country. Such securities or instruments are offered and/or sold to you on a private basis only. Any communication by us to you regarding such securities or instruments, including without limitation the delivery of a prospectus, term sheet or other offering document, is not intended by us as an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities or instruments in any jurisdiction in which such an offer or a solicitation is unlawful. Furthermore, such securities or instruments may be subject to certain regulatory and/or contractual restrictions on subsequent transfer by you, and you are solely responsible for ascertaining and complying with such restrictions. To the extent this content makes reference to a fund, the Fund may not be publicly offered in any Latin American country, without previous registration of such fund´s securities in compliance with the laws of the corresponding jurisdiction. Public offering of any security, including the shares of the Fund, without previous registration at Brazilian Securities and Exchange Commission–CVM is completely prohibited. Some products or services contained in the materials might not be currently provided by the Brazilian and Mexican platforms.

References to “J.P. Morgan” are to JPM, its subsidiaries and affiliates worldwide. “J.P. Morgan Private Bank” is the brand name for the private banking business conducted by JPM. This material is intended for your personal use and should not be circulated to or used by any other person, or duplicated for non-personal use, without our permission. If you have any questions or no longer wish to receive these communications, please contact your J.P. Morgan team.

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (JPMCBNA) (ABN 43 074 112 011/AFS Licence No: 238367) is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. Material provided by JPMCBNA in Australia is to “wholesale clients” only. For the purposes of this paragraph the term “wholesale client” has the meaning given in section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). Please inform us if you are not a Wholesale Client now or if you cease to be a Wholesale Client at any time in the future.

JPMS is a registered foreign company (overseas) (ARBN 109293610) incorporated in Delaware, U.S.A. Under Australian financial services licensing requirements, carrying on a financial services business in Australia requires a financial service provider, such as J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (JPMS), to hold an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL), unless an exemption applies. JPMS is exempt from the requirement to hold an AFSL under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Act) in respect of financial services it provides to you, and is regulated by the SEC, FINRA and CFTC under US laws, which differ from Australian laws. Material provided by JPMS in Australia is to “wholesale clients” only. The information provided in this material is not intended to be, and must not be, distributed or passed on, directly or indirectly, to any other class of persons in Australia. For the purposes of this paragraph the term “wholesale client” has the meaning given in section 761G of the Act. Please inform us immediately if you are not a Wholesale Client now or if you cease to be a Wholesale Client at any time in the future.

This material has not been prepared specifically for Australian investors. It:

  • may contain references to dollar amounts which are not Australian dollars;
  • may contain financial information which is not prepared in accordance with Australian law or practices;
  • may not address risks associated with investment in foreign currency denominated investments; and does not address Australian tax issues.

© 2022 JPMorgan Chase & Co. All rights reserved.

LEARN MORE About Our Firm and Investment Professionals Through FINRA Brokercheck

To learn more about J.P. Morgan’s investment business, including our accounts, products and services, as well as our relationship with you, please review our J.P. Morgan Securities LLC Form CRS and Guide to Investment Services and Brokerage Products

 

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. and its affiliates (collectively "JPMCB") offer investment products, which may include bank-managed accounts and custody, as part of its trust and fiduciary services. Other investment products and services, such as brokerage and advisory accounts, are offered through J.P. Morgan Securities LLC ("JPMS"), a member of FINRA and SIPC. Annuities are made available through Chase Insurance Agency, Inc. (CIA), a licensed insurance agency, doing business as Chase Insurance Agency Services, Inc. in Florida. JPMCB, JPMS and CIA are affiliated companies under the common control of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Products not available in all states. Please read the Legal Disclaimer in conjunction with these pages.

INVESTMENT AND INSURANCE PRODUCTS ARE: • NOT FDIC INSURED • NOT INSURED BY ANY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY • NOT A DEPOSIT OR OTHER OBLIGATION OF, OR GUARANTEED BY, JPMORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A. OR ANY OF ITS AFFILIATES • SUBJECT TO INVESTMENT RISKS, INCLUDING POSSIBLE LOSS OF THE PRINCIPAL AMOUNT INVESTED

Equal Housing Lender Icon Bank deposit products, such as checking, savings and bank lending and related services are offered by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC. Not a commitment to lend. All extensions of credit are subject to credit approval.