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What is an investment policy statement and why do you need one?

An investment policy statement gives you the guideline you need to stay focused on your investment strategy. Having your IPS in writing can help you to stay on track and not be tempted to make changes to your portfolio based on market swings other factors that may cause you to react in a way that is not in line with your goals. Some of the key factors to include in your IPS for your portfolio are: risk level, time frame, asset class mix, investment selection criteria, how often you will monitor the portfolio, benchmarks, how often you will rebalance the portfolio, how often you will review and update your IPS (usually annually) and all other important issues and concepts you will follow. Following your IPS can cause a level of anxiety when the market has an extreme fluctuation and you need to hold still. Or, you learn of an investment that you are interested in but it falls outside the guidelines of your IPS. With a good IPS, if you hold true to it over the long term, you should feel great about the results.

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