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Here’s where to invest $50,000 right now, according to the pros


After a stormy August, September — an often troublesome month for investors — is rife with uncertainty. It means markets look pretty different from just a few months ago when stocks were rallying. So if you had $50,000 to invest, where should you put it and how much should you allocate to each asset class? CNBC Pro spoke to portfolio managers and other investors to find out. We also got back to those who told CNBC Pro how they would allocate $50,000 in June to ask what — if anything — they would change. ‘Mutal funds would be called for’ David Dietze, senior investment strategist at Peapack Private Wealth Management, said the investment time horizon is crucial. For someone with a longer time frame and a reasonable amount of risk tolerance, he would allocate 75% to stocks and 25% to fixed income. But if the goal was to save for student tuition in the next year, for example, then he would invest more conservatively, focusing on bonds and cash. Here’s Dietze’s “model” portfolio for a long-term, risk-tolerant investor: 25% in an S & P 500 index fund; 25% in an extended market domestic index fund, 25% in an international index fund, and 25% into a Bloomberg fixed income index fund — or, for a high-bracket taxable investor, a short-to-intermediate term municipal bond index fund. “$50,000 is not probably enough money to invest in individual stocks or bonds, so mutual funds would be called for,” he said. The “cornerstone” of any equity fund portfolio is an S & P 500 index fund, Dietze said. However, smaller stocks outside of the S & P 500 have outperformed over the long term, he said, so he has a significant allocation to the so-called extended market index fund, with a focus on those smaller stocks. “Finally, we’d want an allocation to international stocks, as they have been out of favor for years and have much lower valuations, and history shows that reversion to the mean is a powerful tendency in financial markets,” Dietze added. ‘A lot of eggs in the U.S. basket’ Laith Khalaf, head of investment analysis at U.K. investment firm AJ Bell, said an investor with some risk tolerance and a minimum 10-year investment horizon could allocate as follows: 85% to stocks (17% each to U.S., U.K., Europe ex-U.K., Japan, and emerging markets), 10% to bonds, and 5% to cash and alternative assets. Khalaf says this allocation would be split equally between the major regions, providing a balanced portfolio in terms of risk and reward. “There are alternatives to this approach — you can follow the global stock market index regional allocations, but this will result in you having a portfolio that’s two-thirds invested in the U.S. and just 4% invested in the U.K., for instance,” he said. “That’s been a winning formula in the last 10 years but that’s still a lot of eggs in the U.S. basket.” Another approach is for investors to buy global funds and leave the regional allocation decisions to active fund managers, Khalaf added. Allocation changes CNBC Pro also asked some investors how they would change their allocations from June. Raymond Bridges, portfolio manager of the Bridges Capital Tactical ETF, told CNBC Pro in June he was 90% in short-term Treasurys . He has now cut that allocation to 65% and added to stocks. “I recently added back in equity exposure on the August pullback, a decision which was related to technical breadth readings and a recent set of ‘goldilocks’ economic numbers. However, I am still bearish over the next 6-9 months from a macro perspective,” he said. Ryan Pannell, chairman of asset manager Kaiju Worldwide, meanwhile, also tweaked his allocations, adding a new one: 15% to the VanEck Semiconductor ETF ( SMH ). “You’ve got major players ramping up to deal with increasing global demand for semiconductors driven by advances in AI, and a direct allocation to the sector here is appropriate rather than diversified [approaches],” he said.

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