The 4 most important factors that can determine your investing success

A new analysis from investing app Openfolio evaluated 25,000 of its users’ portfolios according to four different criteria: risk, diversification, cash allocation, and trading frequency.

Users only had to do better than the average investor to “pass the test,” but the team found that that only 30% passed in all four areas, and a full 70% had room to improve.

Ideally, they’d take on less risk than the average user, having more diverse investments than the average user, holding onto less cash than the average user, and trading less often than the average user.

Openfolio also points out that these four factors aren’t completely independent of each other, which means that even if you aren’t doing better than average in all four areas, your portfolio can still be strong. The analysis found that most people pass at least one metric, but that it’s more difficult for users to pass all four.

In fact, passing all four criteria means that your risk-adjusted returns have the potential to do twice as well as those of your peers who fail at least one measure:

Openfolio found that 56% of investors fail the diversity and risk tests, keeping the majority of their portfolios (84%) in single stocks.

“Our conclusion: moving these misallocated portfolios into diversified funds, ETFs, or investing services like Wealthfront and Betterment, our users would see huge performance improvements and reduced risk exposure,” Openfolio wrote in an email.

Openfolio’s free Tune Up service compares these four areas of your portfolio — plus any fees you pay — to your peers. The app finds that users with “well-tuned” portfolios have one-year returns that outperform investors who fail one or more metrics by 46%.

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