The Ultimate Guide to Rebalancing Your Investment Portfolio

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  • The Ultimate Guide to Rebalancing Your Investment Portfolio
Author: Joseph Reinke, CFA

In the fast-paced world of investing, knowing when and how to adjust your portfolio can be the difference between meeting your financial goals and falling short. For young professionals navigating their early investment journey, the art of portfolio rebalancing is a powerful yet often misunderstood tool. It’s more than just a year-end activity – it’s a vital element in your financial strategy that demands attention and the right know-how.

But why is it so crucial, and how can you do it effectively? This isn’t about fleeting trends or panic reactions to market volatility; it’s about the measured and strategic moves that protect and grow your wealth over the long haul.

Here’s a comprehensive look at how to balance your investment portfolio with precision, tailored for the emerging investor.

Understanding Portfolio Rebalancing

When you first set up your investment portfolio, you choose a mix of assets based on your financial objectives, risk tolerance, and timeline. This is your asset allocation, the heartbeat of your investment strategy. But over time, market fluctuations can throw this allocation off-kilter, leading to an unanticipated level of risk or a deviation from your wealth-building plan. This is where rebalancing – the act of adjusting the mix of investments in your portfolio – comes in.

Definition and Purpose

At its core, rebalancing is about bringing your portfolio back in line with your original asset allocation. This doesn’t just happen by magic, and it’s not just about numbers; it’s about realigning your investments to match your current financial situation and goals.

The Need for Rebalancing

Consider this, as certain assets perform better than others, your portfolio can become skewed, exposing you to more risk than you’re comfortable with or potentially lowering your long-term returns. Regular rebalancing ensures that doesn’t happen.

Moreover, not rebalancing can lead to what some call ‘double jeopardy’: not only can the size of the risk grow over time, the odds of encountering a downturn in that over-sized asset class are also amplified. Essentially, you end up with more risk for the same expected return.

I’ll give you an example now. Let’s say you used a simple 2 asset portfolio that starts off at 50% stocks and bonds. Let’s assume the stock market had a huge year and now your allocation may be at 70% stocks and 30% in bonds and now all of a sudden you are taking on too much risk.

Now, what if the market does the opposite and had a down year and you are now at 70% bonds and 30% in stock. Rebalancing would sell bonds to buy stock and increase that position. What you don’t want to do is buying high and selling low when things tank… However, buying low and selling high is always a good thing when it comes to investments.

Strategies for Effective Portfolio Rebalancing

Understanding when and how to rebalance is an art, not a science. Different strategies cater to different investment styles and goals.

Basic Rebalancing Strategies

Time-Based Rebalancing

This method sticks to a predetermined schedule – typically monthly, quarterly, or annually. While it’s a disciplined approach, it doesn’t take market conditions into account, which could mean missing out on benefits from changing economic landscapes.

Here at FitBUX, we check your profile quarterly to make sure your FitBUX score looks right to update your risk allocations. Based on those inputs, we rebalance it based on your ability to take on risk.

Threshold-Based Rebalancing

Here, you set a percentage range for each asset class in your portfolio. If an asset’s value grows or shrinks beyond this range, it’s time to rebalance. This approach is more flexible and responsive to market movements but requires closer monitoring.

For example, with us, whenever you get 2% out of a threshold, it will automatically rebalance.

Advanced Rebalancing Techniques

Tactical Rebalancing

Tactical allocators take a more active approach, adjusting their investments based on forecasts and market timing. This strategy can be riskier and often yields varied results, depending on the investor’s ability to accurately predict market changes.

Opportunistic Rebalancing

Whenever you contribute or withdraw funds from your portfolio, consider using this activity to rebalance without incurring additional trading costs.

Practical Examples

Imagine a scenario where your stock portfolio has surged while your bond investments have stagnated. By selling a portion of your stocks and purchasing more bonds, you can both take some profits and recalibrate your risk level.

Tax Considerations and Efficiency

Rebalancing isn’t just about asset allocation; it’s about managing costs, too.

Tax Implications of Rebalancing

Anytime you sell an investment at a profit, you’ll owe taxes. Be strategic in your moves to minimize the tax hit, such as selling losing assets to offset gains in other parts of the portfolio, or taking advantage of tax-loss harvesting in taxable accounts.

For retirement accounts such as roth IRAs, we rebalance more frequently because there is no tax consequence. In taxable accounts, you strategically rebalance to maximize tax write offs and minimize your tax bill.


Every time you make a trade, you pay a fee. A part of your rebalancing strategy should involve minimizing these transaction costs by batch selling or buying multiple assets in a single trade. However, at FitBUX, we use ETFs that don’t have commissions… this is one reason why to choose low cost ETFs.

Tailoring Rebalancing to Individual Needs

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to rebalancing. Your strategy should be as unique as your investment goals.

Personalizing Your Rebalancing Approach

If you’re a more risk-averse investor, you might choose to rebalance more frequently to keep risk levels lower. Alternatively, a long-term, growth-minded investor may not need to rebalance as often.

Here at FitBUX, if you needed to have your Roth IRA or financial portfolio rebalanced, let us know and we’d be able to help you with that. With the Roth IRA, we help manage your portfolio and will manage it so you don’t have to rebalance it or decide which funds to choose.

Reflecting on Your Goals

Before you rebalance, ask yourself if your financial objectives have changed. Have you decided to retire earlier, or do you have new savings goals? Adjusting your asset mix to reflect these changes is just as important as correcting market movements.

Common Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

Rebalancing, like any investment strategy, comes with its share of potential missteps.


Frequent rebalancing can trigger more taxes and erode your returns. Set a cadence that’s appropriate for you and stick to it, unless there are significant market shifts that warrant a deviation.

Emotional Investing

The key to successful rebalancing is discipline. Don’t let market downturns or surges lead to emotional decisions. Base your approach on data and the principles of your long-term investment strategy.


Portfolio rebalancing can seem complex and is often overlooked, but it’s an essential part of your investment toolkit, serving as the guard rails that keep you on the path to financial prosperity. By understanding your investment strategy, setting clear goals, and making informed decisions, you can tailor a rebalancing approach uniquely designed for your success.

For young professionals starting on their investment journey, mastering portfolio rebalancing can seem like a daunting task. But it’s an important skill to develop, one that will help navigate the ebbs and flows of the market with confidence and precision. Remember, it’s not just about the numbers; it’s about aligning your investments with the life you envision.

Should you have any questions or want to discuss your specific situation, don’t hesitate to reach out to speak with one of our financial experts here at FitBUX. Our team is here to guide you through your financial growth and ensure that your portfolio is as dynamic and risk-appropriate as it needs to be. Rebalancing isn’t a one-time event – it’s a process that evolves alongside your investments and personal aspirations. Again, if you needed help doing that with something like a Roth IRA, let us know and we can get you set up.

If you have further questions, feel free to create a FitBUX account and schedule a call with one of our experts.

Joseph Reinke, CFA

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About the Author

Joseph Reinke is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charter Holder and founder of FitBUX which has helped over 14,000 young professionals on their journey to financial freedom. Joseph has been personally investing since he was 12 years old.

In addition, he has experience in student loans, mortgages, wealth management, investment banking, valuation, stock trading, and option trading. He has been on 100s of podcast and has been invited to 100s of universities to discuss financial planning with their soon to be graduates.

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