The Ultimate Guide to Portfolio Rebalancing

WealthBasketOct 19, 2023

Investing can be a complex and challenging process, especially when you have multiple investments in your portfolio. One of the key concepts in managing your portfolio is rebalancing. This practice plays a critical role in ensuring your portfolio realigns with your financial goals. 

In the article, let’s understand the meaning of portfolio rebalancing, its importance, a few rebalancing strategies and more.  

What is Portfolio Balancing?

Portfolio rebalancing is the practice of adjusting your investment holdings to ensure they align with your desired mix of assets, such as stocks, bonds, and cash equivalents. 

Over time, market fluctuations can cause your portfolio to deviate from its original asset allocation, potentially exposing you to more or less risk than intended. 

Rebalancing is a strategic realignment, aimed at returning your portfolio to its target distribution, helping to manage risks and keep your financial goals on track.

Why is Portfolio Rebalancing Important?

Portfolio rebalancing is important for the following reasons:

  • Migitages Risk

One of the primary reasons for portfolio rebalancing is risk management. Over time, the performance of different assets within your portfolio can lead to an imbalance in your desired asset allocation. This can result in a portfolio that is riskier than you initially intended. 

Rebalancing allows you to bring your portfolio back in line with your risk tolerance by selling some of the assets that have become overweight and buying assets that are underweight.

  • Maintaining Financial Goals 

As your financial goals change over time, your ideal asset allocation may also change. Rebalancing helps ensure that your portfolio remains aligned with your current investment goals. 

For example, if you’re nearing retirement, you might want to shift your portfolio toward more conservative investments, and rebalancing can help you achieve this transition.

  • Enhancing Returns

Portfolio rebalancing can potentially improve your investment returns. By selling assets that have performed well (and maybe overvalued) and buying assets that have underperformed (and maybe undervalued), you can buy low and sell high, which can enhance your long-term returns.

Rebalancing Strategies: Timing and Decision Factors

The timing of portfolio rebalancing depends on your asset allocation strategy, and there are various reasons for it:

  • Time-Based Rebalancing

If you have a set schedule for portfolio maintenance, like quarterly or annually, it’s a good time to rebalance. This ensures your portfolio doesn’t drift too far from your target allocation over time.

  • Threshold-Based Rebalancing

Set specific percentage thresholds for your asset classes. When an asset class deviates from its target allocation by a predetermined percentage, it’s a signal to rebalance.

  • Life Events

Major life events such as marriage, or nearing retirement can require adjustments to your portfolio’s asset allocation. Rebalancing in response to these events helps align your investments with your changing financial objectives and risk tolerance.

Benefits of Portfolio Rebalancing

Here are a few of the benefits of portfolio rebalancing:

  1. Risk Management 

Rebalancing helps you maintain your desired asset allocation, preventing your portfolio from becoming overly concentrated in a single asset class. This risk management strategy ensures a more balanced exposure to market fluctuations.

  1. Maintaining Financial Goals 

As your financial goals and risk tolerance evolve, portfolio rebalancing allows you to ensure that your investment portfolio remains aligned with your objectives. This adaptability helps you stay on course to meet your long-term financial targets.

  1. Optimizing Returns 

It can enhance your returns by selling expensive assets and buying undervalued ones. This “buy low, sell high” strategy can boost your long-term gains.

Drawbacks of Portfolio Rebalancing

Below are some of the drawbacks of portfolio rebalancing:

  • Transaction Costs 

Frequent rebalancing can lead to transaction costs, such as brokerage fees and commissions. These costs can erode your returns over time, so it’s essential to weigh them against the benefits of rebalancing.

  • Market Timing Risk 

Rebalancing requires making decisions about when to buy and sell assets. Timing the market perfectly is difficult, and you may unintentionally buy or sell at suboptimal prices, affecting your returns.

  • Missed Opportunities

Since predicting market fluctuations is tricky, rebalancing your portfolio at unfavourable moments may result in missed opportunities to capitalize on potential gains.


In conclusion, portfolio rebalancing is crucial for maintaining a healthy investment portfolio. It helps manage risk, aligns your investments with your goals, and can boost long-term returns. By grasping the various methods, benefits, and risks linked to rebalancing, you can make informed decisions to keep your investments on the right path. Remember that rebalancing should be approached thoughtfully and tailored to your specific financial goals.


  1. What is rebalancing?

Rebalancing involves realigning the distribution of asset classes in your investment portfolio to match your financial goals and risk tolerance. 

  1. What are the risks of rebalancing my portfolio?

Review your stock investments, sell risky investments, and reinvest in less risky assets to achieve your target allocation.

  1. When should I rebalance my portfolio?

Rebalance your portfolio annually, semi-annually or when it deviates notably from your desired asset mix, often due to market fluctuations or changes in your financial goals. This helps maintain your investment strategy in line with your financial goals and risk tolerance.