A Different Degree of Wealth

The Golden Rule of Investments: Location, Location, Location!

Much like in real estate where the adage “location, location, location” prevails, in portfolio management, it’s all about “allocation, allocation, allocation.” The principle of asset allocation, and the location of your assets within the various asset classes, is essential, acting as the bedrock upon which successful investment strategies are built. Although choosing the right individual assets is incredibly important, every investor should understand where those assets fit into their broader asset allocation strategy first. Asset allocation isn’t just a piece of the investment puzzle, it’s arguably the most crucial one, shaping the contours of risk and return within your portfolio.

Understanding Asset Allocation

At its core, asset allocation is about dividing your investment portfolio among different asset categories, such as stocks, bonds, real estate, and cash or cash equivalents. This strategy is based on the understanding that different asset classes exhibit varied levels of risk and return, thereby behaving differently over time. The essence of asset allocation lies in balancing these risks and rewards to align with your financial goals, risk tolerance, and investment horizon.

The Importance of Correlation

Understanding the correlation between asset classes is crucial for effective asset allocation, as it informs the diversification strategy within a portfolio. Correlation, measured on a scale from -1 to 1, dictates how asset classes move in relation to one another. Assets with low or negative correlations can enhance portfolio diversification, managing risk by ensuring not all investments move in the same direction at the same time. This strategic diversification allows for better risk management and optimization of returns, as a well-balanced portfolio can withstand market volatility more effectively. To implement this, investors should analyze historical correlations, diversify across non-correlated assets, and regularly monitor and rebalance their portfolio to adapt to changing market conditions. Keeping an eye on correlation helps in constructing a resilient portfolio that can navigate through different economic cycles, making it a pivotal consideration in the asset allocation process.

Why Does Asset Allocation Matter?

Protecting your portfolio from excessive correlation is one major benefit of a thoughtful allocation to different asset classes, but the benefits of asset allocation certainly don’t end there:

  • Diversification: The cornerstone of a sound investment strategy, diversification, is achieved through asset allocation. By spreading investments across various asset classes, you minimize the risk of significant losses. Should one asset category underperform, another might outperform, mitigating overall losses in your portfolio.
  • Balancing Risk and Return: Different investors have different appetites for risk, influenced by their financial goals and the time frame they have to achieve them. Asset allocation enables investors to strike a balance between risk and return. Higher risk (such as equities) may offer higher returns but with greater volatility. Conversely, lower-risk assets like bonds provide stability with less potential for high returns. Through asset allocation, investors can tailor their portfolios to their comfort with risk and desired outcomes.
  • Adaptation to Life Stages: As investors move through different stages of life, their financial goals and risk tolerance change. Asset allocation allows for adjustments to the portfolio to reflect these changes. For example, younger investors might lean heavily towards stocks for long-term growth, while those nearing retirement might increase their allocation in bonds for income and stability.
  • Performance: While the allure of picking individual securities or timing the market is strong, research and historical data support that asset allocation decisions are the primary drivers of portfolio performance over time. The right mix of assets can lead to optimized risk-adjusted returns, making it a more potent factor than even the most astute stock selection.

How to Implement Asset Allocation

  • Assess Your Financial Goals and Risk Tolerance: Before diving into asset allocation, understand your financial objectives and how much risk you’re willing to take on to achieve them.
  • Determine Your Investment Horizon: Your time frame for investing plays a critical role in determining your asset allocation. Longer horizons typically allow for a higher allocation to riskier assets like stocks.
  • Consult with Financial Professionals: Given the complexities and evolving nature of the investment landscape, seeking advice from financial professionals can provide personalized insights and strategies tailored to your unique situation.
  • Review and Adjust: The financial markets are dynamic, and your personal circumstances can change. Regularly reviewing and adjusting your asset allocation ensures your investment strategy remains aligned with your goals.

A Strategy for Success

Asset allocation is much more than an abstract investment tactic; it’s a foundational strategy that determines the trajectory (and quite likely the success) of your investment journey. By judiciously allocating assets in a way that balances risk and reward according to personal goals and circumstances, investors can navigate the complexities of the market with greater confidence and poise. Remember, in the pursuit of financial success, how you allocate your assets can be just as important as the assets you choose to invest in.

If you have questions about investments, read Chapter 5 of “Wealth on Purpose” by Bryan Ballentine.

Have a great weekend!

Sources: Located at the bottom of the article

Golf Tip of the Week

The Truth About Mud Balls

My course here in Connecticut opened two weeks ago, a welcome early opportunity to swing the sticks outside instead of in the simulator (sorry, not much of a temporary green kind of guy). Still, it’s been a wet winter and the first 10 days of spring have been no better. That has led to almost every shot resulting in a fair amount of mud being caked on the ball after landing. My foursome decided to combat that by playing lift, clean and place throughout, but it did make me wonder: How much affect does mud really have on a ball?

Certainly, there has been much anecdotal evidence and some attempts at looking at it from a scientific standpoint. Still, when I want science, I want it to be from a Ph.D., not some Bryson DeChambeau wannabe. Luckily, I stumbled upon an article on the topic from Dr. Paul Wood, who joined Ping in 2005 after completing his Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics at University of St. Andrews in Scotland. A research engineer, Wood has extensive expertise in studying the physics of ball flight and the club-ball impact.

Wood was spurred to research the effect and predictability of mud balls after a co-worker encountered a bad mud ball during a tournament and watched the ball fly wildly offline. Unlike many others who opine on the topic, Wood not only has Ping’s knowledge library at his disposal, but a test range complete with the Ping Man robot.

A theoretical analysis led to a prediction that mud on the right side of the ball should almost always cause the resultant ball flight to curve to the left because mud in the dimples affect the air flow, causing the turbulent wake to be bent toward the mud side. This in turn will cause the ball to curve in the opposite direction. Still, Wood wondered if, during an actual round of golf, with a chunk of mud on the ball, is the effect measurable and repeatable?

A 4-iron was set up on the Ping Man robot and set the swing characteristics to mimic a high swing-speed player. The club speed prior to impact was set to 95 mph, leading to center hits carrying a little more than 220 yards. Several balls with mud caked on different areas were set up. Some had mud covering the entire surface of the ball, while others had mud applied to a specific area: front, back, top, bottom, left or right side of the ball. A healthy amount of mud was applied but most fell off at impact, leaving Wood to reason that smaller amounts would bring similar results.

Of course, everyday golfers don’t want to hear about the science, they just want to know how the ball is going to react. Does it move a certain way consistently? Does it fly shorter? Wood answers those questions with his research.

Wood found balls with mud on the right side landed around 25 yards left of the target on average but with a wide variation in results. With mud on the left, the ball landed almost 30 yards right of the target. With mud all over, the balls went mostly straight but with a similarly wide variation in results. In short and perhaps unsurprisingly, the mud is making the ball flight less consistent.

Now, the general consensus has been that the ball flies in the opposite direction of where the mud is, but Wood’s research shows just how dramatic the effect can be. His research on distance is similarly eye-opening.

While a clean ball hit with a 4-iron at 95 mph goes a little more than 220 yards, but it flies shorter—sometimes considerably so—when mud is applied. With mud on the left or right side, the distance drop is 20-plus yards. If mud is on the back of the ball, the loss is an eye-popping 70 yards. It’s not so bad if the mud is on top of the ball as it is only a 15-yard loss.

Now that score-posting season has started and we can no longer play lift, clean and cheat throughout the course, I know where to aim and to take more club. And now, thanks to a little science experiment, you do, too.

Tip adapted from golfdigest.comi

Recipe of the Week

No-Bake Creamsicle Cheesecake

8 Servings


For the Crust:

  • 24 whole Golden Oreo cookies, crushed
  • 6 tbsp. melted butter
  • Pinch of kosher salt

For the filling:

  • 1 (3-oz.) box orange Jell-O
  • 1 c. boiling water
  • 1 1/2 c. whipped topping
  • 2 (8-oz.) blocks cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 c. sour cream
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch kosher salt

For Garnish:

  • 1 c. whipped topping


  • In a large bowl, whisk together orange Jell-O and boiling water until Jell-O is completely dissolved. Set aside to cool completely.
  • Make crust: In a medium bowl, mix together Oreo crumbs, butter, and salt. Press into the bottom of an 8″ springform pan and up the sides.
  • Make filling: In another large bowl, beat cream cheese and sour cream until smooth, then add powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Fold whipped topping into cream cheese mixture, then pour half of mixture into cooled Jell-O. Whisk until smooth. 
  • Onto the crust, alternate pouring 1/4 cup dollops of cream cheese and Jell-O mixtures until both mixtures are used up. With a butter knife, gently swirl the layers. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours, or until firm.
  • To serve: When firm, pipe dollops of whipped topping around the outside of the cheesecake, and serve. 



Recipe adapted from Delish.comii

Travel Tip of the Week

These Comfy White Sneakers Are Winning Over Travelers and Nurses Who Say They’re Like ‘Walking on Air’


Think about the last time you were on your feet for 12 hours straight. Were you battling to get through a Disney park? Frolicking around at a music festival? For some nurses, 12 hours of standing is just another day at work.

We travelers look to nurses to try out the shoes of the world and report back to us on which actually pass the test. (Nurses, thank you for your service.) Turns out, they really like these classic Skechers Street Uno Stand on Air Sneakers that travelers swear by for long days on the road — and they’re on sale right now at Amazon.

Skechers Street Uno Stand on Air Sneaker

Skechers’ Street Uno Stand on Air style is your everyday chunky white sneaker with a timeless silhouette, monochromatic color, and one-inch wedge heel with a bouncy midsole. This is what sets the shoe apart — that proprietary Skech-Air element is engineered to make your feet feel weightless. Reviewers say the shoe is true to its name: “You do feel like you’re walking on air.”

The sneakers are 100 percent synthetic, so they’re made with no animal leather, and they feature a perforated upper for optimal breathability, flexible rubber outsole, cushiony memory foam insole, and a signature clear air pocket. The Skechers Uno collection is known for its bold colors. The shoe comes in the brightest of greens, hottest of pinks, deepest of purples, and every shade in the pastel palette, but the white is an all-time favorite. Plus, they’re wildly versatile for travel — “stylish to combine with all kinds of outfits, pants, informal dresses, and skirts,” one reviewer says — and they’re up to 38 percent off at Amazon, to boot.

Skechers Street Uno Stand on Air Sneaker

Out of 6,000 reviews, many are from nurses and other healthcare workers who love that the sneakers are easy to wipe clean, don’t squeak on hospital floors, provide adequate arch support, and come in wide sizes that are actually as wide as they claim to be. Ultimately, though, they get the best marks for comfort. 

“Tried every shoe known in the world,” one wrote. “This was recommended by a professor at a nursing school and yay, no more foot pain.” Another who is a retired nurse and now working as a cashier says they stand for eight hours a day, and “these shoes make that possible.” Some reviewers say they’re even more comfortable than the popular Skechers D’Lites and Nike Air Maxes. They’ve amassed a mind-boggling 26,000 ratings at Amazon so far, and more than 19,000 are five-star.

Tip adapted from travelandleisure.comiii 

Copyright (C) 2021.  Ballentine Capital Advisors.  All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:  

Ballentine Capital Advisors
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Greenville, SC 29607


What Is Asset Allocation and Why Is It Important?

Why asset allocation will make or break your returns

The Importance of Asset Allocation

Why Correlations between Asset Classes Matter


Ballentine Capital Advisors is a registered investment adviser. The advisory services of Ballentine Capital Advisors are not made available in any jurisdiction in which Ballentine Capital Advisors is not registered or is otherwise exempt from registration.

Please review Ballentine Capital Advisors Disclosure Brochure for a complete explanation of fees. Investing involves risks. Investments are not guaranteed and may lose value.

This material is prepared by Ballentine Capital Advisors for informational purposes only. It is not intended to serve as a substitute for personalized investment advice or as a recommendation or solicitation or any particular security, strategy, or investment product.

No representation is being made that any account will or is likely to achieve future profits or losses similar to those shown. You should not assume that investment decisions we make in the future will be profitable or equal the investment performance of the past. Past performance does not indicate future results.

Advisory services through Ballentine Capital Advisors, Inc.


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