How much of your portfolio should you keep in cash?

Usually, financial advisors allocate no less than 5% to cash and often an amount close to 10% or even 15% or 20%. Savvy investors tend to argue that cash is part of a solid investment portfolio. A cash reserve can be used in the event of unexpected life events or gaps in your cash flow, while providing you with the liquidity you need to pursue investment opportunities. However, in today's interest rate environment, it can also be important to understand the tools you have at your disposal to help you make the most of an asset such as cash.

Edstrom advises clients not to keep most of their portfolios in cash, but to understand the different types of cash and the functions they perform. These include operating cash, which customers need to live on; cash reserves, to be used over a period of 6 to 12 months; and investable cash, which is used to meet the long-term objectives of customer cash needs, such as cash needed for retirement. One of the most common questions that arise is how much cash to keep in reserves. The exact amount varies from family to family and lifestyle to lifestyle, so Rose recommends sitting down and having a frank and honest conversation about your budget.

While it's important to have an idea of what you spend monthly, your expenses can vary significantly from quarter to quarter. Having a line of credit can also give you some agility in managing your cash flow. There's no cost to have an established line of credit, there's no ongoing fee or report to be returned to your credit agency, Rose says. You can take advantage of current assets to establish a line of credit.

Angie O'Leary, director of wealth planning at RBC Wealth Management-U, S. While there are stipulations you should analyze depending on your particular case, he says, a line of credit can be an effective backup and a tool for retaining liquidity. One of the main problems investors have with cash is being at the mercy of the current interest rate environment. The first level (from zero to six months) is operational cash and must be in an agile vehicle, such as a secure interest-bearing savings account.

When the cash reserve that might be needed after the zero to six-month reserve runs out, he recommends investing in something stable but with a more competitive interest yield, such as Treasury bills, certificates of deposit (CDs) or money market funds, all of which are normally deposited for a fixed time with sanctions if withdrawn before that commitment. After a year, Edstrom begins to analyze fixed income, investments that represent less risk, and returns at reliable intervals. The amount you set aside in cash should change as your needs and lifestyle evolve. The important thing, Edstrom says, is to make sure that your cash reserves are on the agenda every time you review your overall investment strategy.

Often, he says, the conversation doesn't happen as much as it probably should. However, cash requirements should be a subject of ongoing discussion with your financial advisor and wealth manager. Securities-based lending involves special risks and is not suitable for everyone. You should review the provisions of any agreement and related disclosures, and consult your own independent tax and legal advisors with any questions you may have before using securities based loans or lines of credit.

The investment and insurance products offered through RBC Wealth Management are not insured by the FDIC or any other federal government agency, do not constitute deposits or other obligations nor are they guaranteed by any bank or bank subsidiary, and are subject to investment risks, including the possible loss of the principal amount invested. In general, Financial Samurai recommends no more than six months of living expenses in cash. And, hopefully, the cash is optimized in a high-yield online savings account. .