But, if I keep my purchase allocation the same, wouldn't their tendency to fluctuate work itself (balance itself?) out in the end, or at least have an equally beneficial result than if I rebalanced my entire holdings on some sort of regular basis?
Obviously depends. As with dollar cost averaging, it's playing the odds. Should add, we've never made a point of formal rebalancing per se. But we deal in accounts of numerous individual equities, so it's more a matter of continual consideration of diversification following transactions.
Folks will often hold portfolios largely comprised of MF's ETFs RIETs etc. In that case, if you believe proportionality of initial portfolio allocations still make sense, you should probably rebalance. Otherwise altered diversification increases risk. If the new redistribution happens to optimize diversification given new market circumstances, then hold what you've got.
Hand in glove with decision to buy a hot fund vs a high quality fund coming off of a down year. The latter is more productive in my experience, but there are certainly instances where high flyers continue flying high, or high quality continues to underperform.
There are absolutely circumstances where rebalancing is poor strategy. Depends on the number and type of holdings, along with taxes or market considerations.
This post was edited on 1/4 at 4:23 pm