Role of Income Across Different Life Stages
17 April 2024

Income investing is often associated with retirees or those nearing retirement age. However, the significance of income extends far beyond just retirement, as it plays a crucial role in driving total returns and reducing portfolio volatility across an investor’s lifecycle.

In our latest Fundamental Flash, we explore the role of income across different life stages, tracing the journey of an investor named Alex as he navigates through each phase of his investment journey.

Early Career

During the early career stage, individuals typically prioritise growth-oriented investments to capitalise on long-term wealth accumulation. However, incorporating income-generating assets can provide numerous benefits, even at this stage.

Meet Alex, a recent graduate who has just stepped into the working world. Excited about the prospects of his budding career, Alex focuses on growth-oriented investments such as equities and small-cap stocks for long-term capital growth.

However, he soon realises the importance of diversification and stability, especially amidst the uncertainties of early career life. Allocating a portion of his portfolio to dividend-paying stocks or bonds provides Alex with a steady income stream to cover some expenses. However, Alex could also choose to reinvest the rest of it back into his portfolio to further fuel his portfolio’s growth potential by harnessing the power of compounding.


In the mid-career stage, individuals often face a myriad of financial obligations, from managing mortgages to funding their children's education and planning for retirement. During this phase, the importance of income-generating investments becomes even more pronounced as individuals seek to balance their growth objectives with the need for stable cash flow.

Fast forward a few years, and Alex now finds himself in the prime of his career with a growing family to support. Recognising the need to secure his financial future, Alex incorporates income-generating assets, such as real estate investment trusts (REITs) or dividend stocks, into his investment portfolio. These assets provide Alex with a reliable source of income to help meet his various financial goals and commitments.

Moreover, income investments play a crucial role in helping Alex create a more defensive and diversified portfolio as his portfolio grows in size. By allocating a portion of his investments to income-generating assets, Alex can mitigate overall portfolio volatility and smooth out returns. This defensive strategy becomes particularly valuable during market downturns, where a dependable income stream acts as a financial cushion, providing Alex with greater financial resilience and peace of mind.


As individuals approach retirement, the focus shifts towards preserving wealth and generating sustainable income to support their desired lifestyle during retirement. Income investments take centre stage during this phase, providing a steady cash flow to supplement other sources of retirement income.

As Alex now approaches his late 50s, retirement planning moves to the forefront of his financial priorities. With retirement on the horizon, the focus shifts towards preserving wealth and generating sustainable income to support his desired lifestyle.

In response, Alex tilts his investment portfolio more heavily towards income-generating assets. While growth assets still have their place, a significant portion of Alex's portfolio is allocated to income-generating investments such as sovereign bonds, investment-grade corporate bonds and dividend-paying stocks. This diversified income stream ensures financial security during retirement, allowing Alex and his spouse to enjoy their golden years without worrying about outliving their savings.


In retirement, income investments often form the cornerstone of investment portfolios, providing retirees with a reliable source of cash flow to cover living expenses and enjoy their golden years. 

By strategically allocating his investment portfolio to different income-generating assets, Alex achieves financial security and peace of mind through multiple income sources. This income provides the foundation for a fulfilling retirement, allowing Alex to pursue his passions and enjoy the fruits of his labour.

Why Income Matters

From enhancing total returns through compounding to providing stability during market downturns, income investments play a vital role in achieving financial goals and securing a prosperous future. By recognising the importance of income across various life stages, investors can build resilient portfolios to help them achieve their financial goals.

This article has been prepared by AHAM Asset Management Berhad (“AHAM Capital”) specific for its use, a specific target audience, and for discussion purposes only. All information contained within this presentation belongs to AHAM Capital and may not be copied, distributed or otherwise disseminated in whole or in part without written consent of AHAM Capital.

The information contained in this presentation may include, but is not limited to opinions, analysis, forecasts, projections and expectations (collectively referred to as “Opinions”). Such information has been obtained from various sources including those in the public domain, are merely expressions of belief. Although this presentation has been prepared on the basis of information and/or Opinions that are believed to be correct at the time the presentation was prepared, AHAM Capital makes no expressed or implied warranty as to the accuracy and completeness of any such information and/or Opinions.

As with any forms of financial products, the financial product mentioned herein (if any) carries with it various risks. Although attempts have been made to disclose all possible risks involved, the financial product may still be subject to inherent risk that may arise beyond our reasonable contemplation. The financial product may be wholly unsuited for you, if you are adverse to the risk arising out of and/or in connection with the financial product.

AHAM Capital is not acting as an advisor or agent to any person to whom this presentation is directed. Such persons must make their own independent assessments of the contents of this presentation, should not treat such content as advice relating to legal, accounting, taxation or investment matters and should consult their own advisers.

AHAM Capital and its affiliates may act as a principal and agent in any transaction contemplated by this presentation, or any other transaction connected with any such transaction, and may as a result earn brokerage, commission or other income. Nothing in this presentation is intended to be, or should be construed as an offer to buy or sell, or invitation to subscribe for, any securities.

Neither AHAM Capital nor any of its directors, employees or representatives are to have any liability (including liability to any person by reason of negligence or negligent misstatement) from any statement, opinion, information or matter (expressed or implied) arising out of, contained in or derived from or any omission from this presentation, except liability under statute that cannot be excluded.
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