NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- We're five years removed from the financial collapse of 2008, but it has altered the investment decisions for many. TheStreet's Brittany Umar is with Mark Hamilton, chief investment officer of asset allocation at Oppenheimer Funds, discussing portfolio strategies.

The common rule calls for investors to subtract their age from the number 100, and allocate that percentage to stocks. So for example, if an investor is 40, he would allocate 60% of his portfolio to equities.

But Hamilton suggested that investors first need to identify their longer-term goals and needs from their portfolio.

Once they have an idea about what their needs will be, then they can begin finding the right tools for correctly allocating their assets.

For instance, if the investor is looking for growth, it is usually best to be in equities, while bonds are generally sought after for income, he said.

However, "hybrid" allocations look to achieve both growth and income. Hamilton suggested master limited partnerships or real estate investment trusts for that.

But there's one component that's been severely altered: Portfolio protection.

In the past, investors who wanted safety could simply own government bonds.

But according to Hamilton, once the financial crisis hit, many investors fled to Treasuries, causing yields to plunge and driving down returns.

He concluded that the current environment presents investors and managers with the challenge to find new and innovative ways to protect their assets.

-- Written by Bret Kenwell in Petoskey, Mich.

Bret Kenwell currently writes, blogs and also contributes to Robert Weinstein's Weekly Options Newsletter. Focuses on short-to-intermediate-term trading opportunities that can be exposed via options. He prefers to use debit trades on momentum setups and credit trades on support/resistance setups. He also focuses on building long-term wealth by searching for consistent, quality dividend paying companies and long-term growth companies. He considers himself the surfer, not the wave, in relation to the market and himself. He has no allegiance to either the bull side or the bear side.

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