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  • FIRST POST
    • baj25
    • By baj25 19th May 17, 5:04 PM
    • 30Posts
    • 7Thanks
    baj25
    Tim Hale based plan- comments please?
    • #1
    • 19th May 17, 5:04 PM
    Tim Hale based plan- comments please? 19th May 17 at 5:04 PM
    Any comments on the following portfolio I’m considering? (The left hand figure is % of total)
    2 Vanguard FTSE UK All Share Index Unit Trust
    20.5 Vanguard FTSE Dvlpd World ex-UK Equity Index Acc
    7.5 Legal & General Global 100 Index I Trust Acc
    7.5 Vanguard Global Small-Cap Index Fund GBP Acc
    7.5 Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Acc Hedged
    5 BlackRock Global Property Securities Equity Tracker D (Inc)

    15 Vanguard UK Government Bond Index Fund GBP Acc ???
    15 Vanguard UK inflation linked gilt Index Fund GBP Acc ???
    20 Cash isas paying 2- 2.4% until 2020

    Context: mid 50s, all in ISAs, enough other income now/ future pensions to cover basics, this pot c.240K and aim to start taking income from it in a year or two at earliest.
    I’m basically aiming to follow Tim Hale, I’ve long been a believer in passives. I’m not sure about L&G global 100, which tracks S&P global 100- Morningstar classify it as large cap value, which is what I want it for, it maybe feels a bit ‘narrow’ with only 100 stocks and it isn't clear how the $/£ conversion is done. I don’t feel great about gilt prospects with interest rates only going one way, but just don’t know of alternative. Am I correct in going for (mostly) Acc units, with plan to shift to Inc when I start drawing? TIA, Brian
Page 4
    • bowlhead99
    • By bowlhead99 24th May 17, 7:46 AM
    • 6,581 Posts
    • 11,642 Thanks
    bowlhead99
    Yes, that 'psychological ongoing charge factor' means you might do something sub optimal (like invest in something more costly, administratively burdensome or with a lower risk/return than you could practically handle) for peace of mind. Some would be happy to pay it.

    Others (and particularly those whose levels of assets provide completely adequate peace of mind) would not. For example Warren Buffet is quite happy to advise his wife not to try to bother doing anything clever with the money he leaves her once he's gone, as he doesn't want her being fleeced by predatory advisors that see her as a cash cow and she does not need to worry about having enough money to get by.
    • Audaxer
    • By Audaxer 24th May 17, 9:10 AM
    • 307 Posts
    • 97 Thanks
    Audaxer
    There can be merit in having a multi-stage waterfall /cascade of portfolios, feeding into the money you are actually spending or drawing out of the overall pot. Both from a practical level and a psychological one.

    Imagine someone has investment assets of £250k and are hoping their portfolio can deliver inflation plus 4% a year; because they need to draw £10k a year (about 4%) to supplement their state pension and get through the year without depleting capital as they look to navigate the next 20 to 45 years from age 65 and still have money left at the end for a few years in a care home. The £250k they accumulated as their retirement fund, in context, represents the accumulation of about 10 years' gross salary from when they were working a £25-30k a year job.

    Perhaps they have their portfolio split 60/40 equities/bonds in index funds, so £150k of the £250k is equities (intended to be the growth engine and provide some natural income towards the 4% target of what they want to draw).

    Then there is a bad year or two on 'the markets' and equities drop 50-55%. So the equities in the portfolio tank by £75-80k-ish. Depending on the underlying drivers of the crash and the state of the markets pre-crash, their bond indexes may not grow significantly to offset those heavy losses in a meaningful way.

    The paper loss they have experienced over that year or two, which might only be a couple of years into retirement, is equal to about three times the annual gross amount they had ever earned as full time salaried employee. For a non-professional investor, they may feel, "ouch". Now they are looking at the next forty years ahead of them with only seven years of their old salary in the bank and not ten. A £10k draw for living costs is now 10/160ths or 10/170ths of the pot instead of 10/250ths. It's not a pleasant place to be, even if the nice people on the internet told them they should just DIY with simple index funds because paying an IFA to properly assess their risk tolerance and educate them about such situations would be a waste of money.

    The person knowing that they might be faced with such a situation and feel that, "aaargh, my £250k mixed asset retirement portfolio has been painfully ravaged by unfriendly markets causing it to drop by over a third" might instead look for something more complex:

    - a bit of the portfolio set up to deliver long term growth (accepting serious short term swings because you'll never be drawing from it to directly pay for anything);

    - a bit of the portfolio delivering income into a cash buffer

    - cash buffer to cover a few years drawdown

    The theory would go, do your spending from the cash buffer (unlikely to run out as it is being fed with new income albeit income that would fluctuate). Periodically top up the income generators or cash buffer when your long-term-growth pot is high, with some sort of a rebalance process. You can then just let it run, without worrying too much about it running out.
    Originally posted by bowlhead99
    Thanks bowlhead, that is exactly the position I am in. I really like the simplicity of putting it all in 60/40 multi index fund(s) as I could afford to not draw income in loss years as I have a cash buffer. However the thought of seeing a 50% drop in the equity part after cautiously saving over many years to get a decent retirement fund would be psychologically hard to take.

    So I would agree that for me the bucket portfolio is the best solution. Although I don't intend to touch the growth part for a long time, I'm still thinking a bit cautiously in that a VLS60 would be best for me for the growth part.

    Selecting the best funds and getting the right weightings for the income portfolio is the bit I will probably find most difficult. I have learned a lot on here but I am still a bit wary that I will pick the wrong funds, but on the other hand with a bit of research as advised, it surely can't be that difficult to pick a selection of say 6 to 10 ITs and funds that don't have high risk levels that will give me a decent level of income? I appreciate I will not be able to come up with as good a solution as you, Linton and others on this forum who are a lot more experienced than me, but I still think I can hopefully DIY it to an acceptable solution.

    Does that sound reasonable?
    Last edited by Audaxer; 24-05-2017 at 9:14 AM.
    • ColdIron
    • By ColdIron 24th May 17, 9:32 AM
    • 3,278 Posts
    • 3,769 Thanks
    ColdIron
    Does that sound reasonable?
    Originally posted by Audaxer
    In the nicest possible way, you have been dancing around this for some months now and keep coming back to your VLS which isn't really the best plan for a reliable income. At some point you'll need to make a leap of faith, perhaps come up with a plan and implement it slowly? I am guessing that you've had a read around Monevator, but maybe this section could help you put a bit of structure to your plans. It's a year old but is no worse for it
    http://monevator.com/investment-trusts-for-deaccumulating-income-investors-2016-update/
    • bostonerimus
    • By bostonerimus 24th May 17, 12:53 PM
    • 640 Posts
    • 332 Thanks
    bostonerimus
    T
    Imagine someone has investment assets of £250k and are hoping their portfolio can deliver inflation plus 4% a year; because they need to draw £10k a year (about 4%) to supplement their state pension and get through the year without depleting capital as they look to navigate the next 20 to 45 years from age 65 and still have money left at the end for a few years in a care home. The £250k they accumulated as their retirement fund, in context, represents the accumulation of about 10 years' gross salary from when they were working a £25-30k a year job.
    Originally posted by bowlhead99
    Down years and sequence of return risk are scary. A buckets approach is just another way of looking at asset allocation. A cash/saving/very short term bond allocation can be used as an income buffer if the portfolio is not performing well and annuities and pensions can also be used to provide an income floor........although not much of a floor today. A safe withdrawal rate is derived from an asset allocation and either all combos of historical returns or some prognostication about future returns so it should be good for the vast majority of possible future markets. Of course a withdrawal rate does not need to be set in stone and if you have some budget flexibility you can reduce spending in bad times.

    Here is a recent paper about safe withdrawal rates when you have a combo of some guaranteed income, like the state pension or a DB benefit, and a drawdown portfolio. The scariest thing in the paper are the assumptions for future return based on Morningstar research.

    https://www.onefpa.org/journal/Pages/APR17-The-Impact-of-Guaranteed-Income-and-Dynamic-Withdrawals-on-Safe-Initial-Withdrawal-Rates.aspx

    Buckets are an unneccessary complication in my opinion, but as long as money can flow between them so that the overall asset allocation doesn't get skewed then they can serve a psychological function. I find a total return income approach (dividends, interest, capital gains) with a cash buffer and rebalancing the equity and fix income allocation to be the simplest way to manage my money.
    Last edited by bostonerimus; 24-05-2017 at 1:09 PM.
    • Linton
    • By Linton 24th May 17, 2:57 PM
    • 8,073 Posts
    • 7,898 Thanks
    Linton
    ......

    Buckets are an unneccessary complication in my opinion, but as long as money can flow between them so that the overall asset allocation doesn't get skewed then they can serve a psychological function. I find a total return income approach (dividends, interest, capital gains) with a cash buffer and rebalancing the equity and fix income allocation to be the simplest way to manage my money.
    Originally posted by bostonerimus
    Overall asset allocation becomes less significant when you have multiple objectives. How do you determine what that allocation should be when optimally meeting each objective would naturally lead to a different allocation?

    In your situation, where you have appear to have one overriding objective of maximising return, this is not an issue, you set up your portfolio to meet that objective and deal with the side matters like a 1% drawdown when they arise. In my situation maximum return isnt the major aim as with sensible management there should be more than enough capital to last the rest of my life. Adding unnecessary risk to get a bit more than one needs is pointless - extra capital remaining when one dies is from my point of view totally wasted capital. But of course we dont know now what will be needed in the future.

    More important than return is reliability of income both against short term market fluctuations and long term inflation risk which makes life a lot more complex. By setting up focussed allocations to provide each of long term greater than inflation returns, a steady income, and protection against major market falls one ends up with an overall allocation designed to meet one's objectives. And equally importantly it gives one a rational basis from which to make changes. One's objectives may change over time as may one's perception of the significance of the risks. Dealing with this is simply a matter of changing the high level % allocation between the separate portfolios.

    Managing de-investment is a lot more complex than assessing one's attitude to risk on a scale from "any fall makes me suicidal" to "any fall makes me happy as I can buy extra investments more cheaply" and then deciding which VLSxxx fund to buy.
  • jamesd
    Audaxer, please have a read of the Guyton and Klinger and the Guyton sequence of return risk reduction descriptions linked from here. That might give you some reassurance about what happens in equity market drops, particularly if you also keep a year or so in cash or non-volatile liquid investments like P2P lending.

    Big drops can be very unsettling but the safe withdrawal rate studies allow for that and produce rates that are safe even after a big and sustained drop matching anything seen for the last hundred plus years.

    Meanwhile Guyton's sequence of return risk work gives guidance on when to switch to a lower equity proportion to reduce the impact of those drops and improve the safe withdrawal rate. For many equity markets that's currently suggesting low equity mixtures. It's a significant part of why I currently have much less than my usual near 100% in equities.
    Last edited by jamesd; 24-05-2017 at 4:24 PM.
    • Audaxer
    • By Audaxer 24th May 17, 3:45 PM
    • 307 Posts
    • 97 Thanks
    Audaxer
    In the nicest possible way, you have been dancing around this for some months now and keep coming back to your VLS which isn't really the best plan for a reliable income. At some point you'll need to make a leap of faith, perhaps come up with a plan and implement it slowly? I am guessing that you've had a read around Monevator, but maybe this section could help you put a bit of structure to your plans. It's a year old but is no worse for it
    http://monevator.com/investment-trusts-for-deaccumulating-income-investors-2016-update/
    Originally posted by ColdIron
    You're right, I have been looking at this for some time, but I have started slowly by putting a few lump sums into VLS. I know that I definitely want to keep a decent cash buffer of savings, and at least 50% of my investments in multi asset passive funds but I was not certain about the other 50% of my investments - either put it into a multi asset passive fund as well, or try and select a good mix of income generating funds.

    I appreciate all the assistance from you and others on this forum.
    • TheTracker
    • By TheTracker 24th May 17, 4:03 PM
    • 1,068 Posts
    • 1,062 Thanks
    TheTracker
    Personally, I have two or three 'buckets' which most people also have: likely future savings, likely growth on those savings, and likely future state pension. I always reflect on these when I consider any drop in investments. For most of your investing career these will be greater than your current portfolio size, allowing you in your mind to ameliorate any psychological impact.
    • bostonerimus
    • By bostonerimus 24th May 17, 4:59 PM
    • 640 Posts
    • 332 Thanks
    bostonerimus
    In your situation, where you have appear to have one overriding objective of maximising return, this is not an issue, you set up your portfolio to meet that objective and deal with the side matters like a 1% drawdown when they arise. In my situation maximum return isnt the major aim as with sensible management there should be more than enough capital to last the rest of my life. Adding unnecessary risk to get a bit more than one needs is pointless - extra capital remaining when one dies is from my point of view totally wasted capital. But of course we dont know now what will be needed in the future.

    More important than return is reliability of income both against short term market fluctuations and long term inflation risk which makes life a lot more complex. By setting up focussed allocations to provide each of long term greater than inflation returns, a steady income, and protection against major market falls one ends up with an overall allocation designed to meet one's objectives. And equally importantly it gives one a rational basis from which to make changes. One's objectives may change over time as may one's perception of the significance of the risks. Dealing with this is simply a matter of changing the high level % allocation between the separate portfolios.
    Originally posted by Linton
    We agree on just about everything, we are just looking at things from slightly different perspectives. I see no practical difference between the separate portfolio approach and setting an overall portfolio asset allocation. To me the separate portfolios are an added level of unnecessary complexity.

    Modelling shows a 60/40 asset allocation to be a good compromise between risk/return and portfolio survivability. If you further subdivide that basic allocation then all well and good as long as you don't let the overall allocation drift too far.

    I'm lucky as I have a DB pension and rental income to cover my expenses (I'm also frugal) so I can take more risk than most with my portfolio. I retired 3 years ago with a year's spending in a saving account and a 60/40 classic US portfolio (40% US stocks, 20% international, 40% bonds). My approach is to have a rising equity glide path to increase the chances of me leaving a higher sum to my heirs......for a 60% starting equity allocation a rising equity glide path might actually decrease the length of time I could sustain a 4% withdrawal.....but I'm taking out less than 1% so I don't really care.

    Here's an interesting article on this.

    https://www.kitces.com/blog/should-equity-exposure-decrease-in-retirement-or-is-a-rising-equity-glidepath-actually-better/
    • baj25
    • By baj25 8th Jun 17, 11:21 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    baj25
    OP back again with revised thoughts.
    There were various comments in reply to original posts, and thought processes in response to each would probably be long-winded, so excuse me if I just present current thinking. I think main changes were dropping 'value' from equities as I couldn't find a suitable fund, and adding corporate bonds to the defensive allocation.

    %
    3.5 Vanguard FTSE UK All Share Index Unit Trust Inc
    26.5 Vanguard FTSE Dvlpd World ex-UK Equity Index Inc
    7.5 Vanguard Global Small-Cap Index Fund GBP iNc
    7.5 Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Inc Hedged?
    5 BlackRock Global Property Securities Equity Tracker D (Inc)
    5 Fidelity Institutional Index Linked Bond Inc
    5 Vanguard UK Inv Grade Bond Index Fund GBP Inc
    10 Vanguard Global Bond Index Fund GBP HEDGED Inc
    5 Vanguard UK Sht Term Inv Gde Bd Ind A Fund GBP Inc
    5 Vanguard Global Short-Term Bond Index Hedged (Inc)
    20 cash isa @2.5%

    Reminder of context- mid 50s and good health, still plan on working another couple of years, enough pension income to be comfortable (by our terms), so I'm not looking to squeeze the pips out of this lot. (c.250k all in ISAs, c.4% p.a. drawn). Any alarm bells ring that this is miles off achieving that? Thanks in anticipation of any observations, Brian
    • bostonerimus
    • By bostonerimus 9th Jun 17, 2:35 AM
    • 640 Posts
    • 332 Thanks
    bostonerimus
    OP back again with revised thoughts.
    There were various comments in reply to original posts, and thought processes in response to each would probably be long-winded, so excuse me if I just present current thinking. I think main changes were dropping 'value' from equities as I couldn't find a suitable fund, and adding corporate bonds to the defensive allocation.

    %
    3.5 Vanguard FTSE UK All Share Index Unit Trust Inc
    26.5 Vanguard FTSE Dvlpd World ex-UK Equity Index Inc
    7.5 Vanguard Global Small-Cap Index Fund GBP iNc
    7.5 Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Inc Hedged?
    5 BlackRock Global Property Securities Equity Tracker D (Inc)
    5 Fidelity Institutional Index Linked Bond Inc
    5 Vanguard UK Inv Grade Bond Index Fund GBP Inc
    10 Vanguard Global Bond Index Fund GBP HEDGED Inc
    5 Vanguard UK Sht Term Inv Gde Bd Ind A Fund GBP Inc
    5 Vanguard Global Short-Term Bond Index Hedged (Inc)
    20 cash isa @2.5%

    Reminder of context- mid 50s and good health, still plan on working another couple of years, enough pension income to be comfortable (by our terms), so I'm not looking to squeeze the pips out of this lot. (c.250k all in ISAs, c.4% p.a. drawn). Any alarm bells ring that this is miles off achieving that? Thanks in anticipation of any observations, Brian
    Originally posted by baj25
    Why do you have a resolution of 0.5% in your allocation?

    Will you be rebalancing or buying and selling and if so what are your performance trigger levels? or are you just going to let it ride? I could not be bothered to manage so many funds.
    Last edited by bostonerimus; 09-06-2017 at 2:39 AM.
    Misanthrope in search of similar for mutual loathing
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 9th Jun 17, 9:25 AM
    • 7,052 Posts
    • 7,518 Thanks
    AnotherJoe

    %
    3.5 Vanguard FTSE UK All Share Index Unit Trust Inc
    26.5 Vanguard FTSE Dvlpd World ex-UK Equity Index Inc
    7.5 Vanguard Global Small-Cap Index Fund GBP iNc
    7.5 Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Inc Hedged?
    5 BlackRock Global Property Securities Equity Tracker D (Inc)
    5 Fidelity Institutional Index Linked Bond Inc
    5 Vanguard UK Inv Grade Bond Index Fund GBP Inc
    10 Vanguard Global Bond Index Fund GBP HEDGED Inc
    5 Vanguard UK Sht Term Inv Gde Bd Ind A Fund GBP Inc
    5 Vanguard Global Short-Term Bond Index Hedged (Inc)
    20 cash isa @2.5%

    Reminder of context- mid 50s and good health, still plan on working another couple of years, enough pension income to be comfortable (by our terms), so I'm not looking to squeeze the pips out of this lot. (c.250k all in ISAs, c.4% p.a. drawn). Any alarm bells ring that this is miles off achieving that? Thanks in anticipation of any observations, Brian
    Originally posted by baj25
    You said in an earlier post "I'm lucky as I have a DB pension and rental income to cover my expenses (I'm also frugal) so I can take more risk than most with my portfolio.".

    This portfolio doesn't fit that at all. Its very conservative. Its like a strangely allocated vanguard 30.
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 9th Jun 17, 9:50 AM
    • 2,596 Posts
    • 3,695 Thanks
    Malthusian
    You said in an earlier post "I'm lucky as I have a DB pension and rental income to cover my expenses (I'm also frugal) so I can take more risk than most with my portfolio.".

    This portfolio doesn't fit that at all. Its very conservative. Its like a strangely allocated vanguard 30.
    Originally posted by AnotherJoe
    I count 50% in equities, 30% in bonds and 20% in cash. I also wouldn't call the allocation strange (I would want more in the UK and a lot less in the US but each to their own). It's cautious but I'm not sure why you call it a Vanguard 30.

    Although in theory having a DB pension should make someone more able to take risk, in reality, if you take one person with a DB pension and the exact same person without a DB pension and make them live through a 40% stockmarket crash, psychologically they will react in exactly the same way - if they are going to panic and cash out then both of them will. The difference is that there may be a point at which the non-DB person is forced to cash out, to cover his living expenses, while the DB person may not be. However, if the threshold at which they both panic is higher than the threshold at which the non-DB person is forced to cash in, it is moot. This is why the UK regulator bangs on about your attitude to risk being different from your capacity for loss.

    To answer the OP's question: no, no alarm bells are ringing for me. Is it the allocation I would use - no, is it the best allocation for you - probably not, is it likely to result in disaster - probably not.

    Only thing I would flag up is the lack of commercial property. The BlackRock global property securities fund is not a commercial property fund although people seem to keep treating it as one. It is and behaves like a sector-specialist equity fund.
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 9th Jun 17, 10:09 AM
    • 7,052 Posts
    • 7,518 Thanks
    AnotherJoe
    I count 50% in equities, 30% in bonds and 20% in cash. I also wouldn't call the allocation strange (I would want more in the UK and a lot less in the US but each to their own). It's cautious but I'm not sure why you call it a Vanguard 30.

    Because I cant add up

    Although in theory having a DB pension should make someone more able to take risk, in reality, if you take one person with a DB pension and the exact same person without a DB pension and make them live through a 40% stockmarket crash, psychologically they will react in exactly the same way - if they are going to panic and cash out then both of them will. The difference is that there may be a point at which the non-DB person is forced to cash out, to cover his living expenses, while the DB person may not be. However, if the threshold at which they both panic is higher than the threshold at which the non-DB person is forced to cash in, it is moot. This is why the UK regulator bangs on about your attitude to risk being different from your capacity for loss.

    I agree but it was the OP who talked about taking more risk - and then packs his allocation with bonds and cash.
    Originally posted by Malthusian
    I think its a strange allocation because
    -its got all that defensive stuff in it plus high risk funds,a bit of a contrast?
    -Its got 3.5% FTSE A which is neither here no there (eg why bother?) and because of the nature of the FTSE A means its actually in a handful of very large companies rather than spread across the UK economy as you might think.
    -Its got an emerging markets (adds risk) which is hedged (removes risk)
    -Its very skewed to EM and small cap in equities, yet has all that contrasting defensive bonds (which may not be defensive any more with the ways things are going)


    In summary, and I agree with your analysis of people saying they are high risk but then panicking when markets fall, I think the OP thinks he is high risk, but really is low risk and just wants a little gamble on the side with a bit of EM and small cap.

    Nothing wrong with that, but dont pretend its high risk.

    I think the OP is either conflicted or doesn't know if they really are higher risk.
    • bostonerimus
    • By bostonerimus 9th Jun 17, 11:29 AM
    • 640 Posts
    • 332 Thanks
    bostonerimus
    You said in an earlier post "I'm lucky as I have a DB pension and rental income to cover my expenses (I'm also frugal) so I can take more risk than most with my portfolio.".

    This portfolio doesn't fit that at all. Its very conservative. Its like a strangely allocated vanguard 30.
    Originally posted by AnotherJoe
    That was me....not the OP. I'm approaching 70% equities in a basically 3 fund portfolio and the percentage is drifting up as I've stopped rebalancing. I probably won't let it go above 75%.
    Last edited by bostonerimus; 09-06-2017 at 12:38 PM.
    Misanthrope in search of similar for mutual loathing
    • Audaxer
    • By Audaxer 9th Jun 17, 12:05 PM
    • 307 Posts
    • 97 Thanks
    Audaxer
    I think OP is still making things complicated with all the separate indexes. If keeping 20% in cash, I would think he would get a similar result from putting the other 80% in a VLS60 - that would mean 48% equities, 32% bonds and 20% cash. If the OP thinks the VLS has too much UK equity, he could consider another multi asset passive fund like L&G MI or HSBC Global Strategy instead of VLS as these also include a property index.

    I think trying to drawdown 4% per annum from a multi asset fund would be much more straighforward than drawing from separate index funds to make up the 4% withdrawn, while ensuring the portfolio is still rebalanced to same allocations.
    • baj25
    • By baj25 9th Jun 17, 10:36 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    baj25
    The HSBC global fund seems to tick a lot of boxes, I wonder why I've not seen it mentioned here more frequently? Less UK centric than VLS, which in my mind is good, and low fees. I've seen some negative monevator comments about previous higher charging HSBC funds, any glaring downsides with it (they are not jumping out at me)?
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