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Is 'Vanguard LifeStrategy' enough in your portfolio? - Page 2

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Is 'Vanguard LifeStrategy' enough in your portfolio?

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  • Seabee42Seabee42 Forumite
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    IFA's should know more and have more experience, they spend more time on it that most. IF this was all that was needed Active Fund Managers would always beat the market (overall) but actually they do not. In reality there are good and not so good and lucky and not so lucky IFAs. Personally I would be happy with a decent single fund depending on the lifetime of an investment. Only you can say whether you want more complexity, and maybe a more interesting option.
  • fred246fred246 Forumite
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    The problem for me is that I am too old. IFAs never used to bother about portfolios. Getting their fees is all that mattered. My dad spent thousands on having his money put into one UK income fund. My pension was hilariously invested by an IFA. Absolutely rubbish. Money market funds. Lost money over 20 years. People didn't have the knowledge of how to access funds. Now it's easy IFAs have suddenly become interested in portfolios. It's their new secret. Whatever anyone asks an IFA would do something better but they won't actually say what that is. Their model portfolio is always better than the one someone suggests but no-one can verify anything. You just have to trust the IFA. Did I just write IFA and trust in the same sentence?
  • JustAnotherSaverJustAnotherSaver Forumite
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    fred246 wrote: »
    Whatever you ask the answer from IFAs is always the same.
    I wouldn't recommend that.
    I won't tell you what I'd do but it would be better.
    I know more than you so let's complicate things.
    :rotfl:I don't think all IFAs are bad, though there'll be some (i know you never said they were all bad, i'm just saying your post doesn't paint them in a very good light).
    With the limited time i've spent on the topic both in person and online on numerous websites it seems the vast majority of people fall in to two categories. I'm not saying everyone here does & people reading this may spit out their coffee & say hang on a minute that's not what i'm like (but i never said it was what you're like)...
    They either advise willy nilly without even listening to you - "you NEED to invest in THIS..."
    or they're like the guy at work who goes all cryptic when talking about their pay but they fish around trying to find out what you're paid.


    AnotherJoe wrote: »
    Nothing to do with the size of pot though i daresay most IFAs wouldn't get out of bed for less than £100k or so to be managed. Its to do with the investor. I had an IFA and realised early on they (and no one else either) has any more insight than me on whats going to happen in future. Others will be paralysed by fear or indecision and need one. I dont buy the other usual reason for having one "too busy". As I think the escape artist pointed out its like saying you are too busy to bend down and pick up a £50 note off the pavement.
    Well for me i don't think it'd be anything other than pot size. I think it'd be a case of - hang on, we're talking about serious money and time has elapsed, so may be better to try someone who's supposed to be more knowledgable. I can't see my knowledge & confidence levels skyrocketing although i could be wrong.


    Take the knowledge thing for example. From what i'd read, my understanding was that
    * tracker funds are passive investing
    * these LifeStrategy funds are 'fund-of-funds' with auto-rebalancing & there's a range when it comes to fund allocation. I later find that they may be a bit too weighted towards the UK for some people but the first two points remained (or so i thought).


    I then come on here for example, and dunstonh says that these are managed.

    And to someone with no knowledge & no self confidence with it (although just enough to 'have a go') that's an instant knock because yes i'm reading about it but i must clearly be understanding wrong then because dunstonh (there's others so i don't want to single him out) clearly know more than i do.


    I agree with the too busy point you make. I'm happy to try and learn but as i just said - i can read all day long but my understanding may be way off the mark. I do better being taught, not self teaching as i tend to understand wrong or run in to brick walls.
    Take the pot size question for example. I use that because years ago when i started people were advising to 'have a go' until it gets to a reasonable pot size. Now i come in asking about it & it's not just about A (pot size) but about B, C, D, E............. as well. There is forever an 'yeah but you didn't think of this did you' moment to every point.








    But i'm waffling.

    This whole wondering started at the beginning of the week when i looked at my account with Cavendish for the first time in a year or so. I'm not that cryptic guy i mentioned earlier. I never get those people but each to their own ... so i'm in my mid 30s with a pot of £17k (plus auto enrolment of about £2-3k). I have no retirement age beyond "ASAP" so then as the mind drifts i start thinking how many years could you likely live in retirement (always a wild guess), how much would you need in retirement per year & therefore how big would that pot size need to be (please don't anyone hit me with a 'ah but you didn't think of this....' moment on this one!)? Which got me wondering if the LifeStrategy fund is enough on its own (for the record i'm in the 100, not the 20).


    That's the basis of why i came here.

  • JustAnotherSaverJustAnotherSaver Forumite
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    Seabee42 wrote: »
    IFA's should know more and have more experience, they spend more time on it that most. IF this was all that was needed Active Fund Managers would always beat the market (overall) but actually they do not.
    That was my understanding after the books i'd read. Sure there'll be those who've made an absolute mint out of beating the market & fair play to those people but from what i've read they're easily the minority.
    So statistically speaking would you not go with what has produced the better results over many many years?

  • k6chrisk6chris Forumite
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    IMHO Yes. It's the investment equivalent of buying a 3 year old silver Ford Focus as a car; not the most exciting, probably not the best economy or performance and certainly not the most stylish, but it's a solid decision if all you want is a sensible car to get you from A to B.
    "For every complicated problem, there is always a simple, wrong answer"
  • JustAnotherSaverJustAnotherSaver Forumite
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    dunstonh wrote: »
    Personally, when I use multi-asset I usually use one with underlying passives.
    For example....?






    From reading your posts on & off over the years i get the impression you've grown to move away from VLS. That you're not necessarily anti-VLS as you once used them but you made the decision at some point to move to a different option for some reason that'll probably stay private.
    Like i said, my question could've been about any similar fund. I think someone actually managed to coax it out of you once to name a fund alternative to VLS that you thought was better, although you didn't answer directly IIRC, you sort of clued them & they worked it out from that. I'm pretty sure the HSBC range (Dynamic, Balanced etc etc) was the one in that case, although i've read that many posts they all seem to blend in to one so i'm happy to hold my hands up & say i could be wrong.

  • AnotherJoeAnotherJoe Forumite
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    I then come on here for example, and dunstonh says that these are managed.


    Dunstonh's argument is that everything is managed. Which at one level is true and at another level is irrelevant. If you choose some passive funds, lets say 60% all world equities and 40% all world bonds he'd argue thats an "active" choice and thus is "managed" which trivially is true but then makes a mockery of the likes of woordford train smith and others who are trading in and out of companies, and makes it seem the two are teh same.
  • Seabee42Seabee42 Forumite
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    That was my understanding after the books i'd read. Sure there'll be those who've made an absolute mint out of beating the market & fair play to those people but from what i've read they're easily the minority.
    So statistically speaking would you not go with what has produced the better results over many many years?



    To me the main advantage of an IFA is if you need help to find suitable products and to avoid obvious mistakes. (I.e. cash investment as a long term investment being risk free).


    Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance so what works will not always work (Japan carry trade is a good example) whatever funds you pick understand the risks you are taking.
  • JustAnotherSaverJustAnotherSaver Forumite
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    AnotherJoe wrote: »
    Dunstonh's argument is that everything is managed. Which at one level is true and at another level is irrelevant. If you choose some passive funds, lets say 60% all world equities and 40% all world bonds he'd argue thats an "active" choice and thus is "managed" which trivially is true but then makes a mockery of the likes of woordford train smith and others who are trading in and out of companies, and makes it seem the two are teh same.
    Someone here made the comment earlier about paralysed by fear.


    That is the stage i was at a few years ago when i started. I didn't dare make my own decision for fear of it being wrong. I was doing then what i suppose i'm still doing now - reading something & 1 person says that right & another says that's wrong & since everyone knows more about it than me anyway you understand my position of ... who really is right? Is anyone wrong? Or is (& i see it a lot on here, not just the pensions forum) one being overly finicky.



    These are the real concerns i had. So as i said - i went with an IFA. I forget what they charged now. It was a £100 set up fee i remember that much but i forget their yearly charge. It was a percentage i remember that but i couldn't honestly tell you what it was. Seemed to take an absolute age for my pot to show a positive return, which made me doubt the guy initially & i thought you know what - maybe i could have a go.


    So i read more (i forget the book that gave me the little confidence i needed as i've lent it out to a relative) & i came here some more. I still got the same person A saying this is right and the same person B saying that is wrong but this time i decided if i didn't do anything then i'd certainly get nothing.


    So i just had a go.



    I opted with the VLS 100
    My wife went with the HSBC Dynamic.


    Hopefully it works. Maybe it wont. If it doesn't then a whole lot of people are going to be out of pocket as well as me.


    So yeah what i'm saying is i used to allow posts such as dunston's (i feel bad for naming him as it makes him sound like the only one when he's really not) to stop me totally because i didn't have a clue. Now i still don't have a clue but i'm at least investing now. Makes sense to me anyway if nobody else :rotfl:

  • PrismPrism Forumite
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    For example....?

    From reading your posts on & off over the years i get the impression you've grown to move away from VLS. That you're not necessarily anti-VLS as you once used them but you made the decision at some point to move to a different option for some reason that'll probably stay private.
    Like i said, my question could've been about any similar fund. I think someone actually managed to coax it out of you once to name a fund alternative to VLS that you thought was better, although you didn't answer directly IIRC, you sort of clued them & they worked it out from that. I'm pretty sure the HSBC range (Dynamic, Balanced etc etc) was the one in that case, although i've read that many posts they all seem to blend in to one so i'm happy to hold my hands up & say i could be wrong.

    Here is the link to HSBCs range
    https://www.hsbc.co.uk/investments/isas/hsbc-global-strategy-portfolios/

    The differences mainly are that it doesn't focus especially on the UK and each fund is very much about a certain risk level. The VLS range does a flat equities/bonds split which doesn't change.
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