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Is 'Vanguard LifeStrategy' enough in your portfolio?

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  • MordkoMordko Forumite
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    John Bogle was worth $80M at the time of his death last year. The Chairman of Fidelity is worth multiple billions. Blackrock’s net after tax income was over 4 billion in 2018. Vanguard’s was zero after returning profit to the mutual fund shareholders who own Vanguard. I know, I know... Another one of Bogle’s marketing spins.
  • PrismPrism Forumite
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    Mordko wrote: »
    Sorry; I had assumed you were not sufficiently interested in your family’s future prosperity to invest time into educating yourself. I was wrong and I apologise.

    But you don't need to educate yourself. Thats what an IFA is for ;)
  • OldMusicGuyOldMusicGuy Forumite
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    Mordko wrote: »
    A question to old hats on this forum - is there a recommended literature list and a wiki for people starting to familiarize themselves with investments and pensions? Something like this?
    ]
    I always recommend "DIY Pensions: A Simple Guide to Pensions, SIPPs & Retirement Planning" and "DIY Simple Investing: A Guide to Simple but Effective Low Cost Investing" by John Edwards and "Investing Demystified" by Lars Kroijer. Reading the Monevator website is also of use.

    Tim Hale's "Smarter Investing" is also popular although I haven;t read that one.
  • enthusiasticsaverenthusiasticsaver Forumite, Board Guide
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    Some of you may remember me as the clueless investor. Others may have joined since i last posted about retirement so if you haven't seen me around before then hi i'm the clueless investor :) In that i don't pretend to know a lot about this & jargon makes my eyes glaze over.


    But for anyone who's still kept with this post, in your own personal opinion, would you be happy to have one of these funds (or similar - not necessarily Vanguard's) as the solitary investment in your portfolio?






    Also to save me creating a separate thread on it - at what point would you consider an IFA (if you'd consider one at all)?
    I first started at 28 with £100pm. Nothing really but it was all i could afford at the time. I went with an IFA and after asking & reading on this forum i learned that any gains i make would likely be eroded by fees. Essentially it was a bad decision & i should 'have a go' myself while the pot is a small amount & only when it gets much larger should i consider an IFA.
    So how big would your pot have to be to consider one?

    I only have one multi asset fund in my portfolio at the moment. Vanguard Lifestrategy 60 and my SIPP, ISA and husbands ISA are all in the same fund. I started investing in it about 5 years ago, older than you and initially it was a monthly amount then a few lump sums then transferring old cash isas across. I chose it because there was a lot of information about it especially on here, the multi asset nature appealed to me as it was essentially a broadly diversified fund less volatile than 100% equities and cheap. I don't have the knowledge to pick managed funds or suss out the good performers from the duds. I can understand the performance charts from trustnet or morning star but as far as I could see the Vanguard lifestrategy funds performed well but it looked like the managed ones sometimes did well but then languished and the charges seemed steep. I feel that I would have to keep more of an eye on managed investments whereas I feel confident to just invest and forget with the Vanguard LS60 and in all honesty that is what I would rather do. I don't have the will to spend a lot of time trying to work out where to invest in the thousands of funds there are out there.

    However our investments are now over £200k and all in Vanguard life strategy 60. We had a review with an IFA just before my DH retired two years ago and were not impressed. He did a review of our pensions and investments and made a fairly obvious mistake so I had no confidence in him after that. He based his whole report on false information given to him by my husbands company pension administrator (wrong retirement year quoted) and whilst they made the mistake he did not spot it or wonder why the calculations were so far off the figures we got 6 months earlier. Anyone who misses such a glaring error does not fill me with confidence so we carried on with me managing our investments as before and the pot was growing as we sold a property and then I retired. We are in the process of another review now with a different IFA so will see what he says.

    So the answer to your second question in my view is when the pot is over £100k or you no longer feel confident you are going down the right road. Our investments have grown since I started self investing but whether they would have grown more under an IFA after their charges I don't know. For us it is not too much of an issue as we are already early retired and comfortable financially with a mix of the Vanguard LS 60, DB pensions covering our living expenses, cash and a mortgage free property. Whether an IFA can add value to what we have already will depend on how we perceive the 2nd IFA's report.
    Early retired in December 2017

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages and Endowments, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to [email protected]
  • bostonerimusbostonerimus Forumite
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    So the answer to your second question in my view is when the pot is over £100k or you no longer feel confident you are going down the right road. Our investments have grown since I started self investing but whether they would have grown more under an IFA after their charges I don't know. For us it is not too much of an issue as we are already early retired and comfortable financially with a mix of the Vanguard LS 60, DB pensions covering our living expenses, cash and a mortgage free property. Whether an IFA can add value to what we have already will depend on how we perceive the 2nd IFA's report.

    You sound as if you have organized things well on your own. I’m not sure it’s worth paying someone 1% to do what you seem to be doing perfectly well yourself. People too often believe, or are told by the financial industry, that there is some special sauce. The “sauce” isn’t that special, just common sense and time as I think you have found our.
    Misanthrope in search of similar for mutual loathing
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  • edited 18 May 2019 at 6:17PM
    ThrugelmirThrugelmir Forumite
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    edited 18 May 2019 at 6:17PM
    Mordko wrote: »
    John Bogle was worth $80M at the time of his death last year. The Chairman of Fidelity is worth multiple billions. Blackrock’s net after tax income was over 4 billion in 2018. Vanguard’s was zero after returning profit to the mutual fund shareholders who own Vanguard. I know, I know... Another one of Bogle’s marketing spins.

    How much do Vanguard's executive's and management team earn? The matter is clouded in secrecy. If as you say that operate for the benefit of their investors as a mutual organisation. Why the need.

    Equitable Life was a mutual organisation. Once the lid was lifted. Not all as it seemed.

    PS. Not suggesting that Vanguard is "bad". Just don't wear RTG's when dealing with US Corporate organisations.
    "The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion ... draws all things else to support and agree with it." - Francis Bacon (1561 – 1626)
  • MordkoMordko Forumite
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    Thrugelmir wrote: »
    How much do Vanguard's executive's and management team earn? The matter is clouded in secrecy. If as you say that operate for the benefit of their investors as a mutual organisation. Why the need.

    Equitable Life was a mutual organisation. Once the lid was lifted. Not all as it seemed.

    PS. Not suggesting that Vanguard is "bad". Just don't wear RTG's when dealing with US Corporate organisations.

    BlackRock, Fidelity and HSBC also have well compensated executives. They pay out shareholder dividends on top of that.

    Vanguard have been very consistent in driving the costs down for investors and offering innovative quality products over many years and providing an alternative to overpriced funds and expensive IFAs.

    Not to say that other providers don’t have competitively priced products. I own Vanguard ETFs as well as ETFs managed by BlackRock and a couple of other providers. Vanguard upends the market which forces others to offer competitive products.
  • bostonerimusbostonerimus Forumite
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    There are many ways to skin a financial cat. I use Vanguard in the USA because they don't charge for trades involving their own funds and as I only own low cost Vanguard funds on the Vanguard platform my total costs work out to be 0.06%. I also like their "mutual" structure.
    Misanthrope in search of similar for mutual loathing
  • ThrugelmirThrugelmir Forumite
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    Mordko wrote: »
    Vanguard have been very consistent in driving the costs down for investors and offering innovative quality products over many years and providing an alternative to overpriced funds and expensive IFAs.

    Price isn't everything. There's room for both passive and active fund management in everyone's portfolio. Investing is a broad church. Not restricted to any one belief. Having a single belief is likely going to result in disappointment in the longer term.

    Likewise as Vanguards range of products widens. Who is going to advise investors the best option to choose. May work for the US markets. Where market analysis (paid for by others) results in efficient market pricing. Not so sure that investing in China, for example, on a passive basis is such a good idea. As is so very different for a whole variety of reasons.
    "The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion ... draws all things else to support and agree with it." - Francis Bacon (1561 – 1626)
  • bostonerimusbostonerimus Forumite
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    Thrugelmir wrote: »
    Price isn't everything. There's room for both passive and active fund management in everyone's portfolio. Investing is a broad church. Not restricted to any one belief. Having a single belief is likely going to result in disappointment in the longer term.

    I haven't been disappointed, but then I think I have sensible expectations and never set out with the idea that I would get the highest possible returns. In the end I've settles for around a 30 year average annual return of 8.5% using index funds.
    Misanthrope in search of similar for mutual loathing
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