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    • cattie
    • By cattie 10th Aug 18, 12:57 PM
    • 7,808Posts
    • 5,321Thanks
    Duffer needs advice
    • #1
    • 10th Aug 18, 12:57 PM
    Duffer needs advice 10th Aug 18 at 12:57 PM
    I started to invest in S&S some years ago when PEPs were around, starting off with a tracker fund. Later I went to see an IFA & although I invest through them, it's on a non advisory basis.

    Twice a year they send a Top Funds guide & a Fund Monitoring list. The monitoring list gives an indication of the level of risk each fund is & whether in their opinion funds should continue to be held or to sell, so this is solely what I've been guided by. They use the Cofunds/Ageon platform.

    Recently starting to read the posts on this board I realise & admit I have no real idea of what I'm doing, no real clue or understanding of fees or charges that I pay or if my portfolio is balanced well, especially as I now realise I have quite a few funds, probably far too many. So, before I decide what would be best for the 2018/19 ISA allowance, I'd really appreciate it if somebody more knowledgeable would cast their eyes over it & give an opinion. I've listed the percentage of those I hold & the total current value of S&S ISA is 102K

    Schroder European Smaller Cos Z Acc 16.93%
    Jupiter Income Trust I Inc 16.71%
    Artemis Global Income I Acc 13.65%
    Stewart Investors Asia PacLdr BA 7.15%
    Liontrust Asia Income II 7.13%
    Baillie Gifford Japnese Smaller Cos B Acc 6.37%
    Threadneedle UK Prop AutTstfdr INA 5.30%
    M&G Global Macro Bond I Acc GBP 5.17%
    Schroder Income Z Acc 5.02%
    Kames Property Income Feeder Acc B 4.37%
    Johcm Uk Equity Income Y Inc 4.26%
    Jupiter Uk Growth I Acc 3.76%
    Newton Asian Income Inst W Acc GBP 3.40%
    Liontrust Uk Ethical 2 Acc 0.74%

    I also have a General Investment account holding only
    Threadneedle American Select ZNA GBP, value circa 7k

    I've read a lot on here with people often recommending holding one of the Vanguard or similar funds so debating whether this would be the best way forward for me. I'm now retired, no mortgage & am more interested in growth more than income. I do have other savings, some in fixed accounts & some in easy access. I say I'd be interested in medium to low risk.
    The bigger the bargain, the better I feel.

    I should mention that there's only one of me, don't confuse me with others of the same name.
Page 1
    • Linton
    • By Linton 10th Aug 18, 1:36 PM
    • 10,282 Posts
    • 10,652 Thanks
    • #2
    • 10th Aug 18, 1:36 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Aug 18, 1:36 PM
    This is a pretty high risk portfolio with, from a quick look, about 85% equity. There are a number iof problems I see:
    1) Too many duplicated funds, particularly in UK equity income.
    2) It seems strange having 0.74% in an ethical fund - either ethical funds are important to you or they arent. So one would expect a high % of such funds or none.
    3) In the there appears to be very little US. This is a massive omission. One would expect the USA to be the largest geography in most growth oriented portfolios.
    4) Why all the income funds when you are looking for growth?
    etc etc

    I think your only choice is to put together a new portfolio. There are two ways of doing it. The hard wayis to put the work into identifying a set of funds that together meet your objectives. I guess you would need about 10-15 carefully chosen funds.

    The easy way is to put most of your money into perhaps one fund that provides a very broad coverage with the % equity to meet your risk requirements. The Vanguard Life Strategy funds would fit the bill as would a number of other multi asset funds. If you wanted a bit more growth you could spice it up with a minor holding in smaller companies funds such as those you already hold. I would also include UK smaller companies in the list.
    • Terry Towelling
    • By Terry Towelling 10th Aug 18, 1:53 PM
    • 899 Posts
    • 716 Thanks
    Terry Towelling
    • #3
    • 10th Aug 18, 1:53 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Aug 18, 1:53 PM
    Welcome to the 'duffers' club, @cattie. Glad to see I'm not alone, although it looks like you are closer to graduating than I am. PS None of this is an insult!
    • kidmugsy
    • By kidmugsy 10th Aug 18, 2:09 PM
    • 12,480 Posts
    • 8,839 Thanks
    • #4
    • 10th Aug 18, 2:09 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Aug 18, 2:09 PM
    I suppose you could ask yourself what you want to diversify your assets over: equities, bonds, property (commercial, residential, farmland, timberland), commodities, gold, ...

    And, especially if you are prepared for the faff of being a rate tart, cash - it's not difficult to build up a useful little pile of cash that earns more than CPI inflation. You might want cash as part of your portfolio - it gives you liquidity and "optionality" i.e. you can buy financial assets with it instantly when their values have fallen enough for them to appeal to you. You might prefer to hold some of the cash in FX.
    Free the dunston one next time too.
    • OldMusicGuy
    • By OldMusicGuy 10th Aug 18, 2:56 PM
    • 786 Posts
    • 1,700 Thanks
    • #5
    • 10th Aug 18, 2:56 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Aug 18, 2:56 PM
    My advice to you would be to educate yourself and make your own choices, or decide to use an IFA from a more informed position than you have been.

    Here's what I wrote on another thread which summarises what I have learned:

    "The most important thing to do is to define what your long term objectives are. That way, it will help you decide what type of funds you need to invest in. You need to think about how much you will need your investments to grow to support your retirement. That will help you identify how aggressive you need to be with your investments. So do some proper long term planning before you start switching funds. Think about the impact of the state pension, any other savings and pensions you may have, and the level of income you will need to support your lifestyle in retirement.

    At the same time, you can find out more about how funds work. You need to know the difference between active and passive funds, the charging structure they use, the "mix" of investments (higher "risk" funds generally have more equities as opposed to other assets like bonds), and also the difference between single sector funds and multi-fund funds (funds of funds). You can do some searches on here as a lot of these topics are discussed in detail. There are some good books as well, like Lars Kroijer's Investing Demystified and John Edwards' DIY Simple Investing.

    You also need to define your attitude to risk and couple this with the timeframe over which you need to invest. Higher risk strategies will likely give greater returns in the long run (10 years plus) but you could see big swings in the short term, including some big drops. You need to understand how you will feel if that happens, the worst thing you can do is to switch strategies as soon as the market drops."

    In simple terms, I would say you need to:

    - Define clear objectives for your investments as part of your overall financial planning. It doesn't sound like you have done that.
    - Understand the difference between all the different types of funds. Research things like the Vanguard Lifestrategy and similar funds, and understand how and why they differ from many of the funds you have picked.
    - Define your risk appetite, which it sounds like you have done.

    IMO what you should not do is make decisions based on people saying "oh this fund is better than that one". You need to make your own choices for valid reasons and stick with them for a reasonable timeframe. I think you also need to decide if you want to work with an IFA on an advisory basis if you do not want to make investment decisions yourself.
    • cattie
    • By cattie 10th Aug 18, 5:45 PM
    • 7,808 Posts
    • 5,321 Thanks
    • #6
    • 10th Aug 18, 5:45 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Aug 18, 5:45 PM
    Advice very much appreciated thank you, it's helpful & hopefully over the next week or so I can try to decide on what I feel is the best way forward. At least for now I understand that the funds I've chosen in the past are probably not the best for me & that being uneducated as far as S&S go, I haven't made particularly wise choices. Better to learn late rather than never.

    Thanks for the welcome Terrytowelling Happy to join the club!I always appreciate responses to any queries I might raise on MSE as folk tend to go out of their way to try to help where they can.
    The bigger the bargain, the better I feel.

    I should mention that there's only one of me, don't confuse me with others of the same name.
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