Have you made the most of your annual £20,000 individual savings account (ISA) allowance? If you have children, what about the £9,000 Junior ISA allowance?
Have you even opened a stocks and shares ISA yet?
With the tax-year finale on 5 April just weeks away, it’s a good time to consider these questions. After all, every little extra invested now can get you closer to your long-term goals. And if you don’t use your 2022-23 allowances soon, you’ll lose them too.
To whet your curiosity, here’s what four of our experts are currently doing with their own money. We’ll follow with four more in part 2.
Remember, though, that these are their personal choices. Whichever investment strategy is right for them, may not be right for you.
Always invest based on your own goals and circumstances. If unsure, speak to a financial adviser.
Georgina Yarwood, investment strategy analyst: Boring is good
“It’s still steady as she goes with my investments, which might be a little boring but suits me just fine. I’m after sensible, globally diversified growth, not thrills and spills and potential sleepless nights. My approach remains disciplined too. I ignore the market ‘noise’ and I resist the temptation to check on my investments too much.
With my regular savings plan I invest each month into the same fund. The direct debit is timed to exit my account right after payday, so I don’t have to think about it or have time to miss the money going out. I prefer it that way – out of sight, out of mind.
I am still happily invested in the Vanguard LifeStrategy 100% fund as I’m looking for all-out growth and the fund gives me everything I need in one hit. My main goal is still saving for a house. I am still a few years away but my deposit is building gradually and I have flexibility around my timeline.”
Zoe Dagless, senior financial planner: aligned with my personal preferences
“Seeking to address such things as climate change is important to me, so there’s a strong ESG1 flavour to all my investments. My fund of choice is the Vanguard SustainableLife 60-70% Equity fund. I like its long-term focus and its mix of shares and bonds. I invest in the ‘accumulation’2 version by direct debit each month, as I want any income to be automatically reinvested. The more these things are automated, the less I have to think about them, and the more disciplined my approach. I haven’t got a specific aim for my ISA investments but I know that growing my wealth will give me more opportunities over the medium term, so I guess that is my ISA goal for now.
My retirement is a bit further away, so my pension investments have a higher element of risk – that is, more shares. In my SIPP (self-invested personal pension), I am 80% invested in the Vanguard ESG Developed World All Cap Equity Index fund and 20% invested in the Vanguard ESG Emerging Markets All Cap Equity Index fund. Again, it’s about aligning my investments with my personal preferences.”
David Hsu, senior equity index and ETF product specialist: value play
“There have been lots of changes for me since we moved to the UK to be closer to my wife’s ageing parents, including a new job, a new culture and higher taxes – yes much higher taxes! In Hong Kong, where I worked for 20 years, there is zero tax on your investment profits. So, sheltering my investments here from capital gains tax (CGT) through an ISA is a no-brainer for me. The account-opening process at Vanguard also couldn’t have been easier. Once my account was funded, I was able to put my money immediately to work. I am currently invested 100% in shares via the Vanguard FTSE All-World High Dividend Yield UCITS ETF. I see it as a value play as the index it tracks contains large and medium-sized company shares in both developed and emerging markets that pay dividends that are generally higher than average.
I love exchange-traded funds (ETFs) because they are easy to trade and low cost. In a few years’ time, I may decide to diversify into lower-risk assets and invest more in bond ETFs, as this is all going towards my semi-retirement pot.”
Giulio Renzi Ricci, head of portfolio construction, Europe: adjusting the blend
“I have an ISA and a general account and I use them slightly differently so that they complement each other as part of my overall investment strategy. My riskier investments, like my equity (share) holdings, tend to go in my ISA. Over the long-term, these have the most potential to give me the highest return, so I have more reason to want to protect them from capital gains tax (CGT). That includes some exposure to the Vanguard FTSE Developed Europe ex UK ETF, which I picked up in the summer.
My general account investments are less aggressive, which means more bonds. Overall, I limit the number of funds I invest in as I adjust my mix of bonds and shares through my positioning in LifeStrategy funds. Basically, I adjust my blend of LifeStrategy 60% Equity and LifeStrategy 80% Equity funds depending on whether I want to dial up or dial down my risk exposure.”
1 ESG stands for environmental, social and governance. To find out more on what this means and Vanguard’s range of ESG funds, visit our main ESG page.
2 For more on the difference between accumulation and income fund shares, read this article.
Investment risk information
The value of investments, and the income from them, may fall or rise and investors may get back less than they invested.
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