Have you made the most of this tax year’s £20,000 individual savings account (ISA) allowance? Do you have other money set aside to invest as soon the new one begins on 6 April?
What about your children’s Junior ISAs? Or are you are thinking about opening your very first stocks and shares ISA, possibly even switching funds from a cash ISA?
Whichever applies to you, the next key question is: what will you invest in?
Well, here’s what five of our experts in the UK plan to do with their own money. We have a few more Vanguard views to share in our next installment too.
Remember, though, that 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.
Peter Westaway, chief economist and head of investment strategy: new era
I expect to remain relatively aggressive with my investments even as I enter semi-retirement since I have additional defined-benefit pension payments from my previous employment (one deferred, one in payment), which is like having a fixed income asset already baked into my portfolio. I also have half an eye on what I pass on to my kids, which means I have a longer investment horizon than meets the eye. As a result, I am fully invested in shares, splitting my funds between a purely index LifeStrategy approach and our actively managed Global Equity Fund. It’s something I do across my self-invested personal pension (SIPP) and general account investments as well; I don’t treat my ISA any differently.
I probably won’t do anything too different for now as I still expect to be able to meet most of my spending needs out of the income I receive from what I may continue to earn and from the deferred pension still owing to me. There is also the money my wife’s pension earnings bring to the household. But if I do decide to start drawing down my different pots – for example if I give some money to my kids to help them put down a deposit on a house – I definitely plan to run down my taxed general account first.
Mohneet Dhir, investment product manager, specialist: family goals
I had been using my ISA to save for a house deposit and about a year ago bought a house with it. So I’ve just started again and am investing all my ISA savings in the LifeStrategy 80% Equity fund. This suits me as my time horizon is long (saving for my two-year-old son’s education, house projects, and so on). The diversification and bond support I get from it in this post-Covid environment is also appealing to me.
In addition, I recently opened a Junior ISA for my son, which is invested in the LifeStrategy 100% Equity fund. His time horizon is even longer (at least until he is 18), so I feel comfortable with the risk that a 100% equity portfolio comes with. For each of his birthdays, his grandparents and close family also make gift contributions to his Junior ISA instead of giving him physical presents like toys. Don’t get me wrong: he doesn’t want for toys. But there’s enough plastic already in the world as it is. I hope he’ll thank me for it in the future too!
Kunal Mehta, senior fixed income product manager: pre-retirement dreams
I manage three ISAs: one for myself and two for my sons (aged 1 and 5). Theirs is all in shares while mine has approximately 25% bonds – but then I do specialise in fixed income! I make a lump-sum investment in my ISA each quarter and have a monthly direct debit for each of my kids’ Junior ISAs, which I recently increased. The main goal of my ISA investing is to support me and my wife as we get older and look to cut back on work, so we can enjoy new experiences, which aren’t always possible when you have young kids. I would love, for example, to work with local charities in the future and go to more live football games. So, in that respect my ISA investments are there to supplement my pension insofar as they are there to provide me with more options during my later middle-aged, pre-retirement phase.
I am invested in three Vanguard funds: LifeStrategy 100% Equity, Emerging Market Bond and Global Credit Bond. The latter two are actively managed in-house. I think having a blend of index and active funds makes sense as the longer-term benefits are potentially more rewarding. My long-term strategy is built around these three funds.
Georgina Yarwood, investment strategy analyst: stepped up house goals
Happily still in my 20s but frustratingly still some way off from my first house purchase, is where I’m at currently. I’m working hard to redress this by saving regularly into my ISA, so I can build enough of a house deposit. I’ve recently also upped my monthly contributions. But I haven’t got a specific time horizon, so I’m all-out going for capital growth. And I’m invested in just one fund: the LifeStrategy 100% Equity fund. I keep it simple because I know this fund gives me everything I need: access, in just one easy hit, to the shares of around 7,000 different companies from around the world. That means my risks are spread far and wide because I’m properly diversified, despite my aggressive investment strategy. Investing in one fund doesn’t mean putting all your eggs in one basket!
I also try not to check my balance too often to avoid any temptations to make changes. I appreciate that’s hard when you read about markets falling. But I’m still young and have most of my career ahead of me, so I know I can ride out periods of market volatility as time is on my side.
Anna Stasinou, senior product owner: it takes a village
We opened a Vanguard Junior ISA for our now thriving 3-year-old shortly after she was born, so we can have a haven for her savings and friends and family can contribute to it. She gets regular contributions, on birthdays, holidays and the like, but also when we are able to add a lump sum to max out the ISA allowance. My husband and I have independent finances, so having a Junior ISA where we can both contribute to our daughter’s future is invaluable and helps to keep it separate from everything else.
Hopefully, it will help fund her higher education and any ambitions she has once she grows up. And when she is old enough, I will definitely share my experiences and help her to understand the importance of saving for a rainy day and why sensible investing is the way to go for all her other goals. All her money goes into the LifeStrategy 60% Equity fund. So maybe she’ll tell me one day that I was too cautious!
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.
Eligibility to invest in a Vanguard Personal Pension depends on your individual circumstances. Please be aware that pension and tax rules may change in the future and the value of investments can go down as well as up, so you might get back less than you invested. You cannot usually access your pension savings or make any withdrawals until the age of 55.
If you are not sure of the suitability or appropriateness of any investment, product or service you should consult an authorised financial adviser. Please note this may incur a charge.
The eligibility to invest in either ISA or Junior ISA depends on individual circumstances and all tax rules may change in future.
Some funds invest in emerging markets which can be more volatile than more established markets. As a result, the value of your investment may rise or fall.
Investments in smaller companies may be more volatile than investments in well-established blue-chip companies.
Reference in this article to specific securities should not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell these securities but is included for the purposes of illustration only.
The Vanguard LifeStrategy® Funds may invest in Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) shares.
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