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Managing an investment portfolio: how to keep it on track

Managing an investment portfolio: how to keep it on track post image

This post is for anyone who wants to manage their own investment portfolio and needs to know how to keep it running smoothly. I’m going to explain how to perform an annual check-up using industry best practice and ideas from some of the best investment educators in the business.

Maintaining your portfolio is easy once you know how. It shouldn’t take more than a few hours, once a year.

This advice also applies if you’ve chosen the default options in a workplace pension scheme and want to know if it’s on track.

Like servicing your car, a little investment maintenance goes a long way.

Here’s a brief summary of the topics we’ll cover on our portfolio management checklist:

  • Risk control – straightforward techniques to help you manage risk.
  • Performance check – are you on target?
  • Inflation adjustment – keeping up with the cost of living.
  • Value for money check – are your funds and investment platform competitive?
  • Major life changes review – how a bolt-from-the-blue might change the plan.

Risk control

Before we can control risk, we need to know what risks are really worth worrying about. The main investing risks people fear are:

  • Being wiped out. That is, losing all your money.
  • Not having enough to live on in the future.
  • Selling for a large loss.

Losing all your money is a disaster. But it’s a low probability if you invest in a global tracker fund and a high-quality government bond fund.

With a portfolio this diversified, the only thing that’ll wipe you out is a global end-of-capitalism catastrophe. This type of portfolio is not dependent on the fate of a single firm, industry, or even country. Rest easy on that score.

Not having enough to live on is dealt with by investing in growth assets like equities and making sure you put enough money into your pot. This risk is covered in the performance check section of this article.

Selling at a large loss is the main risk that lies in wait – like piano-wire strung across your future. This risk is harder to control and widely underestimated. It can overwhelm you with little warning.

There are two versions of this nightmare scenario:

Failure to recover

Managing an investment portfolio can help you avoid the long-last market loss represented on this graph

The failure to recover scenario happens when a large pension portfolio is heavily invested in risky assets like equities – and then a stock market crash strikes on the eve of retirement.

The portfolio suffers a major loss. The market bumps along the bottom for years. You’re forced to live on less because anemic equity returns fail to resurrect the portfolio.

The investment portfolio management techniques laid out below can help you to guard against this risk.

Panic sell

Managing an investment portfolio can help you avoid the risk of selling out at market bottom represented on this graph

The stock market drops violently. The fear of losing everything swamps your mind. You panic and sell. The red line continues as you sit in cash, too frightened to buy back in the face of bad economic news.

The green line shows that the market decline did continue after you sold. But a rally began shortly after, and eventually traced a U-shaped recovery. Equities recovered their losses and more, given enough time. But the red path shows how your loss was locked in.

These calamities befall unwary investors around the world during every stock market crash. Nobody thinks it will happen to them, like that Twilight Zone episode about the box.

Three risk control techniques enable you to tame these risks without hobbling the equity growth you need:

  • Monitoring your risk tolerance in a downturn
  • Rebalancing
  • Lifestyling

Monitoring your risk tolerance

How much stock market risk can you handle? No-one knows until they’ve watched a crash vaporise pounds from their portfolio.

Your portfolio may have defaulted into an industry-standard mix of 60% equities, 40% bonds. This is the Goldilocks zone – neither too hot, nor too cold.

Or, perhaps you chose your allocation to risky equities using a classic rule-of-thumb like:

110 minus your age = your equities allocation (the rest is in bonds)

Both are reasonable starting points, but the gut test is a bear market. Your response to a mauling tells you whether your asset allocation is too risky for you.

The wealth manager and investing educator William Bernstein offers a way to readjust using this table in his superb book The Investor’s Manifesto:

Risk tolerance Equity allocation adjustment
Very high +20%
High +10%
Moderate 0%
Low -10%
Very low -20%

Choose a government bond fund for the non-equity part of your portfolio.

Your risk tolerance is:

Very low if during the last bear market you suffered sleepless nights, felt sick, or panicked. Subtract 20% from your equity allocation. Now you’ll hold more in bonds for extra crash protection, but must expect lower growth.

Low if the downturn caused you mental pain. Subtract 10% from your equity allocation.

Moderate if you felt worried but held your nerve without losing sleep. No change to your allocation.

High if you rebalanced into tumbling equities during the bear market. Add 10% to your equity allocation.

Very high if you’re frustrated the market didn’t slide further, enabling you to scoop up more equities on the cheap. Add 20% to your equity allocation.

Beware, this table is a rule-of-thumb only. I find it helps to use market tremors to re-calibrate my risk levels before I’m hit by something seismic.

Use it at your own risk.

Rebalancing

Rebalancing is a portfolio management technique to prevent your asset allocation from drifting into dangerous territory. This might happen when equity markets go on a tear – soaring to the sound of popping champagne corks in the City.

The dark cloud in the silver lining is that rising valuations can silently shift your equity allocation. You might easily go from, say, a desired 60% in equities to an actual allocation of 70% or more.

Rising equities sounds fine until the market crashes back to Earth with terrifying speed and savagery. The nosedive takes your portfolio with it, because you hold proportionally less bond protection than you used to.

Annual rebalancing counters this risk by nudging your allocation back into line. It’s like when you touch the steering wheel of your car to prevent it veering out of its lane.

By selling some of your outperforming assets once a year and buying laggards you:

  • Realign your asset allocation with your chosen risk level.
  • ‘Sell high and buy low’ – looking to profit from the tendency of underperformers to bounce back. (Or mean-revert, in the jargon).

We’ve explained before how annual rebalancing is done. It’s simple.

Easier still if you rebalance with new money.

If you’re invested in a multi-asset fund like Vanguard LifeStrategy then your portfolio is automatically rebalanced for you.

Auto-rebalancing only applies to such multi-asset funds. For example, a fund that holds equities and bonds in the same investing vehicle.

You can email your fund provider to find out how they rebalance.

It’s fine to rebalance once a year.

Lifestyling

Lifestyling is a brilliant way to head off the failure-to-recover scenario, wherein a portfolio is poleaxed by a crash just as you’re on the home straight to retirement.

You can also use the same principle to manage an investment portfolio earmarked for a non-retirement objective, such as a uni fund for your kids.

Retirement lifestyling

The standard advice for young investors is to choose an aggressive equity allocation, perhaps as high as 80%.

That’s a pro-growth strategy. It’s predicated on the idea that as a young person you can shrug off a market meltdown because:

  • You don’t have much skin in the game. If a small portfolio halves in value, you’re unlikely to panic. The loss is dwarfed by your future investment contributions.
  • The bulk of your working life is ahead of you. You can afford to wait for the market to recover and buy equities cheap in the meantime.

This is the theory of human capital underpinning that ‘110 minus your age’ rule-of-thumb.1

The logical consequence is you should be in 45% equities, 55% bonds as you turn 65.

Lifestyling using this rule means you sell 1% of your equities and buy 1% extra in bonds, every year, to manage the transition.

You can do it at the same time as you rebalance. This way all of your portfolio maintenance is done in a one-er.

This subtle drip-drip of wealth from equity stalactite to bond stalagmite transforms your portfolio. Instead of a petrifying dagger ready to drop from the ceiling, your portfolio de-risks into a mighty tower of wealth anchored by a floor of shock resistant assets.

However, the ‘110 minus your age’ wisdom was devised when bond return prospects were better than today.

Stay on target

A more modern incarnation of this idea is a Target Date fund. Like the lifestyling heuristic, Target Date funds gradually shift your asset allocation from equities to bonds as you age.

Vanguard’s version – a Target Retirement fund – keeps investors 80% in equities until age 43. The fund then automatically descalates your risk by lifestyling down over time to 50% in bonds by age 68.

If you mimicked this path by lifestyling equities to bonds at 1% per year from age 40, you’d be 60% equities by age 60.

This pattern acknowledges the muted growth prospects of a low interest rate world.

(It also assumes a classic retirement age of around 65 to 68. You’d de-risk earlier if you’re on track for Financial Independence Retire Early.)

Don’t ignore your own risk tolerance if you’re young yet 80% equities makes you uncomfortable.

Go lower if you need to, or aren’t sure how much you can handle.

That said, people who choose Target Retirement funds typically leave them on auto-pilot.

Blissful unawareness of market quakes makes it much easier for Vanguard to hold people at 80%.

I believe Target Date funds are a brilliant idea. If you don’t fancy managing an investment portfolio at all, they’re a godsend.

But personally I think Vanguard’s Target Retirement fund weights bonds too heavily later in life. Its equity allocation is only 30% by age 75. That’s a decision for another decade, though.

You can always weight your portfolio differently nearer the time.

Lifestyling for non-retirement objectives

You’ve seen those industry warnings about equities being unsuitable for objectives fewer than five years away.

Equity volatility means you never know how much your shares will be worth tomorrow. So if you want to save for a specific amount on a specific date, equities are not reliable.

Retirements can be delayed – or you can live on less. But perhaps you’re investing to send the kids to college in 18 years time, or to pay off the mortgage in 25 years? (Ballsy!)

Holding 50% – or arguably even 20% – in equities is madness as you glide into land, if you haven’t got any other way of avoiding an undershoot.

Larry Swedroe is another renowned wealth manager dedicated to educating investors. He came up with a rule-of-thumb for managing this risk in his book The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need for the Right Financial Plan:

Investment horizon (years) Max equity allocation
0-3 0%
4 10%
5 20%
6 30%
7 40%
8 50%
9 60%
10 70%
11-14 80%
15-19 90%
20+ 100%

Notice how Swedroe puts the portfolio on a steep descent out of risky equities inside ten years from the target date. This speaks to the unpredictability of equities.

Over the long-term, equities are the best asset for growth. But anything can happen in the space of a few years.

Remember this is an informed rule-of-thumb. Treat those equity allocations as a maximum. Dial them back more if you can, and keep the rest in bonds and cash.

Performance check

How do you know if your investments are doing well? Should you switch funds that haven’t performed well in the last year? What about that co-worker who keeps banging on about the killing he’s making in crypto?

First things first: your portfolio is likely heavily exposed to the stock market. So your annual performance will turn on the fortune of the market that year, for better or worse.

The evidence shows you can’t avoid that truth but you can turn it to your advantage.

It’s a myth that you can identify a brilliant fund manager or stocks to beat the market over the long-term. What looks like over-performance is often a lucky streak. Or it costs so much in fees that you end up worse off.

The antidote is a passive investing strategy that uses a diversified portfolio of low-cost index tracker funds to cream off the profit from the market.

Global stock markets rise over the long-term so you should do very well as your profits compound.

The counter-intuitive truth is that you don’t need to worry about your portfolio’s performance day-to-day – or even annually.

But the short-term is a crapshoot.

The market has a roughly 50:50 chance of a loss on any single day. It’s likely to be down one year in three. But it recovers, and over 20 years equities are favourite to outperform every other asset class.

So for the best peace of mind don’t check your portfolio more than annually. Don’t download a mobile portfolio app. The longer you leave it alone, the better your chance of seeing good news when you check-in.

Ignore short-term fluctuations, because you can no more control the market than King Canute can command the sea.

As for that annoying co-worker, he’ll slink back under his rock next time his dogecoin is slaughtered by a careless Elon Musk Tweet.

Factors you can control

The factors that decide your fate and that lie within your control are:

  • How much you invest
  • For how many years you invest
  • Your target income
  • Investing costs

The magic formula is:

  • Invest more to enjoy a bigger income in retirement and/or shorten your timeframe.
  • Invest longer to enjoy a bigger income and/or lower your investment contributions.
  • Lower your target income to invest less and/or shorten your timeframe.
  • Lower your costs to improve every outcome.

You can see how this works by playing with the excellent retirement calculator at Hargreaves Lansdown. It enables you to feed in your personal numbers and check whether you’re on track to retire.

Think the income you’re headed for is tight? Then watch how your fortunes change if you increase your contributions or delay your retirement.

Perform this check annually and you’ll have a firm grip on whether your pot and contributions are big enough, based on current projections.

Don’t mess with the calculator’s 5% estimated annual growth rate. But you can lower the annual management charge to 0.5% (via ‘advanced options’, tucked down bottom right on the results page) if you choose keenly-priced tracker funds and a competitive platform.

Inflation adjustment

Just as inflation nibbles away at your wages, it also gnaws away at your pension.

Up-weight your investment contributions in line with inflation every year to help your portfolio keep up with prices.

You can find the UK’s official inflation figures at the ONS.

  • CPI-H is the headline rate. It takes housing costs into account.
  • RPI is almost always higher. Using this may put you ahead of the game.

Some Monevator mavens use their personal inflation rate or average UK earnings as potentially better gauges of the cost-of-living.

Calculate your inflation-adjusted contribution as per this example:

Current monthly contribution: £500

Annual inflation rate: 3%

£500 x 1.03 = £515 new monthly contribution adjusted for the past 12 months of inflation.

You should increase your target income and target retirement pot number in exactly the same way.

Value for money check

As long as you’ve chosen a price competitive portfolio of index trackers then you don’t need to worry about switching investment funds. Switching for performance-related reasons is like changing toothpaste brand in the hope of better results on the dating scene.

But it’s worth checking that your trackers still offer good value versus their rivals every few years.

Check using our comparison of:

Investing platforms/brokers also charge fees. Make sure they’re not milking you, either. Our broker comparison table shows your options.

We’ve previously outlined how to find the best value platform for you.

There’s no need to perform this check annually. Every three years is enough to stay in touch with the price league-leaders.

Don’t sweat tiny changes in cost, either.

A fee differential of 0.1% on £10,000 is just £10. That would cost you £50 a year on a £50,000 portfolio if, for example, your fund’s Ongoing Charge Figure (OCF) is 0.25% instead of 0.15%.

Tax loss harvesting

If you own investments outside of your ISA or SIPP then you can reduce your capital gains tax bill by offsetting trading losses before the April 5th deadline.

Major life changes review

Marriage, children, career change, redundancy, divorce, ill-health, death, inheritance…Such milestones of life may trigger a reassessment of your investment portfolio and your risk tolerance.

For example, an inheritance may transform your fortunes. Perhaps you can reduce your equity exposure. You need less growth, so you can take less risk.

On the other hand, an even bigger windfall can catapult you so far ahead that you can take even more risk! If you’ve already got more money than you can spend, it doesn’t matter how your equities perform.

It’s nice to dream but major life changes could be the perfect time to seek financial advice.

Managing an investment portfolio checklist

Here’s a run through of the techniques we’ve explored in this article:

Monitoring risk tolerance
Frequency: After every major downturn of 20%+

Rebalancing
Frequency: Annually

Lifestyling
Frequency: Annually

Performance check
Frequency: Annually

Inflation adjustment
Frequency: Annually

Value for money check
Frequency: Every three years

Tax loss harvesting (not possible within ISA/SIPP)
Frequency: Annually

Major life changes review
Frequency: As and when

I wish you good fortune in managing your investment portfolio. It’s entirely doable to go the DIY route provided you stick to the investing essentials and ignore the get rich quick sirens of YouTube. You don’t need specialist knowledge, skills, or a huge amount of time.

I’ve never regretted managing my own portfolio.

Let us know how you get on.

Take it steady,

The Accumulator

  1. Or 100 minus your age, or 120 minus your age, or whichever version you subscribe to. []

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{ 17 comments… add one }
  • 1 Gareth June 2, 2021, 11:28 am

    I think these links may have got mixed up in the article:

    The best global equity trackers
    The best bond trackers
    Other asset classes

  • 2 Where2how June 2, 2021, 12:43 pm

    Another good article covering all the bases for the majority of accumulators. I would be very interested to see another version of this article from someone that is no longer contributing and needs enough growth to sustain retirement needs.
    The reason is some of the risk and equity allocations assume a leaning towards bonds, as has been historical guidance, as you near retirement age. However with lots of people retiring earlier (e.g. FIRE or maybe forced to) than state retirement age then a long investment horizon is still present and a majority of bonds may not sustain enough.

  • 3 The Accumulator June 2, 2021, 5:45 pm

    @ Gareth – good spot. Thank you for that, have fixed.

    @ Where2how – this piece explains how I’m tackling decumulation:

    https://monevator.com/decumulation-a-real-life-plan/

    Personally, whereas I previously may have held a higher allocation to bonds when I entered decumulation, now I won’t go above 40%. But… so much depends on risk tolerance. Some people may need 50% in bonds because equity volatility is too much to bear when no longer earning. In which case, you could use a lower sustainable withdrawal rate, for example, to comfortably deal with the prospect of lower expected returns over the next decade or so, or you could forgo inflation-adjusted payouts, or live on less in years when the stock market is down.

  • 4 Brod June 2, 2021, 6:41 pm

    @TA – great summary of how simple, yet difficult, it is to manage your own portfolio.

    Two simple funds will get you there 100%. The rest is fiddling to try and squeeze (maybe!) another 5% returns or 0.3% withdrawals out.

  • 5 Global Investor June 2, 2021, 6:55 pm

    Very good article with lots to think about. IMO Larry Swedroe has it right. Apart from the drawdown in 1930 in US Equities when it took until 1955 to return to the same level all of the other drawdowns have reversed fairly quickly say within 3 – 5 years. So why would one invest in Bonds and other low return assets for retirement. Recent drawdowns reverse in under a year.

  • 6 Peter June 2, 2021, 8:18 pm

    Risk tolerance is not only about portfolio percentage allocation, it’s about real money. Imagine you are a new investor and have £10k portfolio. There was a market crash and now you have lost 20% of it, which is £2k of your money. Now imagine different scenario where you have been investing for many years and have portfolio of £200k. There was a market crash and now you have lost 20% of it, which is £40k of your money. Psychologically second scenario is harder to cope with. Pot size is a big factor for measuring risk tolerance, yet most seem to speak about risk, focusing on percentage allocation.
    So rather than asking yourself what am I going to do when my protfolio falls by 20%, maybe it is a better idea to ask what am I going to do when my protfolio will loose £40k. But please do nothing 😉

  • 7 Jonathan B June 2, 2021, 8:49 pm

    Excellent piece! And presumably a new one since there aren’t comments going back to 1066. I hope it ends up in an easily found menu option on Monevator, because it should be high on the list for anyone new.

    I thought that Larry Swedroe table was really interesting, and is actually a lot more helpful than the 110 minus your age approach.

    It also made me think about one thing I do which isn’t quite in line with the advice of check annually. We do a version of pound cost averaging to avoid risk of getting market timing wrong, and since using iWeb with a (small) fee per transaction do two each into our ISAs instead of one each, every two months to bias slightly to longer in the market (see, I have been reading your posts). But that means updating our overall spreadsheet every two months instead of annually.

    However, as I commented recently on another thread, keeping plugging away adding investment several times a year also psychologically reinforces the commitment to a strategy, so that more frequent check doesn’t mean changing plan. (That does reflect our circumstance though, an inheritance means we have cash to transfer to ISAs which wasn’t the case to nearly the same extent when we started; it also means there is a bit of checking non-ISA investments for tax liability).

  • 8 Amit June 2, 2021, 9:25 pm

    On target retirement funds, you are right about the bond proportion being high as you age. I am also concerned that they don’t appear to change allocation to making tactical timing decisions in respect of drawdown based on market cycles – the way one would if they had an equity fund and a bond fund to drawdown from. I wonder if one approach to counter these problems is to buy a ladder of target retirement funds – one for each decade of drawdown. That way the later dated funds stay invested in equity for longer… and you are effectively exiting each fund before it is bond heavy.

  • 9 Eddie June 3, 2021, 5:58 am

    Should we be rethinking diversification strategy given how the world has been changed by the massive intervention by governments in the economy and its likely impact on inflation? https://www.epsilontheory.com/the-diversification-problem/

  • 10 Martin T June 3, 2021, 6:15 am

    Useful post as ever. As someone who’s no longer in a position to accumulate new savings, but still hoping for some capital appreciation prior to decumulation, I’ve been especially grateful for your recent focus on Bonds, as this is the area where I feel I understand least, and am weakest.

    Interested that you continue to espouse them as an essential diversifier, when much commentary on Morningstar et al, including an interesting piece by Peter Spiller of Capital Gearing Trust, are calling the near-death of the traditional 60/40 portfolio. I’m no expert, but the argument seems to be that, due to the unique situation brought about by near zero yields, they no longer act as the diversifier they once were.

    Against this background, it feels very hard to buy them at present, and I’m not sure I understand enough about the various TIPS and other instruments being touted as alternatives. Heresy though it may be, in this complex area, I wonder if there’s an argument for leaving it to the (active) experts?

    Certainly, as a reasonably recent convert to passive investing, I still hold a significant ‘rump’ of active capital preservation Funds and ITs – Newton Real Return, Capital Gearing Trust, Personal Assets Trust – and continue to hold these as ‘defensives’ within my portfolio allocation.

    Finally, as a (partly accidental) holder of a significant slug of BTL capital, I regard this as a store of capital value, notwithstanding its relative illiquidity, and the possibility of a market adjustment.

  • 11 JimJim June 3, 2021, 7:34 am

    Another great article @TA, I just wish the time machine in my shed was up and running to send it to my youthful self, another unfinished project ;-).
    Perhaps an article that would spark the interest of my 22 year old offspring into thinking about managing money would help – and help shift the demographics of the commentators here to a lower average age?
    Still I like looking at my youthful money mistakes, and articles and more freely available information give me hope that fewer mistakes may be made by future generations – provided they can figure out where to look. Keep up the good work 🙂
    JimJim

  • 12 HariSeldon June 3, 2021, 9:57 am

    @Peter
    Very good point, the pot size influences strongly the size of the bond portfolio, the guidelines are very sensible and a really great article. If your pot is just enough for you needs then your capacity for risk is very low, however much you might wish to embrace risk.

    Having gone into FIRE in late 2007 with a 90%+ equity portfolio…..I experienced an interesting start in 2008-2009, had I followed the advice of this article I would have had a very much more comfortable first few years !!!!!

    However it did provide opportunities and I now find that I have more than I need and a lower bond proportion now, at least makes sense for me, but the article is much better advice than being lucky.

  • 13 MrOptimistic June 3, 2021, 1:24 pm

    Good article, thanks. Complication I have is we have multiple accounts ( 1 sipp, 4 isa’s), multiple objectives ( retirement income supplement, near term contributions to children, bequest/iht management, and multiple tail risks (long term care, someone selfishly living past 95….). It’s not that I can’t formulate a plan, it’s more that I formulate a new plan monthly.
    It would however be unreasonable to expect any article to shine a light of clarity through this fog…….that’s what wine is for.
    Cheers!

  • 14 Matthew June 3, 2021, 2:45 pm

    Thank you @TA for the % of equities per time of target
    How much % of bonds is it safe to hold for various future targets?

  • 15 The Accumulator June 3, 2021, 7:50 pm

    Thanks all for some comments that made me smile.

    @ Peter – yes, you’re spot on and that’s why you can never be sure what your risk tolerance is. A younger me didn’t care about his investments during the 2008 crash because I’d very little skin in the game. Completely different ballgame in March 2020 as my financial independence looked like going down the tubes. I was glad I had the bonds then.

    @ Eddie and Martin T – it’s a fair point but people – especially commentators who can only cut through on the internet by taking extreme positions – are all too ready to declare ‘bonds are dead’. Remember the ‘death of equities’ cover Business Week cover in 1979? Probably not… but the reality is never as black and white as the stories people tell. Bonds are certainly less useful than they were. I advocate holding a smaller percentage than before, but only if you can handle the volatility. But are bonds still useful? Absolutely. Last March was just the latest example. Is there a good alternative that cushions you in a recession? No. Would I just rely on conventional government bonds on the defensive side? No. Hold conventional bonds but also cash, index-linked government bonds, potentially some gold. I wouldn’t hold pure long bonds.

    Fact is, we don’t know what will happen though we’re not short of commentators who make confident predictions. The one thing I’m confident of is that most of them will be wrong.

    Eddie – the massive interventions of 2008-09 were supposed to unleash inflation. Didn’t happen. Doesn’t mean it won’t happen this time, doesn’t mean high inflation is nailed on. Index-linked bonds are your best defence.

    @ Brod – absolutely. I would have been in much the same position if I’d stuck to two funds.

    @ Jonathan B – thanks! I wrote the piece specifically so I could send the link to people who are just starting down the DIY path. (Love the comment about 1066 btw 😉

    @ Amit – that is a nice idea. Especially for someone who wanted to be hands off but knew enough to decide they wanted to tilt more to equities. If it were me, I’d sell out of the target date fund at some point and buy a Lifestrategy type portfolio or 2-fund portfolio that represented my chosen decumulation asset allocation. Again, this is if I wanted to be hands off.

    @ JimJim – let me know when you finish that time machine. I’ve got a lecture to deliver to my younger self about compound interest.

    @ MrOptimistic 😉

    @ Matthew – those rules of thumb assume bonds make up the balance of your portfolio. You could easily hold cash as part of that defensive mix too.

  • 16 Matthew June 3, 2021, 8:05 pm

    @TA – I mean say someone had a short term goal of 2, 4, 7 etc years time – no equities, just cash Vs gov bonds or Vs a bond index

    For example you wouldn’t typically have 100% bonds for a goal 1 year away

    On the other hand for our kind maybe it’s more acceptable to do that in government bonds at least because it would help counterbalance the equities we hold in other pots.

  • 17 KeepOnKeepinOn June 6, 2021, 9:49 am

    Great post – defo sending onto my littlies who get it (good one stop guide for those interested enough).
    The whole risk tolerance piece is just so personal – ultimately you just got to take responsibility for deciding on what you can live with & accept that there isn’t a right answer. You just have to be a grown up!
    Four years out – bond allocation increasing with re-balancing & cash buckets will start getting filled from next year. Simples.

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