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How to manage multiple portfolios

Multiple portfolios illustrated as a cartoon of a juggler spinning plates.

Many in the Monevator community ask about how to manage multiple portfolios, especially as part of a single family household.

Reader Sunil sums up the dilemma:

I understand the importance of diversification, but what about across multiple portfolios?

I have a SIPP and ISA, and run a SIPP and ISA for my wife. That’s four portfolios.

I’m not sure it’s prudent to pick the same set of funds for each, or even the same kind of asset split across all four.

I find it incredibly difficult to decide across four portfolios. Add to that, both my kids now have ISAs – I might end up running six portfolios!

Any thoughts?

The standard advice is that different investment objectives are best handled by separate portfolios, each with their own asset allocation.

For instance it’s very likely that the goals for kids’ ISAs are quite different to that of the adults in a household.

The latter tend to be into boring stuff like retirement. Children less so!

One thing to rule all your multiple portfolios

When family members share an objective, the standard advice is to treat your various accounts as a single portfolio.

That keeps things simple – assuming you have joint finances.

With the single portfolio mindset, there’s no need to replicate your 5% gold allocation, say, across four different accounts. You can keep your gold fund in one place and so avoid multiplying your dealing fees per account.

This ‘notionally single portfolio’ approach helps with tax-planning, too.

For example, you could tilt towards equities in your ISAs, and bonds in your SIPPs, to avoid breaching the Lifetime Allowance on your pension.

To recap, the basic advice is:

  • One family portfolio per shared investment objective
  • Spread across multiple accounts as needs be
  • Using a single asset allocation

I recommend keeping track of this gestalt portfolio with a tool like Morningstar’s Portfolio Manager.

The tax problem with multiple portfolios

That’s the standard advice, and it’s perfectly sound.

I came to regret it, however.

I ran the family Accumulator’s accounts as a single portfolio. We held different equity sub-asset classes in our SIPPs and all seemed well.

But one sub-portfolio did much better than the other. And so one now looks like the pumped-up arm of an Olympic javelin thrower. The other like a T-Rex’s puny forelimb.

Okay, the difference isn’t that extreme but one portfolio has certainly been much luckier than the other.

That’s because it holds the lion’s share of our US equities. And they’ve beaten the bejesus out of everything else.

As a consequence, we’ll have to drawdown harder on this over-performing portfolio.

A more even split of our bills would be more tax-efficient. Now we’ll pay more income tax as one SIPP portfolio tunnels more deeply than anticipated into a pricy tax bracket.

A richer family than ours could also trigger Lifetime Allowance events if one of their SIPPs was particularly over-stimulated.

If your SIPPs won’t dance on the borders of the tax bands then it won’t matter. But for anyone young-ish or rich-ish, that’s hard to predict.

It’s not just SIPPs

You could also face the same predicament if one family member’s General Investment Accounts bursts its tax-free banks excessively.

Theoretically this shouldn’t matter for stocks and shares ISAs because they’re tax-free.

Except they’re not quite… Because if you die (god forbid) then ISAs lose their tax shield – in the event that you pass them on to anyone except your spouse or civil partner.

That would include your unmarried partner, kids, or favourite pet gerbil.

In these cases your ISAs also fall into the Sarlaac Pit of inheritance tax. And hence they are no longer really tax-free.

ISA assets affect your eligibility for many mean-tested benefits, too, whereas pre-retirement assets sitting in a pension scheme do not.

Being caught out by any of these scenarios might leave you worse off as a family unit than if you’d just set up two mirror portfolios.

In retrospect, I wish I’d mirrored our respective holdings so we could spread the tax burden more evenly across our tax allowances.

Of course, mirror portfolios do double your dealing fees.

But you can dodge that hit by using multi-asset funds like Vanguard LifeStrategy, or at least minimise the impact by choosing simple two or three fund portfolios.

Platform collapse

Lopsided portfolios could also hurt if your investment platform / broker goes bust. Your assets are likely to be frozen while the administrator cleans up the mess.

What’s that? You had the foresight to open your partner’s accounts at a completely different platform that’s unaffected by the upheaval?

Okay, but sadly your broker was swept away in an economic tsunami that’s also wiped double-digits off your partner’s portfolio because the low-risk bonds were in your accounts.

And let’s say in this (hypothetical, somewhat extreme) example that it takes more than a year to unfreeze your assets.

Meanwhile, household bills surround you like kung-fu baddies. The only way to fend them off is by selling your partner’s equities when they’re down. Which is something that ideally you’d never want to do.

Granted, this is a low-probability scenario. But it’s one you can strike off your worry-list by maintaining a strong slug of low-risk assets in both partners’ portfolios.

Ask the Monevator massive

These may be edge cases but the standard advice doesn’t always apply when it collides with the quirks of the UK tax system. I had no idea The Accumulator family would be an edge case when we started out.

I’m interested to hear how the Monevator community manages multiple portfolios. Please let us know how your household handles this problem in the comments below.

Take it steady,

The Accumulator

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{ 34 comments… add one }
  • 1 BeardyBillionaireBloke June 8, 2021, 10:45 am

    > open your partner’s accounts at a completely different platform
    Then they could merge. See Motley Fool, Selftrade-Equinity, Interactive Investor.

    And depending on where you work you might need to provide regular statements from every broker to the compliance department where you work.

  • 2 Jeff June 8, 2021, 10:59 am

    I consider my SIPP, ISA & taxed accounts to be one portfolio. I do not duplicate purchases, but I’ll buy shares in whichever account is convenient. That considers available cash, but with some rules:
    1 Anything with a decent yield will be bought in a tax exempt account
    2 I prefer Investment Trusts in my taxed accounts, as these can be held very long term. I prefer stocks in my tax exempt accounts, as if I get a 10 bagger and want to sell if the PE multiple gets frothy, it needs to be taxed exempt.
    3 Any situation with a potential return of capital goes to a tax exempt account, as I have no control over when the company will return that capital.
    4 As I quit working, I have no new income to add. Every year I utilize the capital gains tax allowance to sell shares from the taxed account and make a full contribution to the ISA. To prioritize what to sell I have at times sold stocks with the highest dividend/capital gain ratio.

  • 3 xeny June 8, 2021, 4:08 pm

    Similarly I prefer OEICs in my GIA as I try to turn them over to harvest CGT allowance, and aim to minimise stamp duty.

    If I’m coming up to the end of the tax year and want to bed and ISA as well as invest some cash, is it worth investing the cash in the taxable account, and then a few days later selling the final amount you want to move to the ISA (so resell what you just bought as well as the amount you’d otherwise bed and ISA) – it looks as if you extract a little more CGT liability that way compared to investing the cash straight into the ISA?

  • 4 gadgetmind June 8, 2021, 4:35 pm

    I take a multi-asset approach in each SIPP/ISA because there is no easy way to rebalance between these pots due to restrictions on input and outputs and the tax issues. Our unwrapped assets (which exist due to these same ISA restrictions) use an asset allocation designed to ensure we make the best use of dividend allowances and personal savings allowances (and zero band for my wife) to avoid paying tax on this income despite her using nearly all of her personal allowance, and me using all of this and the 20% band. Let’s just say that this wasn’t easy!

  • 5 bownyboy June 8, 2021, 4:41 pm

    I manage mine and my wife’s portfolio. Both in interactive investor.

    We keep it very simple. Vanguard FTSE Global All Cap and Total Bond Index split 75/25 equally across ISAs and SIPPs for both of us. We then rebalance once a year.

    We tend to keep 6 months or so of expenses in cash in joint account. We also have credit cards if needed.

    Should something happen to ii then yes their could be a delay in accessing them, but as the assets are all legally ringfenced I’m not too bothered.

    We are both named beneficiaries for the SIPPs on the ii website should one of us die and as mentioned above ISAs are passed to spouses.

    We also connect all our accounts up to MoneyHub for that complete Networth view.

  • 6 Al Cam June 8, 2021, 5:05 pm

    FWIW, IMO juggling between accounts and types of accounts is a tricky problem with no one size fits all solution – which this post nicely illustrates. The dance is then further bedevilled by increasingly frequent changes to the rules of the game!

    Re: “And let’s say in this (hypothetical, somewhat extreme) example that it takes more than a year to unfreeze your assets.”
    It does happen!
    See e.g. https://fireandwide.com/asset-liquidity/

  • 7 Juan June 8, 2021, 6:07 pm

    I manage 9 accounts across 3 platforms for my wife and I. 3 pensions, 4 ISAs and 2 GIAs.

    Pensions are all low cost world trackers. ISAs are all growth and income Investment Trusts. My GIA is targeted at max dividend income for an additional rate tax payer, hers is an overflow account with any money over all tax advantaged allowances. This includes a wide range of equity, debt, energy and property trusts, as well as some precious metals etfs.

    I think we’re reasonably well diversified across providers and investment types. Limited exposure to government debt is probably the main weakness, not one I plan to address soon.

    Outside of this we have around 18 months expenditure in cash equivalents, and a bunch of savings pots planned expenditure for car replacement etc.

    Still in accumulation, should switch to living off the portfolio in the next couple of years.

  • 8 Jonathan June 8, 2021, 6:07 pm

    ISAs cease to be tax free if one leaves the UK.

    This is particularly bad if one forgets to sell the investment assets within the ISA before changing tax jurisdiction (one can repurchase them within the ISA afterwards) — because then Dutch, Peruvian or whatever capital-gains tax will apply on a future sale of anything, all the way back in time to the purchase.

    Some people don’t even bother to keep their contract notes for ISA purchases, mistakenly presuming that the account will always be free of capital-gains tax!

  • 9 Gregg June 8, 2021, 6:17 pm

    Good points – personally, I’m managing far too many accounts (the hazards of moving from the US to UK mid-career – 2x ISA, 2x UK pension, 2x IRA, 401k, taxable), but treat them all as a single portfolio with a single asset allocation. The decision on which assets to hold in which account are driven by both the tax considerations, and some more practical ones around availability of investments.

    For example, I can’t hold funds in an ISA without punitive US taxation, so that has to be individual stocks. Given that limitation, they’re all UK stocks – I can get a better sampling of the UK market than the global market with a reasonable number of stocks, without excessive dealing fees.

    One of my old US retirement accounts has some particularly attractive fund options not available elsewhere, so it’s focused on International (non-US, but including UK) and government bonds.

    It does get complicated, and something I would like to simplify in a few decades, but is working alright so far, and spreads the risk around even if that’s not the primary objective.

  • 10 Naeclue June 8, 2021, 6:33 pm

    I treat our various accounts as one portfolio, but for historical reasons the asset allocation differs between our SIPPs, ISAs and unsheltered accounts.

    It used to be possible for UK retail investors to buy US listed ETFs and the tax treatment of these has driven the current asset allocation. US listed ETFs have a number of advantages over UK listed ETFs: 1) There is no dividend withholding tax on US listed ETFs when held in SIPPs; 2) The dividend withholding tax on US listed ETFs held in unsheltered accounts comes with a 15% tax credit that you don’t get with equivalent UK listed ETFs/OEICs; 3) Fees on US listed ETFs used to be much lower than for equivalent UK listed funds. Fees are still lower, but the difference is marginal now.

    Because of the tax treatment of US listed ETFs I concentrated US shares in SIPPs and in our general (unsheltered) accounts and held none in ISAs. Holding the US ETFs in SIPPs has worked out well, but not so much with ISAs. We have saved income tax, but due to the much larger growth in US compared to non-US I think it likely that we would have been better off holding the US shares in ISAs and paying more income tax on the non-US dividends. That would have got more of our portfolio into ISAs and resulted in a much reduced CGT headache.

    One extra complication is that since crystallising I have always considered the investments in our SIPPs to be worth only 80% of their actual values due to the income tax to be paid on withdrawal (85% pre-crystallisation). For that reason the assets in the SIPP are effectively overweighted by 25%. For example, if I had £12,500 of cash in a SIPP and I wanted to sell part of my allocation to VERX (Vanguard Europe ex-UK) that I hold outside the SIPP and buy it back inside, I would only sell £10,000 of VERX and buy £12,500 of it in the SIPP. This overweighting in the SIPPs is done to keep the asset allocation consistent across the whole portfolio and inline with the world index.

    My wife’s accounts roughly mirror mine, so at least we do not have that complication.

    There is much to be said for @bownyboy’s approach!

  • 11 mr_jetlag June 8, 2021, 8:10 pm

    #8 that’s not true though. from gov.uk:

    If you move abroad –
    If you open an Individual Savings Account (ISA) in the UK then move abroad, you cannot put money into it after the tax year that you move (unless you’re a Crown employee working overseas or their spouse or civil partner).

    You must tell your ISA provider as soon as you stop being a UK resident.

    However, you can keep your ISA open and you’ll still get UK tax relief on money and investments held in it.

    You can transfer an ISA to another provider even if you are not resident in the UK.

    You can pay into your ISA again if you return and become a UK resident (subject to the annual ISA allowance).

  • 12 Martin T June 8, 2021, 8:38 pm

    I manage my SIPP (HL) and Mrs T’s SIPP and ISA (both II). Originally these 3 were roughly the same size, and it was easy to balance asset allocation across the 3, since we have a similar goal; since our income has dropped, we are no longer adding money, and are transferring the maximum allowable from the ISA to the SIPPs, to take advantage of tax relief, and lessen any possible IHT liability, meaning the ISA value is dropping and the SIPPs increasing.

    I have a spreadsheet which places individual holdings into asset allocation categories, and calculates the percentage of each, against total net worth, and try to split the desired total asset allocation of a particular asset class proportionally across the 3 accounts.

    The II model suits well, as the inclusive trades allow rebalancing, but I’ve resisted moving my SIPP in case one provider experiences issues.

    This model also allows diversification within asset classes – so I hold SWDA (ETF, because of HL charges) and Mrs T Fidelity Index World, I have an L&G FTSE Tracker, Mrs T Vanguard’s, whilst our bond allocation can be split across UK Gilts, Global Bonds, and Linkers, each account holding one of these.

  • 13 xeny June 8, 2021, 8:58 pm

    #10 – that doesn’t say anything about another country’s tax treatment though, and if you live in said country, they may have a say in the matter.

  • 14 Susan June 8, 2021, 10:21 pm

    We’ve had this situation for nearly 20 years now. I manage my own non-ISA, Isa and SIPP accounts, plus my husband’s non-ISA, ISA and SIPP. I’ve always treated them as one account, except insofar as I’ve kept a smattering of historic bonds in both ISAs. We’re both self-employed but effectively retired and my husband (who’s a trained accountant) does the annual tax return for both of us, with the aim of minimising our tax bill. He treats our income, divi and capital gains allowances as joint – so for instance my ceiling on capital gains in non-ISA accounts is £25,000 and it doesn’t matter which accounts I make those gains in. The same applies to income and divis. In practice, I make sure that I put as many growth equities as possible into the ISAs, so that I can take most of my capital gains there and lock in the gains as I go. Anything I can’t squish in there – ideally the stuff that grows slowly but chucks out divis and any new bonds – stays in the non-ISA accounts, thus not getting too big for its boots, but using our income tax and divi allowances. I keep my capital gains outside the ISAs to the limit of £25,000, or as near as. That leaves us with no tax bill at all, more or less, unless it’s a year like 2020, in which case there’s a bit more to pay than we expected! Not the usual scenario, I know, but I’m sure there are others out there in a similar position.

  • 15 xxd09 June 8, 2021, 10:26 pm

    Rather like brownyboy I run our portfolios in much the same way. My wife and I have had a single joint bank /credit account from the get go-now 50+ years
    2 SIPPs, 2 ISAs are run as one portfolio -all with Interactive Investor
    3 Index Trackers only used- ie FTSE All Share, World Equity ex U.K. plus a Global Bond Index Fund hedged to the Pound-@ 3%,27% and 65% respectively
    A 5% cash fund in my name for personal allowance tax reasons as my wife also has a Teachers Pension
    Adding money and now withdrawing it in drawdown using the flexibility of the ISAs and SIPPs results in the structure of the individual ISAs and SIPPs becoming very skewed -not important if viewed and treated as a whole as I do
    Have tended to keep equal quantities of monies in the SIPPs and ISAs-but that is a personal quirk
    Probably keeping ISAs levels down below Inheritance Tax levels as we get older is also a consideration
    One withdrawal a year to replenish the cash account also makes life simpler for an older couple
    xxd09

  • 16 andrew June 9, 2021, 3:47 am

    Great article, and as always – the best bits are the comments (no offence Monevator!).. have worked in UK, APAC and Australia, and spent far too long on optimising tax across multiple jurisdictions for ISA, pensions, general accounts.
    Interactive broker is great for the flexibility it offers in GIA
    pensions – went as other commentators with for the high growth long term index etf or low cost mutual whatever available from employer pension provider
    ISAs – are taxed in foreign country (Aus. for me) – these have all been exited

    Key items to consider
    – I suspect many of us like the complexity of it. I think there are some minor benefits over time in being able to target capital gains through individual stocks or interest income etc and its location compared to lifestrategy/single ETF type strategies (which are still a majority of our portfolio)
    – Over time I am simplifying this by aiming to have 2 brokers, 2 jurisdictions (avoid the govt freezing non home currency assets a la Argentina etc). but the simplification is also beneficial to decrease my hours required to monitor, but also the partner/children depending on date of death!

    Specific comments for multi-jurisdiction investors (I’d say expat or immigrants but fear both words have become perjorative these days!)
    – Pensions are treated very differently globally, and there are many opportunities to benefit. A number of these can only be done prior to arrival in foreign countries, and others only upon arrival. Further date of access for each of these can be quite different
    – Healthcare – same comment, but unusually this can have financial impact (for example retiring in certain european countries has different pension tax rates for those with or without local country health insurance)
    – capital gains event can be triggered upon becoming resident or non-resident – without sale of any underlying assets. Careful consideration of timing of this event and which assets are in the relevant double tax treaty is needed

    Thank you for a long standing website with many long contributing readers.

  • 17 Al Cam June 9, 2021, 8:51 am

    @Martin T (#12):
    RE: “since our income has dropped, we are no longer adding money, and are transferring the maximum allowable from the ISA to the SIPPs, to take advantage of tax relief, and lessen any possible IHT liability, meaning the ISA value is dropping and the SIPPs increasing”
    Would you be good enough to quantify what is meant by max allowable PA per SIPP?

  • 18 JDW June 9, 2021, 8:58 am

    Currently I’m with HL for my ISA, SIPP and LISA on about a 50/40/10 split respectively, but moving most of the SIPP to AJ Bell away from HL, with the mid term aim of then moving the ISA to ii. Eventually aiming for around 60% or so in the ISA as the main workhorse of the portfolio, 30% SIPP (X2 SIPPs) and 10% in the LISA

    SIPPs and LISA are mostly passive, probably about 90% equity, which at the age of 35 I’m comfortable with at this stage, then my holdings in bonds, commodities, gold etc are in the ISA for ease, at approx 80/20 equity/others split (which is itself about 80% passive, and then within that mainly VG LS80)

    Partner is with CS for her ISA and Vanguard directly for her SIPP. We don’t have access to either of each others accounts, hers is managed by CS so trying to get her to see the light and save money in costs – getting there slowly!

    Personally I’m happy with thinking that’s enough spread, diversification and with enough of a forward plan over the coming years and importantly, controllable.

  • 19 Genghis June 9, 2021, 1:13 pm

    #14 @Susan
    “He treats our income, divi and capital gains allowances as joint – so for instance my ceiling on capital gains in non-ISA accounts is £25,000 and it doesn’t matter which accounts I make those gains in.”

    I’m not sure I follow since income tax and capital gains tax lie on the individual level, not on a couple.

    In a non-ISA account, a GIA, dividend income is on the individual and each gets a £2k allowance. It’s why then most of our GIA assets in my wife’s name as she’s a basic rate tax payer.

    Further, in a GIA, capital gains tax is on the individual with each having a £12,300 allowance. Now it’s possible for married couples living together to do a no gain, no loss spousal transfer where the receiving partner inherits the base cost of the asset, but this would have to be prior to any subsequent disposal (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/husband-and-wife-civil-partners-divorce-dissolution-and-separation-hs281-self-assessment-helpsheet/hs281-spouses-civil-partners-divorce-dissolution-and-separation-2016)

  • 20 Susan June 9, 2021, 1:42 pm

    19 @Genghis
    For the purposes of our investments, I manage all the accounts on behalf of and in trust for us both and my actions are consistent with that, as any gains or income I realise goes into a joint account. So the taxman is happy to regard all our investment gains, losses and allowances as joint, even if they’re run under different individual names. (though at one point I did have a joint account at II). It’s never been a problem in 20 years – even when we were earning and each had separate income streams in addition to the investment income. It helps that we keep our dividend income below the threshold, but even so, it’s ridiculously easy to manage it this way – and it allows me to regard all the accounts as one portfolios which saves a lot of expensive messing to rebalance. It might also help that my husband is a chartered accountant of course, though he hasn’t practised as such in 40 years, but he does know how to handle the taxman and hasn’t tripped up yet.

  • 21 Genghis June 9, 2021, 2:22 pm

    @Susan. Thanks for your response. I guess I’ll have to do some research. I’m a Chartered Accountant too (tax / trusts not my area, though) but never come across it.

  • 22 Susan June 9, 2021, 2:27 pm

    21 @Genghis – Oh not his area either (he worked as a management consultant in the City), but it’s every simple. If I’m clearly acting in trust on behalf of both of us – and that’s obvious from the way I deal and the money trail – then there’s no problem doing the tax return as a joint return and spreading the allowances across all the accounts. As I said, it’s never been a problem.

  • 23 The Accumulator June 9, 2021, 3:24 pm

    Great comments all, thank you. It’s very interesting to read about everyone’s individual situations as always.

    A couple of general observations:

    Tax adds a layer of complexity which when multiplied by personal situations makes it very difficult to offer generalised pointers in books, blog posts or what have you. Nothing beats individual experience in this area, as the comments thread reveals.

    I guess the value is in at least airing the issues and then people are tipped off about what to research further.

    Interesting that most couples have a lead partner who corrals the accounts on behalf of the whole family. This must simplify decision-making in the sense that one partner is happy to cede control. But perhaps increases complexity too as one partner gets up to their necks juggling multiples of everything across a sprawling mass of accounts.

    @ Andrew – I think you make a great point about how we like the complexity. Perhaps partly because we’re hobbyists to some degree, partly because we think we can gain a small edge at the margins. I’ve gone on a simplicity U-bend. Started out very simply, hit simplicity rock bottom (i.e. max complexity) perhaps 5 years ago, and have been simplifying again ever since.

    @ Al Cam – thanks for linking to Fire And Wide’s piece. It’s a brilliant example of what can go wrong when a broker goes into administration.

    @ Susan – very interesting insight. It doesn’t sound like you’ve reached an explicit agreement with HMRC but it’s more live and let live?

  • 24 Al Cam June 9, 2021, 4:32 pm

    @TA (#23):
    Yup, I agree and I can only repeat this part of the comment I made at F&W:
    “IMO, this post should thus be flagged as required reading!”

  • 25 Martin T June 9, 2021, 5:33 pm

    @ Al Cam (#17) everyone is entitled to contribute £3600 gross per annum to a SIPP, regardless of income. Those who are earning are entitled to make contributions up to a certain percentage of their income, depending on age. In our case this is 100% of our ‘net relevant earnings’. We’re both working part-time, so our income is enough to cover our living expenses, with no surplus for additional investments. We can, however, contribute 100% of our incomes to our SIPPs (we actually pay 80% and the provider claims basic rate tax relief), which we do using money withdrawn from the ISA (you could do the same with money from an inheritance or sale of property).

    We obviously benefit from basic rate tax relief, and the SIPPs will fall outside our Estates for IHT purposes, and be subject to the rules about passing on SIPPs to our beneficiaries; against that, we obviously lose the flexibility to access the capital whenever we want, and future drawdowns from the SIPPs will be subject to taxation, according to the rules applicable at the time. These rules are different after crystallisation (once you have accessed your SIPP).

    It’s a complex area, and this is simply our take on it – it’s worth doing some research and even taking advice to ensure what you decide to do is right for you – once the money is in the SIPP it can only be withdrawn in accordance with the rules!

  • 26 Al Cam June 9, 2021, 7:35 pm

    @Martin T (#25):
    Thanks for the additional information.
    I am reasonably familiar with the SIPP contribution rules – I just wondered if you were perhaps hinting at £40k PA plus carry forward! In which case, I would have mentioned the spectre of the LTA.
    I agree with you that this is a complex area and it is very situational too.

  • 27 Amit June 9, 2021, 10:26 pm

    Thanks for bringing up this subject. My big bear with all platforms is that they could do a lot more in affording customers ‘views’ of their portfolio based on their goals. For example, I am using my ISAs for my two children’s education. I would have liked the ability to create two ‘virtual’ pots within my ISA that list assets allocated to each. The homegrown solution I have adopted – and this may be far from conventional practice – is to buy target dated funds for big future life spends that don’t cluster together in time. This means I have ended up with more than one target dated funds in one ISA / SIPP portfolio.

  • 28 The Accumulator June 10, 2021, 11:52 am

    @ Amit – I haven’t heard others talk about using target date funds like that before but it makes sense. I wonder how prevalent that is. Agree, would be nice if the platforms had more flexible tools. I think you could do the same using Morningstar’s Portfolio Manager. They allow you to run 5 free virtual portfolios, so you could run one as a master then the others to track individual goals. Would require some manual input but not an excessive amount.

  • 29 Z-man June 10, 2021, 5:06 pm

    It would be great if some tool offers the ability to add labels to each investment and then show asset allocation based on the label (like labels in Gmail) eg. see allocation across instant money (S&S ISA+GIA+Cash) or only pensions or pensions & LISA or only my accounts or the whole family, etc.

    Does anybody know if there is something like this?

  • 30 Martin T June 10, 2021, 10:15 pm

    @ Al Cam #26 apologies for the over-simplification – it’s sometimes difficult to tell exactly what a poster’s level of expertise is. And, sadly, no!

    As someone who built a business over many years, my income was often ‘lumpy’, and I was not able to contribute as much as I wished to my SIPP, as I was investing in the business, managing cashflow, helping with University fees etc. When we sold the business, we were not able to invest as much of the proceeds as we would have wished because of the limitations of the carry forward rules.

    Personally, I would advocate the much more flexible system of a ‘lifetime cap’ on contributions – which would allow people to ‘catch up’ on low years (perhaps when they were bringing up children) if they were later able to do so (inheritance, down-sizing, business sale etc), but that’s probably too much to hope for!!

  • 31 WhiteSheep June 10, 2021, 11:47 pm

    @Z-man
    One (of many) option to do that is in a spread-sheet. For example, if you use google sheets you can start from something like FireVLondon’s spread-sheet to load in your assets and track their prices. Then you can use ordinary spread-sheet commands like sumifs(), vlookup() or pivot tables to do arbitrary groupings on labels and reporting on your allocations.

    I used to replicate my full portfolio allocations across all accounts for the only reason that it made tracking and rebalancing so much easier. Since I started using a spread-sheet to automate computations of asset allocation and rebalancing thresholds I can now treat them as a single portfolio without spending any mental effort on it.

    Personally I use the same asset allocation for ISAs and SIPPs. For me they are both long-term investments as I would never touch the ISA unless I had to; the tax benefit is simply too great in the longer term. The general investment accounts need to provide liquidity for any expenses, so their equity allocation is lower.

  • 32 Al Cam June 11, 2021, 11:36 am

    @Martin T (#30)
    I can see how such lumpiness could further complicate matters.
    I do not recall seeing any posts at Monevator on how to handle a significant windfall; perhaps TA knows of some or might think it a worthy subject for a future post or two?
    I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for the sort of tax changes you would like to see.
    To make a gross simplification and putting IHT aside, the way I see it is that the SIPP regime is essentially all about the tax differential between paying money in and taking money out – some of which could be tax free. Employer schemes may offer a few more incentives via employer matches/contributions and/or salary sacrifice arrangements. A few further complications are then added to spice up the mix such as annual allowances, LTA, minimum age accessible, etc.
    All the best with navigating your way through it all.

  • 33 Mark June 12, 2021, 6:24 pm

    I treat everything as a single portfolio and try to maximize tax and costs efficiency. I keep US exposure in SIPP holding US based ETFs (zero US div tax withholding and lowest fees) and in taxable accounts (15% tax withholding credited against UK div tax liability). I keep rest of developed world equity funds in ISAs and EM fund in taxables (VWO, because has much lower fees than IE based funds and again the div withholding can be offset). I have some P2P lending in ISAs and in taxable (not very tax efficient that one but it’s supposed to be temporary placement waiting for a market dip, I moved some to buy more equities last year, now moving them back!)

  • 34 Ankur M June 21, 2021, 11:24 pm

    Heya, like mentioned above umpteen times, we also manage all our investments in one place via a great tool, EXCEL. Interesting twist is that we have good amount of assets invested in INDIA, and now in UK being both of us are higher tax payer.

    In order to arrive at right figures per asset allocation, I take the lead to consolidate all investments across ISA, JISAs (for 2 kids), SIPPs, Salary sacrifice pensions and GIAs, huh! all in one place to see where the next new £ should go.
    I see a good portfolio tracking site could do the trick to register all our investments across various platforms in one place. In India we use to get a single statement that tracks everything. It’s just nightmare in UK to see all in one place. So excel is doing the work.
    Now that the data is in excel, I created all “right” views to see what is required to do next 🙂

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