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Wealth preservation strategies of the rich

Protecting your wealth for the future

You and I are advised to put our money into simple portfolios and to invest in shares for the long-term for our retirement.

But once the preservation of wealth becomes more important than growing it, other strategies come into play.

The preservation of wealth for the super-rich usually entails:

In fact, I doubt there’s a rich person in the world getting by with an index tracker, a savings account, and a wodge of Government bonds.

Risky businessmen

Firstly, let’s define the sort of millionaires we’re talking about.

I’m thinking riches well beyond the standard Millionaire Next Door variety. Rather, I’m discussing the sort of people who populate the lower reaches of the Sunday Times Rich List.

Let’s say a net worth greater than £10 million/ $15 million.

Now, not all these very rich people practice the preservation of wealth through diversification.

Many self-made entrepreneurs retain a huge slug of the businesses they founded, for example. This makes their net worth very dependent on the day-to-day value of those businesses.

Take Bill Gates. The world’s sometime richest man has diversified into everything from biotech firms to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway to Corbis, his digital picture library. Yet despite selling millions of Microsoft shares every quarter, he is still the company’s biggest single shareholder. His 8% holding is worth $17 billion. If Microsoft goes bust, Gates will plunge down the rich list.

The insanely rich like Gates, Warren Buffett and Carlos Slim – the Mexican tycoon who’s currently the world’s richest man – can afford to take their chances. While in percentage terms the wealth tied up in their businesses is huge, the lesser share of money held outside is still enough to ensure a very prosperous lifestyle, whatever happens to their core company.

Such entrepreneurs got rich by being risk-takers. It’s not surprising they are comfortable continuing to take risks afterward.

But it’s also worth noting that lots of very rich people are simply badly advised or ignorant about money, especially the recently rich.

Many famous sports professionals go from millionaire status to bankruptcy in just a few years. They typically manage this by putting their cash into do-or-die business ventures they’ve no ability to evaluate, as well as by leaking money to friends, family, and advisers as quickly in retirement as when they were still earning millions.

Avoid their example if you want to stay rich!

How an old money dynasty stays wealthy

What we’re really interested in are the moneyed upper classes who remain rich from year-to-year and across the generations.

A great insight into their investing comes via the reports of RIT Capital Partners – the Rothschild family’s investment trust.

Listed on the London stock market, anyone can buy shares in the Rothschild’s trust. As a result it’s obligated to report on its activities, like any other company.

And what is very clear if you read its annual reports is that Lord Rothschild does not believe a stock market tracker, some gilts and a wodge of cash is sufficient to guarantee his heirs a chunk of the Rothschild fortune. Far from it!

Here’s how RIT Capital Partners’ assets were allocated as of March 2010:

Now that’s what I call diversification! The unquoted investments alone include all sorts of weird and wonderful stuff, from Brazilian farmland to a newly established Norwegian oil explorer to a 50% stake in The Economist.

Another notable aspect to Rothschild’s strategy is currency diversification:

As you can see, the trust shifts its exposure to different currencies a great deal from year to year. This isn’t so much about trying to make money from currency swings as it is about the preservation of wealth.

Diversification is everything

As Rothschild’s trust demonstrates, the key to wealth preservation is massive diversification, to guard against all conceivable forms of investment failure:

  • Massive vertical diversification – Investments across the waterfront of asset classes, from property, bonds, private equity and stocks to more exotic fare like unlisted businesses, land, art, antique furniture and intellectual property such as publishing rights.
  • Massive horizontal diversification – Holdings in the different asset classes are spread widely among baskets of stocks, different fund managers, various countries’ bonds, and indeed into different currencies.
  • Political and legal diversification – Super-rich people are much more interested in taxes, the legality of their holdings, and political risk than you and me. They may have good reason to be more paranoid in many cases. For this reason they tend to hold some of their assets offshore, including real assets like property or gold.

Coming soon – practical tips from the super rich on the preservation of wealth. If you want to ensure your heirs can blow their inheritance on strippers and sports cars, subscribe for free to make sure you read it.

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{ 42 comments… add one }
  • 1 Nick Grimshaw July 8, 2010, 4:45 pm

    I’m curious to know how they hold -9% of their assets in Yen.

  • 2 The Investor July 8, 2010, 5:10 pm

    @Nick – It means they’re short yen, whether through shorting instruments or by borrowing in Yen and reinvesting in other currencies.

  • 3 Pete Matthew July 8, 2010, 9:09 pm

    Great article. I agree that Diversification is the key driver to long term wealth accumulation and preservation. There are two more: Time (as in length of time IN the market, not timing) and Review, i.e. keeping your plans and investments under regular review. Of these three though, Diversification is the biggy.

    I’m new to the site and love your style. Keep up the good work!


  • 4 RetirementInvestingToday July 8, 2010, 9:12 pm

    Hi TI

    Great post as usual. Although I don’t think I’ll be investing with them anytime soon. As an investor who aims to minimise fees and expenses I don’t like this from a Morningstar Factsheet – management fees are based on a percentage of the funds under manager (in the range from 0.5% to 1.5% p.a.). Performance fees are charged where the increase in the value of the funds exceeds specified hurdles.

    Sounds like market goes up and Lord Rothschild makes a lot of money. Market goes down and Lord Rothschild still makes money but just not as much. Fees was one of the big mistakes I believe I made previously as I detailed in the post http://retirementinvestingtoday.blogspot.com/2010/06/investing-mistakes-ive-made-not.html
    .-= RetirementInvestingToday on: The Non Event – Bank of England holds the UK Bank Rate at 05 – July 2010 Update =-.

  • 5 Financial Samurai July 9, 2010, 2:18 am

    It is fascinating to see so many millionaires go bankrupt. But, why don’t people just lock up a large wad of money in a 7 yr CD earning 4% is beyond me.

    You have $5mil, you get to earn $200,000 a year in interest income.
    .-= Financial Samurai on: Feeling Like A Burden Is A Terrible- Terrible Thing =-.

  • 6 OldPro July 9, 2010, 3:51 am

    The Financial Samurai… what you’re missing is inflation old boy…

    After 2-3% inflation you’re only getting a 1-2% for your 7 year lock down…. hope you don’t want to spend any of your $5 mil nut? Especially as you presumably get taxed on what’s left in the US, too (before inflation!) Probably a negative real return after tax – you’re getting poorer.

    The rich of my ken normally like to spend a bit… not much chance of that with a 4% nominal return and negative real…!

    Old money knows all about inflation, the knowledge passed down through the generations. As The Monevator says they for this reason like real assets to get some protection from slow death by inflation.

  • 7 Gabriela July 9, 2010, 10:08 am

    yes, that’s fascinating, but it doesn’t mean much, unless we know what are their long-term returns, after costs and taxes, adjusted for risk. but, being super rich, you can afford to play with your money, and not be obsessed with costs and returns.

    on the other hand I have read that large wealth is usually squandered in 3 generations, so well done to rothschilds.

  • 8 The Investor July 9, 2010, 12:41 pm

    @Pete – Thanks for your comments, especially as you like the site! Hope you stick around.

  • 9 The Investor July 9, 2010, 12:58 pm

    @RetirementInvestingToday – Well, a lot of RIT Capital Partners’ money is in managed funds, which all come with their own management fees. The Lipper TER ratio is currently 1.32%, which I don’t think is insane for a managed fund of this stature and track record. As I mentioned when I last looked closely at the fund, Rothschild himself owns 17% of the fund, which gives me a great deal of faith that his interests are aligned with shareholders.

    While low fee index funds and ETFs are by far the largest single portion of my portfolio – and fees are always important – I do hold some investment trusts at higher fees than the trackers (including income investment trusts and small cap trusts). Personally, I don’t mind paying for something provided I’m getting something different for it, at least with a portion of my money. I guess I’m more like Rothschild in that sense, though alas not in terms of his bank balance!

  • 10 The Investor July 9, 2010, 1:01 pm

    @Sam – Yes, I’ve got a half-completed post about the disaster zone that are sports stars. I don’t think putting all their money into cash is the solution though, for the reason Old Pro outlines. But I agree even a cautious ETF portfolio with a lot of cash and bonds would be a huge step-up from their general approach, which is more like how you’d invest money in a computer game!

  • 11 The Investor July 9, 2010, 1:02 pm

    @OldPro – Yes, inflation is a key factor that old money understands, and another way that ‘new money’ fails. You don’t stay rich for several hundred years without understanding inflation (and to be honest by continuing to ‘top up’, as Gabriella suggests).

  • 12 The Investor July 9, 2010, 1:06 pm

    @Gabriella – Well, RIT Capital Partners’s track record over the past decade is pretty incredible. It’s up 167% versus a decline of 22% in the FTSE 100 over the past decade (ignoring dividends). It also fell less far in the 2007/2009 downturn. I don’t at all expect this performance to be continued, however – I doubt even Rothschild expected to outperform to that extent (though the trust’s mission statement is capital preservation, with long-term outperformance).

    Regarding your second comment, indeed – ‘clogs to clogs in three generations’ they used to say of family firms here. Worth an article, too.

  • 13 Kevin@OutOfYourRut July 9, 2010, 3:21 pm

    I completely agree with what’s in this post, and think there’s tremedous wisdom for the financial small fries among us.

    However, I have a sense that the middle class–so accustomed to be entertained as we are–would find this type of investing and diversification to be…BORING!

    This may be the way real wealth manages it’s money, but the masses want action–a stock that will double or triple in the next six months.
    .-= Kevin@OutOfYourRut on: Why Bundling Services Might be a Bad Deal =-.

  • 14 RetirementInvestingToday July 9, 2010, 9:38 pm

    Hi TI
    It is these different types of strategies that I find so interesting with the many excellent (including your good self) PF blogs out there. Everybody has different goals and different ways of getting there. Personally I feel very strongly about low fees and low taxes. I’m going to stay with that strategy as it seems to be working for me. Clearly your strategy is also working. Thanks for sharing.
    .-= RetirementInvestingToday on: The Non Event – Bank of England holds the UK Bank Rate at 05 – July 2010 Update =-.

  • 15 George July 10, 2010, 12:23 am

    I notice that they suffered the same ~35% drop in value from 2008 to 2009 that the rest of investors suffered and have now recovered back to where they were. So… it seems to me that they don’t manage money any better than average when the market goes bust.

    Why pay someone to be average when you can do the same on your own without the privelege of paying a fee?

    (yes, I get the point that they did marvelously well in the in the early part of the lost decade… but is that random luck or skill? I would vote that it’s random luck because they didn’t avoid the crash).

  • 16 The Investor July 10, 2010, 2:43 am

    @George – Good to see you here again! 🙂

    Yes, RIT did better than most (and the index) to start with in the downturn, but then they were badly hit by fears over private equity (which they had a fair whack in, and which probably partly explains the previous outperformance). Also, remember a falling share price is not the same as falling net assets (NAV) with an investment trust – the shares went from being at a premium to NAV to as much as a 10% discount, but the underlying investment you actually owned as a shareholder didn’t, of course.

    With respect, I don’t think you can buy Brazilian farmland, invest in unlisted hedge funds, or play the currency markets like RIT does. Whether you want to is a moot point, but just because the shares fell when everything but gold and government bonds fell doesn’t mean the investment was the same as any particular one of those easy retail-friendly alternatives (e.g. a tracker, corporate bonds, shares in BP, whatever).

    But I don’t want to come across as a blind cheerleader. I have 2-3% of my net worth in the trust (less than a tenth of what I have in trackers) but I can completely see why others may want to avoid all active management altogether.

  • 17 Financial Samurai July 10, 2010, 3:36 am

    @ Old Pro and Monevator – Inflation is a SCARE TACTIC used by the finance community to get you to invest in assets you might otherwise not invest in due to your risk tolerance.

    Don’t be fooled!
    .-= Financial Samurai on: Even Lebron Doesn’t Listen To President Obama =-.

  • 18 The Investor July 10, 2010, 10:40 am

    @Sam – That’s one controversial statement too far for me my friend! 🙂 Am happy to be ‘fooled’ into thinking inflation is incredibly important.

    Thirty years ago the house I’m typing in cost about £10,000 – now it costs £450,000. A dozen eggs cost 23p – now they cost over £2.

    If you’re young and have no savings but are instead living on earnings that are increasing with inflation, feel free to ignore it. Also, feel free to ignore it if your doctor has just told you you’ve got 12 months left to live. If you’re investing with a time horizon of more than 5 years though, inflation is critically important.

    Agree you should never be scared into things you don’t want to invest in. If you’ve got $5 million, you can happily ignore inflation and stick in cash forever, just as long as you realize you’ll be becoming poorer every year.

  • 19 Matty July 10, 2010, 11:15 am

    Great article as always. I think part of the issues with the subject of wealth preservation right now is that what we consider safe and risky asset classes is currently in a flux, or not really valid. For instance, I can get a significantly higher bond yield for so-called emerging market economies compared to developed economies however the emerging market economies have much better fiscal standard and largely there is more risk of many western countries defaulting than many developing… Yes you have some political risks to contend with but as we see in Greece and potentially others, these risks are hard to predict anywhere past the near term.

    To me the different in bond yields between countries of new and old economies are just too much and there are some good investments to be had. Likewise emerging market funds/shares, I would say volatile yes but risky not so much as here the growth is definitely coming in the next years whereas the west is not going to grow much in comparison.

  • 20 Financial Samurai July 10, 2010, 5:06 pm

    Everybody thinks they are becoming poorer everyday due to inflation if they don’t invest.

    It’s funny, b/c I look at my bank account and assets now vs 10 years ago, and it is literally 21X greater, yet the markets have gone nowhere. Don’t be fooled by things.

    The greatest asset is yourself, your earnings potential, and your savings discipline. Everything else CANNOT BE COUNTED ON and is an illusion. Remember, “Your Net Worth Is An Illusion” so I’m sorry to spoil all’s delusions.

    Love for you to write a post and counteract my statement! I will challenge you til the end! It doesn’t mean I don’t buy assets, b/c I do such as property right now, but I don’t count on anything just me and my cash.


    .-= Financial Samurai on: Overcoming The Wall =-.

  • 21 The Investor July 10, 2010, 6:22 pm

    @Sam – I don’t need to write an article, the data is staring us all in the face. You’re basing your experience on a freak decade where equities went nowhere. It’s not normal.

    Look at this article on US historical asset class returns. See the graph on the right. Cash is the grey line. It’s a logarithmic graph, so the affects are far more pronounced than it seems – the equity line would look nearer to vertical on a normal graph!

    Finally, look down to the table showing real asset class returns (i.e. Inflation adjusted).

    Government bonds have almost kept pace with equities over two decades – and had to 2009 – an extraordinarily unusual state of affairs that cannot be repeated. Capitalism would literally break down if you got the same returns from cash as from investing in companies, because nobody would take a risk anymore.

    What’s far more likely to happen is inflation take off, bonds crash from here, and we go back to the usual state-of-affairs. Whether it will happen this year or five years I cannot say. Nobody can for sure.

    You’re basing your investing theory on the tail end of the worst decade for investing for 80 years, at the end of a 30-year bond boom/bubble. Good luck.

    None of which is to say your earnings potential isn’t of prime importance if you’re young. We agree.

    But if you’re a super-wealthy family with a time horizon longer than goldfish’s memory, your earnings potential is pretty trivial compared to the tens of millions you’ve already accrued. Which is exactly why all of them are obsessed with inflation and real assets, even if you’re not. 🙂

  • 22 OldPro July 10, 2010, 6:53 pm

    “Financial Samurai” : What has bragging about how much you’ve squirrelled away got to do to with price of eggs…? (No pun intended!)

    21x what you had in 2000…£1 to £21 or £1m to £21m, same difference… its irrelevant.

    If said I made six figures in 1986 while you were still in short trousers… would that say anything about the markets or inflation then…? Of course not… nor is your earning and saving in any way relevant to the discussion.

    Best stick to the Jackie Chan Movies and slicing Lemons old chap.

  • 23 The Investor July 10, 2010, 7:26 pm

    Oh, I don’t want the regulars fighting please! Let’s just agree that Sam is reminding us you don’t have to take on a lot of risk while you’re still saving a lot relative to your portfolio’s value, and stay as friends? 🙂

    The World Cup Final For Losers is On! The Germans or the Uruguayans?

    Hmm. Germany I think.

  • 24 FinEngr July 10, 2010, 8:50 pm

    HA – great line.
    “In fact, I doubt there’s a rich person in the world getting by with an index tracker, a savings account, and a wodge of Government bonds.”

    The RIT breakdown was incredibly interesting. I’d also imagine that the proceeds from the fund go back into the family pot?

    Curious about the “real” assets. Isn’t it just about having something with a positive book value?

    @ Financial Samurai: Probably less about inflation and more about taxes. Who cares about 2-3% if you’re getting chomped at 35%+? Sure there’s plenty in boring, tax-advantageous bonds.
    .-= FinEngr on: That Thing Rich People Do PLUS GIVEAWAY =-.

  • 25 Samurai July 10, 2010, 9:38 pm

    @ Old Pro – “Stick to Jackie Chan Movies and slicing lemons”? Did you write that right? What kind of f*cking racist remark is that?

    Since you made money in 1986, the good thing is you’re old and will die soon. Good to get rid of ignorant pricks. Now that’s sweet! 🙂

    The point I’m making is that look at each of your assets/net worth, and I’m SURE compared to 10 yrs ago, we are all much wealthier, and the stock market has very little to do with it I’m guessing.

    Go Nederlands!

  • 26 George July 10, 2010, 10:09 pm

    Good point about the trust having a NAV, like bond funds… I completely missed that and it does paint a different picture!

  • 27 OldPro July 10, 2010, 11:55 pm

    “Financial Samurai” – racist… eh? You are the one calling yourself a samurai… martial arts and all that, hence Jackie Chan. A lemon is a dud investment product. Hardly racist… a play on words!

    I would apologise for the confusion… but after what you wrote I won’t spare my breath. Got to keep every last gasp in at my age eh… wow, that was pretty stuff… do your readers know you wish them dead at 50?

    Being young is an excuse not to know about inflation… but not an excuse for everything.

  • 28 Samurai July 11, 2010, 2:03 am

    Old Pro, Jackie Chan is from Hong Kong, a samurai is from Japan. Are you really that ignorant? If you are, then I feel sorry for you.

    Don’t worry, I’m only happy you’re closer to passing than the rest of us. The world needs less racist, ignorant, and now senile people. So don’t worry about anybody middin you 🙂


  • 29 The Investor July 11, 2010, 11:30 am

    @Sam @OldPro – Can we leave it there please? I don’t think this is adding much to the discussion of inflation now, and you’ve both said your piece. Thanks! 🙂

  • 30 The Investor July 11, 2010, 11:34 am

    @FinEngr – Not sure if this is your question, but ‘real’ assets in this context means anything that is a tangible, real world commodity or ‘thing’, rather than a financial instrument. For example, houses, gold coins, forest plantations, art, etc.

  • 31 Financial Samurai July 11, 2010, 5:48 pm

    There’s one thing I won’t stand, and that’s putting up with ignorant bigots. Being old is no excuse for making racial digs and treating people poorly. Old Pro has to change with the times, because the world is not going in reverse.
    .-= Financial Samurai on: West Coast Living – Yes It Really Is That Much Better- =-.

  • 32 The Investor July 11, 2010, 6:15 pm

    @Sam – Well, I don’t think he was being racist. He was making a pun on your blog’s title. It might not have been a particularly elegant pun or portray a deep knowledge of different martial arts movies, but I don’t think it was racist. (Does anyone even know what your race is, or OldPro’s for that matter?)

    I’m tempted to delete the whole thread of comments as I don’t think anyone comes out of it very well, but I’m leaving them here out of respect for all concerned as regular commentators. But let’s just leave it now? Readers can read the different views and make their own minds up.

  • 33 FinEngr July 15, 2010, 4:18 am


    Right, I understand the real assets context but was implying that the label “real” is less defined. If a company goes belly up, liquidates everything tangible, and ends up with a positive book value – isn’t that real?

    And yes – I’m not trying to lead you to an answer, I honestly don’t know and am asking.
    .-= FinEngr on: SpotLight Investing &amp Portfolio Optimization =-.

  • 34 DreamSpark @ Thunderdrake July 15, 2010, 7:48 pm

    You make a very interesting spin on protecting and preserving wealth. In contrast to building wealth, that’s a completely different story.

    I am loathe the Rothschild banking dynasty, but if anyone can learn something from those sociopathic thugs when it comes to economics, it’s… Well… Pretty much all of us.

    GETTING rich on the other hand is almost like the polar opposite. And I would strongly advise against diversification for anyone with a low net work. One has to take risks to get there. But true wealth preservation makes sense by having wide diversification. And that’s even if one knows exactly what they’re doing. If I wind up with a large sum, that’s most likely what I would do!
    .-= DreamSpark @ Thunderdrake on: 7 Reasons why I HATE mutual funds =-.

  • 35 Barb Friedberg July 15, 2010, 9:34 pm

    Hi Monevator, Too much money equals waaaay too complicated for me. Research has shown (Chatzky, The Difference) has shown that beyond a certain level, more wealth does not equal more happiness. Although really difficult to accomplish, the simpler investing (and life) the better! Love your site and topics. Best regards, Barb
    .-= Barb Friedberg on: REDUCE STRESS Get Rid of Dysfunctional Money Behaviors – Part 2 =-.

  • 36 starmansavings June 22, 2012, 5:29 pm

    I like the article but always get concerned when people are encouraged to do what other people have done.

    The article gives the impression that the Rothschilds maintain their wealth by diversifying their assets but the reality is they maintain it, as do Bill Gate, Warren Buffet et al, by maintaining extremely successful businesses that people like us want to use. I.e. they take our money from us and use it to continually underpin their own wealth and fair play to them for doing so. The bottom line is we will not become rich by following their policy of diversity.

    Barb Friedberg makes the best sense for me. Some people are destined to be rich in a way that most cannot emulate. Therefore;

    1. Don’t aspire to be like them.
    2. Look after what is yours.
    3. Learn to love yourself in doing so.

    Thx Barb

  • 37 Steven J Fromm May 11, 2013, 4:35 pm

    This post is still quite relevant and informative. Looking back on some of the older comments gives additional insights. We in America have seen some of our athletes blow it all. Recently, basketball star Allen Iverson appears to have lost everything including his marriage. Very sad.
    Anyway, these models you throw out are very instructive. Thanks for this information and your insights.

  • 38 Tronader May 4, 2014, 2:08 am


    The idea of a strong diversification to preserve wealth during your investment life seems like a solid one, however, what the post doesn’t touch and I’m having more problem to understand is, how have the Rothschilds and other wealthy people manage to preserve their wealth across generations?

    If they do nothing, I’m guessing that ~40% would be gone from one generation to the next, wouldn’t it?

  • 39 Minikins March 21, 2015, 4:28 pm

    Mmmm, a very thoughtful post about how old money keeps old money via horizontal and vertical diversification. I wonder how that would equate to placing bets on a roulette table? That might be an interesting analogy/ image to use to explain some investment strategies and one I would probably understand better than graphs.

    Shame about the silly ding dong in the comments, completely detracted from the argument. Who needs children when you have to referee like that?!

    Actually that’s why I like rummaging through this site; it’s a haven of financial escapism in a sufficiently unspectacular subject about which I know not much. In other words, a drama-free environment (except for the odd clash of comments) within which I can genuinely learn and stretch my ever-twitchy grey cells and be truly entertained with some sophisticated wit. : )

  • 40 William September 2, 2015, 11:19 pm

    If equities and bonds and housing have been artificially pumped up by the actions of Government, Central Banks, low interest rates and QE along with increased debt (both public and private) the fallout could be horrific. In this scenario wealth preservation practised by a dynasty such as Rothschild’s could be the way forward. Thinking about it the use of a vehicle such as Vanguard Lifestrategy has benefited from the above. Just tracking a market which has been manipulated since 2008 is herd like whilst I suspect RIT is contrarian and better placed to build and preserve wealth in the long run. It appears that true market(s) no longer exist given the overt manipulation in evidence since 2008. Beginning to look as if a day of reckoning is due.

  • 41 stuart hudson February 12, 2017, 9:03 pm

    i like to invest in rare coins/stamps as an alternative investment i buy quality unused stamps @ auction and have the 1840 gb 1d black and 2d blue in mint!!!! and some of these stamps have gone up over 60% just in the last 5 years alone!!! so not a bad investment out of the many millions of these stamps printed only a very small amount of these exist now compared to how many millions of stamp collectors are out there so this only pushes these stamps higher and they are no longer printing these so they have to increase in value in the future!!!! cheers regards stewy Dalby city, Queensland 4405:)

  • 42 Mal52 March 19, 2018, 1:18 pm

    Very interesting site and discussion. Inflation is highly important. As for RIT’s strategy, their current annual return is less than 2% for all their wealth preserving diversification. UK inflation is running at 3%. I know that we should look at long term results etc, but just a thought. Beating the index, yes. Beating inflation? Not at the moment, M

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