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Written by: Juliet Schooling Latter
29/06/2021
My husband hates lists – especially when they are presented to him in a passive-aggressive manner on a Saturday morning. I love them. I make them every day and although I don’t think I’ve ever managed to strike off every action, they do make my life easier, and I forget fewer things.

Take kids to school – tick. Write article – tick. Put the washing out – tick. Record podcast – tick. Attend meeting – tick. Pick up kids – tick. Do dinner – tick… The list generally goes on and seems to have got longer since I started working from home.

Between my family, work, volunteering and trying to keep my sanity by seeing friends (when allowed), life is busy. There is a constant stream of things to do and decisions to make.

So, if someone offers to take a task off my to-do-list or I find a faster or easier way to complete something, I jump at the opportunity.

A friend can pick up the kids tomorrow afternoon? Yes please! My box of HelloFresh has been delivered? Hoorah! My neighbour has put my bins out? How kind! The Ocado delivery has arrived? Thank goodness!

Letting someone else take care of your future finances

When it comes to my investments, the same is true. For years now I’ve taken saving for my future off my to-do list and instead have a monthly direct debit into my ISA and my pension. I don’t have to think about putting money away anymore – it’s done automatically for me.

The only decision I have to make is where to invest – and even then I can multi-task as its also my job as a fund researcher.

For other people wanting to have investment decisions taken off their to-do list, there is of course an option: a multi-asset fund. As the name suggests, they invest in lots of different asset classes and a professional investor will move the allocations around for you, depending on what is going on in the world and the outlook for different investments.

Here are five you could consider:

TB Wise Multi-Asset Growth

This fund sits in the IA Flexible sector, which means the manager is afforded a significant degree of discretion over asset allocation and is allowed to invest up to 100% in equities if he thinks that’s where the best opportunities lie. The manager invests in around 30-60 underlying funds and investment trusts, with a preference for out-of-favour areas. The portfolio currently has 64% in equities, 4% in fixed interest, 5% in cash and 27% in ‘alternatives’ like gold, silver and infrastructure.

M&G Episode Income

The name “Episode” in this fund refers to those periods of time when investors’ emotions cause them to act irrationally. The manager uses behavioural finance to find pockets of value and invest against the herd, rather than following it. Investing directly into stocks and bonds gives greater liquidity within the fund, as well as keeping costs down. Property exposure is gained by investing in property funds. The portfolio is currently made up of 40% equities, 42% government bonds, 13% corporate bonds, 3% in property and 2% cash.

BMO MM Navigator Distribution

This fund aims to deliver investors a high and reliable income, with the potential for capital growth. It is a multi-manager, multi-asset portfolio, which generally contains between 25 and 35 individual funds, balancing diversification and risk. Income is distributed on a quarterly basis and the managers’ ability to find less well-known funds and then blend them together makes this a very interesting option for income seekers. It currently has 29% in fixed income, 14% in specialist areas, 3% in non-correlated assets and 54% in equities.

Close Managed Income

Close Managed Income sits on the conservative side of the risk spectrum, with preservation of capital a strong focus alongside income generation. When selecting funds, the managers want to see firms attract and maintain talent, have a clearly defined process that management have stuck to over time, and which has proven to be robust and a repeatable track record of adding value over the long term. Assets are currently split 35% fixed interest, 15% alternatives, 48% equities and 2% cash.

VT Momentum Diversified income

The managers of this fund have a value-focused style and will invest across all asset classes including UK and overseas equities, fixed income, property and specialist investments held through third-party funds. Save for the regulatory requirements, this is a go-anywhere portfolio without any constraints. Using both alternative and traditional asset classes enables the team to achieve true diversification and, as this fund distributes a monthly income, it should appeal to income-seeking investors.

Juliet Schooling Latter is research director at FundCalibre

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