Comments in Sunday Telegraph article, 19th November 2017

Alasdair Walker of Hunter Aitkenhead & Walker, a financial planning firm, said:

What an exciting portfolio! The investor is clearly an expert and enjoys actively trading funds, which is not surprising considering his past employment.

The past five years have seen bull markets in most asset types, and taking more risk has generally been rewarded across the board, but one question I would ask in relation to this portfolio is: “What if the tech sector had major issues?”

This would have an impact not only on those funds explicitly focused on technology, such as Pictet Robotics and Polar Capital Global Technology, but also on BlackRock US Dynamic, whose top three holdings are Apple, Alphabet (Google’s parent company) and Microsoft, which account for more than 10pc of the fund.

Another area to explore is whether the costs of active management of the funds are being suitably rewarded. Taking BlackRock US Dynamic, for example, and comparing against a broad US index tracker such as Vanguard US Equity Index, an investor would have had very similar returns after charges, but would have paid 0.1pc a year rather than around 0.9pc.

More fundamentally, a “DIY” investor may not have the time, inclination or expertise to manage this type of complex investment strategy.

For those who want an easier time, a simple and low-cost portfolio with 60pc in a global stock market index tracker and 40pc in a global bond tracker (I’d recommend the Vanguard LifeStrategy 60pc fund) would have produced an annualised return of 9.4pc over the past three years and 10.2pc over five years, with little need for input from the investor and with costs of less than 0.25pc a year.

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