How do I efficiently rebalance my ISA holdings?

10 February 2021

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Question by David

My wife and I have multiple funds inside ISAs on different platforms.

Mostly from best buy lists.

I have just retired and want to re-balance our holdings. Is there any efficient way to see how our combined holdings are allocated? I recognise that I will need to input to some kind of spreadsheet but want one that will be user friendly.

Following from this: Are there any references that I can view regarding geographical/asset allocation? Until now, with time on our side we have been in the Highly Adventurous category but I want to move to a less volatile more balanced position.

I feel we have become overweight in China and USA due to positive performances. Therefore I would like to refer to some template of asset allocations - if such a thing exists.

I would welcome any ideas.


Answered by Gregory Deer

Hi David, there are many good points raised within your question. For someone in your situation I believe formal financial advice would be very valuable.

An adviser will be able to help you with your questions below in a lot more detail and also ensure the investments are suitable to meet your objectives in retirement. An adviser could also give you a greater understanding of what constitutes a well-balanced and diversified portfolio.

I will also answer your questions initially and then come to the benefits you may see in getting financial advice:

- Trustnet has a free tool that can provide information on geographical and asset allocation of your portfolio. Alternatively creating a spreadsheet is possible.

- Asset allocation is effectively the split between growth and defensive assets. Growth assets would include equities (shares) and global commercial property and defensive assets includes bonds. It should be noted some bonds (lower credit quality, longer duration) are not as defensive as others. You could analyse the underlying allocation to growth and defensive assets using the fund factsheets for where you are invested. These may be available on the platform you invest with or also on Trustnet.

- With geographical allocation, it may be useful to look at global indices or benchmarks to compare your funds to. The MSCI World All Countries World Index is a well known global equity benchmark; a high quality government bond allocation may use an index such as the FTSE World Government Bond Index for reference in the defensive allocation.

As well as the additional peace of mind and the ability to further your knowledge an adviser could provide, it could bring actual monetary benefits such as:

-Multiple platforms - diversification of investments is not achieved through using multiple platforms. Using a single platform with a diverse portfolio of investments could provide cost efficiencies and an independent adviser’s research could help you find the right solution for you.
-Maximising your tax allowances. Drawing an income tax efficiently in retirement is a key consideration for advisers who provide planning in this area.
-‘Best Buy’ lists are marketing tools. They often include funds that have big marketing budgets (and therefore higher fees) or rely on recent performance numbers for inclusion. Lower cost investments may be available and past performance is not an indicator of future performance – you could get lower returns.

I hope this was helpful.

Answered by

Gregory Deer

Senior Financial Planner

I help people align their time and money to their values. I believe financial planning and a further understanding of money can enhance everybody’s life, not only by maximising monetary wealth but also through improved personal wellbeing. My goal is to positively impact as many lives as possible.