Easy tracker fund portfolios for 2019 and beyond

Published by Edmund Greaves on 01 February 2017.
Last updated on 23 January 2019

Ready-made and cheap portfolios for beginner investors

Would you like to create your own investment portfolio using simple and cheap tracker funds? We’ve done the legwork for you, with our pick of five different scenarios depending on where you start from and your appetite for risk

Last year was tricky for investors, with many investments falling in value. However, even in times of turbulence, an affordable tracker portfolio remains an excellent solution for beginner investors. It allows you to spread your risk, buy when funds are cheap and ensure you keep as much of your returns as possible.

Here’s our guide to how to get started with your brand-new portfolio.

What are tracker funds?

Tracker funds are a highly affordable way to invest in stock markets. The funds are designed to track the performance of major stock market indices, such as the FTSE 100 or S&P 500 indices, as closely as possible.

As managers of the fund are not paid to handpick shares to try to beat the index, management costs, expressed as the ‘ongoing charges figures’ (OCF), typically remain very low.

Focusing on the cost of your investments is critical. You will usually face two charges: the OCF and the platform fee. While the markets you invest in are critical, so is checking the costs of any funds or investment platforms you are considering. Combined, these costs can put a significant dampener on the growth of your money. Find out more at Moneywise.co.uk/best-platforms.

How we pick the funds

Moneywise maintains a select list of 50 top-grade investment funds that work well for beginners, or those who want to consistently have a selection of best-in-class investments in their portfolio. Find out more at Moneywise.co.uk/moneywise-first-50-funds.

To choose affordable tracker funds we work in conjunction with our parent company interactive investor’s ’Super 60’ list of top-rated funds, and our sister brand Money Observer’s Rated Funds list.

We choose the funds that are the most cost-effective and diversify the portfolios between equities and bonds to provide a balanced growth strategy.

Costs can greatly dampen the growth of your money

How to use this guide

This is the Moneywise Easy Tracker Portfolio guide’s third year. If you used the portfolios as a guide for your own investment pot from the beginning and tracked the changes in 2018, check the table above to see what you need to do in order to rebalance your portfolio to its original weighting.

If you are new to investing and are looking for help to get started, you can buy the funds we recommend and balance the portfolio you pick based on the percentages we outline below.

The Moneywise Easy Tracker Portfolios

Moneywise has selected these investment portfolios based on five different scenarios. However, if you are unsure which scenario is relevant to you, or your situation is more complex, it is worth speaking to an independent financial adviser for more detailed personalised advice.

INSTANT PORTFOLIO FUNDS

For those who don’t want to pick their own portfolios, investment firm Vanguard offers ready-made investment portfolio funds.

These funds pick from a selection of other funds diversified as if they were an entire portfolio. As such, you can just buy one fund and stick with it.

100% – Vanguard LifeStrategy 100% Equity A Acc

This fund is a globally diverse tracker comprised of other investment funds. It is a ready-made portfolio designed for investors looking at a long-term plan for growth over more than 10 years. While holding 100% equities in your portfolio is riskier, especially in volatile markets, in the long term it should yield much stronger growth as markets rise.

100% – Vanguard LifeStrategy 60% Equity A Acc. 40% bonds

This fund is a more conservative option comprising of 60% stocks and 40% bonds. It is a whole-portfolio solution for someone with a shorter investment horizon, but still looking for solid medium-term growth.

HOME AND AWAY SHARES

A shares-only portfolio for someone with a high appetite for risk or a long investment timeframe of 10 years or more and £1,000 to invest.

30% – NEW Fidelity Index UK P

Fidelity Index UK P tracks the FTSE All-Share Index. It will mirror the performance of all the stock market-listed companies in the UK and is very good value charging just 0.06% OCF. We have replaced the L&G UK Index Trust as it has a slightly higher OCF of 0.10% for the same performance.

OCF – 0.06%

70% – Vanguard FTSE Developed World ex-UK Equity Index A Acc

This fund tracks the performance of stock markets in the developed world, excluding the UK.

OCF – 0.15%

“Enhance your returns by regularly balancing your portfolio”

HOME AND AWAY SHARES+

This portfolio is for someone with a larger portfolio of £50,000-plus, who has time to keep track of more funds or who has some experience of investing.

25% NEW Fidelity Index UK P

(as in the previous portfolio, it replaces L&G UK Index Trust)

60% Vanguard FTSE Developed World ex-UK Equity Index A Acc

10% Vanguard Global Small-Cap Index Acc GBP

5% Fidelity Index Emerging Markets P Acc

This fund tracks the performance of smaller companies around the world, focusing on major economies. Smaller companies are often a good diversifier in a wider portfolio but can be subject to more volatile performance.

OCF – 0.2%

SIMPLE TWO ASSETS

This portfolio is suitable for a medium-risk, long-term investor with five years or more to invest,or for someone who is nearing retirement or is already retired who has £1,000 to invest.

60% Fidelity Index World Fund P

This fund tracks the performance on the MSCI World Index comprising a mixture of stocks from major global economies and is very well diversified.

OCF – 0.12%

40% Vanguard UK Gov Bond Index Acc

This bond fund is designed to achieve lower-risk diversity for a portfolio alongside equities. Bonds are typically much safer investments than stocks, and government bonds are the safest. This fund tracks the performance of a market-weighted bond index of UK government sterling fixed-income securities.

SIMPLE TWO ASSETS+

The portfolio would suit a medium-risk, long-term investor with a larger portfolio of £50,000-plus or a more confident investor.

50% Fidelity Index World Fund W Acc

10% Vanguard Global Small-Cap Index Fund Acc

30% Vanguard UK Government Bond Index Acc

10% L&G Short Dated Sterling Corporate Bond Index Acc

This fund tracks the total return of a sterling corporate bond index and is mostly comprised of short-dated bonds with maturities from one to five years. It provides a relatively stable return compared to equities.

Tough year for investors

The Moneywise easy-tracker portfolios are now in their third year. Market conditions mean our portfolios are down compared to their growth in 2017. However, this is a natural part of the investment cycle. In all cases, the investments are still up if you started with the portfolios in 2017.

Our portfolios are designed for a five- to 10-year (and beyond) plan. If you are likely to need the cash within this horizon, then you might want to consider alternative savings products instead.

While past performance cannot be used to indicate the future, over the long term stock market indices do tend to grow as the global economy grows. This means that even if your tracker fund investments are in the red now, they are likely to return to profitability.

Ultimately, investing in the stock market is a long-term pursuit, not a short-term way to make money. For more, see our online guide to preparing your portfolio against a bear market at Moneywise.co.uk/prepare-bear-market.

Moira O’Neill, head of personal finance at interactive investor (Moneywise’s parent company) and former Moneywise editor, says: “Spreading your investments between different assets when building your portfolio is a sensible strategy and will often serve you well, but it’s equally important to monitor your portfolio once it’s set up.

“‘Rebalancing’ means selling some of the assets that have grown in value to buy more of those that have fallen in value. Often investors don’t like selling their winners to buy the losers, but it does make sense.  Over time, an investment portfolio can become unbalanced due to the ups and downs of its constituent investments. If your riskier assets have performed well, they could make up a larger portion of your investments, which means overall your risk is higher.

“It is critical, therefore, to periodically review the balance of your holdings to ensure they continue to meet your needs and match your attitude to risk. Furthermore, by regularly rebalancing your portfolio – even if it’s only once a year – you could significantly enhance your returns.

“However, particularly if you have a small portfolio, you should watch out for any dealing fees that may be incurred when buying and selling investments to make sure they don’t wipe out any potential gains from this strategy.

“Some platforms will allow you to switch between funds without cost (though you may incur costs in other ways), while other platforms have trading fees. On larger amounts of £2,000 or more, trading fees have less impact, but be careful if you are dealing in small amounts.”

How to rebalance your easy tracker portfolio

Home and away shares for £1,000 portfolio

Fund name % of portfolio January 2018 Amount invested January 2018 Ongoing charging figure % Yield % One-year return % Value January 2019 % of portfolio Jan 2019 Actions
L&G UK Index Trust I Acc 30% £338.40 0.10% 4.10% -9.80% £305.57 0% Sell £305.57
Fidelity Index UK P 0% £0.00 0.06% 2.95% -9.50% £0.00 29% Buy £305.57
Vanguard FTSE Developed World ex-Uk Equity Index A 70% £786.80 0.15% 1.55% -3.30% £760.10 71% No action
Total portfolio 100% £1,125.20       £1,065.67 100%  

Home and away shares+ for £50,000 portfolio

Fund name % of portfolio January 2018 Amount invested January 2018 Ongoing charging figure % Yield % One-year return % Value January 2019 % of portfolio Jan 2019 Actions
L&G UK Index Trust I Acc 25% £14,100.00 0.10% 4.10% -9.80% £12,718.00 0% Sell £12,718
Fidelity Index UK P 0% £0.00 0.06% 2.95% -9.50% £0.00 24% Buy £13,472
Vanguard FTSE Developed World ex-Uk Equity Index A 60% £33,720.00 0.15% 1.55% -3.30% £32,607 61% Sell £754
Vanguard Global Small-Cap Index Acc GBP 10% £5,550 0.38% 1.60% -9.40% £5,028 10% No action
Fidelity Index Emerging Markets P Acc 5% £3,087.50 0.20% 2.11% -11.40% £2,735.50 5% No action
Total portfolio 100% £56,457.50       £53,088.50 100%  

Simple two assets for £1,000 portfolio

Fund name % of portfolio January 2018 Amount invested January 2018 Ongoing charging figure % Yield % One-year return % Value January 2019 % of portfolio Jan 2019 Actions
Fidelity Index World P 62% £670.80 0.12% 1.87% -3.40% £647.95 61% No action
Vanguard UK Gov Bond Index Acc 38% £407.20 0.15% 1.32% 1.50% £413.31 39% No action
Total portfolio 100% £1,078       £1,061.26 100%  

Simple two assets+ for £50,000

Fund name % of portfolio January 2018 Amount invested January 2018 Ongoing charging figure % Yield % One-year return % Value January 2019 % of portfolio Jan 2019 Actions
Fidelity Index World P 52% £27,950.00 0.12% 1.87% -3.40% £26,999.70 51% Sell £526.32
Vanguard Global Small-Cap Index Acc GBP 10% £5,550 0.38% 1.60% -9.40% £5,028 10% Buy £526.32
Vanguard UK Government Bond Index Acc 28% £15,270.00 0.15% 1.32% 1.50% £15,499.04 29%  
L&G Short Dated Sterling Corporate Bond Index 10% £5,110 0.14% 2.30% -0.10% £5,104.89 10%  
Total portfolio 100% £53,880       £52,631.63 100%  

*Note, this is how your portfolio’s % weighting will have changed due to 12-month performance of markets. Buying and selling actions detailed to the right will rebalance your portfolio to weightings listed in the article. Values are approximation of percentage holdings and may vary slightly due to rounding. Source: All figures taken from FE Trustnet, 4 January 2019

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Leave a comment

I need advice on investing

I need advice on investing 30000

" If you are at all worried

" If you are at all worried about making a selection or feel that you don’t have enough expertise to know if these portfolios are right for you, please contact an independent financial adviser."

Am I right in presuming that

Am I right in presuming that high performance mean that these funds were at the risky end of the spectrum? I'm looking (as I'm at pensionable age) for lower risk trackers - is there somewhere where I can see what funds do well (compared to other funds with similar spreads of risk - like for like ). As you can tell, I'm a novice. I have no idea if a FTSE 100 tracker is considered relatively low/mid-/high risk, compared to other FTSE trackers, or international trackers or what. I trying to avoid too much information and to find where I can put a portion of my investments in moderate risk for 5-10 years

Laurence, you can view

Laurence, you can view performance of all funds using Moneywise's comparison tool at https://www.moneywise.co.uk/compare-funds-and-investment-trusts. 

A FTSE 100 tracker is considered high risk as it is entirely invested in 'equities', a word for company shares, the highest risk type of investment.

To lower your risk you need to diversify your equity exposure by adding bonds. These perform differently to equities at different times in the market cycle so you should have a less bumpy ride.

Vanguard LifeStrategy 20% Equity is a low-risk fund that provides some upside potential from investing while limiting the risk of losing your money. It has 20% exposure to globally diversified equities with the remainder in globally diversified government and corporate bonds. The underlying portfolios are wholly made up of Vanguard index tracker funds. For a bit more risk, use Vanguard's 40% equity version.

what are the charges for

what are the charges for investing

I'm interested in starting a

I'm interested in starting a investment portfolio but i'm not sure how to get started with it can you advise me what my first step would be.

Hi Eddie,

Hi Eddie,

Thank you for your comment. Have a read of our guide to investment platforms for beginners:
https://www.moneywise.co.uk/investing/first-time-investor/our-guide-to-the-best-investment-platforms-beginners

On it you'll find a run-down of the best providers of Stocks and Shares Isas depending on your circumstances.

Hope that helps!

Regards,

Moneywise Edmund

Hi everyone

Hi everyone

After reading the Bogglhead Guide and a set of articles on monevator.com I wanted some of your advice please. Apologies for what are most likely extremely trivial and basic questions to follow.

23 years old

Desired asset allocation
- 70 equities - 15% Domestic, 45% World, 10% Emerging Markets
- 30% bonds

Lump Sum investment - 10k
Monthly Investment - £1700

Through comparison wesbites, iWeb seems to work out as the cheapest ISA platform.

In terms of specific funds for the desired asset allocation here is what I have narrowed it down to:

Domestic Equities - 15%
- iShares UK Equity Index Fund D (GB00B7C44X99) OCF 0.06%
- Fidelity Index UK Fund P (GB00BJS8SF95) OCF 0.06%
-Vanguard FTSE UK All Share Index Trust (GB00B3X7QG63) OCF 0.08%

International ex-UK equity - 45%
- L&G International Index Trust I (GB00B2Q6HW61) OCF 0.13%
- Vanguard FTSE Dev World ex-UK Equity Index (GB00B59G4Q73) OCF 0.15%

Emerging Markets Equity - 10%
- Fidelity Index Emerging Markets Fund P (GB00BHZK8D21) OCF 0.21%

UK Govt Bonds - Intermediate - 30%
- Lyxor FTSE Actuaries UK Gilts (GILS) OCF 0.07%
- Vanguard UK Government Bond ETF (VGOV) OCF 0.12%

Questions
1. Most of the above are index funds - I have read that for UK investors ETF equivalents are cheaper? Could this be elaborated please with regards to the pros and cons of the index funds vs ETF's in this case?

2. Is there anything which sounds alarm bells or you think could be changed/improved?

3. iWeb states a transaction fee of 0.5% and a dealing commission of £5 - are these applicable on a monthly basis where each fund is bought?