Boys versus girls: where to invest your pension

Last week’s look at Ms. Monopoly got me thinking… do the investment choices made by my work colleagues differ between gender? Working in financial services we’re all up for a bit of research when it comes to our financial future, so reviewed my own pension, interviewed all the millennials in the office and took a closer look at the similarities and differences. First up, the boys…

“Retirement is like a long vacation in Las Vegas. The goal is to enjoy it the fullest, but not so fully that you run out of money.” — Jonathan Clements, Founder and editor at HumbleDollar

Chris, 36

Chris, a border-line millennial (as his generation X colleagues keep reminding him), has a portfolio of extremes. On the one hand, he has holdings in AXA Framlington Global Technology, Goldman Sachs India Equity Portfolio and Baillie Gifford Japan Trust among other high-risk options.

But on the other hand he also has Merian Gold & Silver and Janus Henderson UK Absolute Return to help him sleep at night. The Merian fund, he said: “Is hedge against everything else falling and, if gold does well – silver will follow to an even greater extent.”

James, 32

James had the most number of funds in his pension – either a reflection of the amount of time he’s had to add to his pension or his position on the research team. Who knows, but he did have a good mix of value and growth in his portfolio.

Spoiler alert, James and I actually had a fund in common – Stewart Investors Asia Pacific Leaders – which James referred to as a ‘steady-eddy’ due to the fund’s long term consistency delivering returns. Another fund that caught my eye was newly Elite Rated Liontrust UK Micro-Cap, which James invested in back at launch in 2016. The fund is run by a team of four using a process designed by Another Cross, the manager behind Liontrust UK Smaller Companies, another fund James rates highly.

These funds were balanced with Schroder Recovery, a deep value fund run by experienced managers Nick Kirrage and Kevin Murphy.

Ryan, 29

One of the first funds added to Ryan’s pension and that he continues to hold, was JOHCM UK Dynamic. He likes the fund for its strong manager Alex Savvides who launched the fund back in 2008.

Despite sharing a job title, Ryan and James held only one fund in common: Fidelity Asia Pacific Opportunities. Both chose the fund for its growth opportunities and high conviction approach. Being young, both James and Ryan can afford to take a long-term approach to investing in Asia when it comes to their pensions.

One final pick from Ryan’s portfolio was Baillie Gifford Global Discovery. While extremely popular amongst FundCalibre’s millennial viewers, he was the only millennial in the office to hold it, which I thought was extremely interesting. While the fund is perhaps not for the faint-hearted, investors have, so far, been richly rewarded. Ryan particularly likes that the fund invests in small disruptor companies with a focus on technology.

Peter, 28

When I asked Peter about his pension he described it as “really punchy with a very long term view.” Understandable at only 28, so what makes it so aggressive?

Peter started his pension investing in smaller companies fund and still holds one today: Marlborough UK Micro-Cap Growth. He’s recently increased his pension contributions and updated his portfolio – allocating half of his capital to emerging markets, Asia and biotechnology. The funds he picked included First State Greater China Growth, Baillie Gifford Japanese Smaller Companies and ASI Latin American Equity.

My initial observations

The guys have a lot of different holdings compared to the girls but more on that next week. Sign up to our newsletter to find out where the girls in the office, myself included, are investing their pension…

The views of the author and any people interviewed are their own and do not constitute financial advice. However the knowledge that professional analysts have analysed a fund or trust in depth before assigning them a rating can be a valuable additional filter for anyone looking to make their own decisions. Before you make any investment decision make sure you’re comfortable and fully understand the risks. If you invest in fund or trust make sure you know what specific risks they’re exposed to. Past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns. Remember all investments can fall in value as well as rise, so you could make a loss.