Multi asset funds: the solution for first time investors

Deciding how and where to invest your money is a big decision. The good news is you’ve got a lot of options. But that’s also the bad news, because too much choice can be overwhelming. As with all new things, it’s best to ease into investing slowly and take it step by step.

“Diversification is protection against ignorance, but if you don’t feel ignorant, the need for it goes down drastically.” — Warren Buffett

Stocks and bonds, a refresher

Stocks are shares in a company. Companies sell shares to investors to raise money. When a company does well, share prices go up and so do your profits. However, if the company does badly the price of its shares can also fall, and you can lose money. This is why we say equity investments are risky.

Bonds are basically loans and can come in different forms from companies or governments. In return for loaning money to a company or a government in this way, you will receive a regular interest payment over the selected time frame of the bond issuance, and then get your original money back when the bond ‘matures’. This money-back “guarantee” is why bonds are generally considered less risky than equities, but it is important to remember that while they are less risky, you can still lose money if the company or government defaults on its loan in some way.

Read our two-minute guide to asset classes

How do I pick which is best for me?

The good thing is you don’t have to choose between one or the other. Splitting your money up across different asset classes is called diversification and we *highly* recommend it. The general idea is “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” so when one investment isn’t doing well, another may be able to balance it out and help you ride out any waves.

Of course, diversification isn’t just about splitting your money between equities and bonds. You can also diversify within these asset classes. You can own shares in companies in different countries and sectors, for example.

Read whether you can over-diversify a portfolio

That’s still too much, is there a one-size-fits-all option?

Not exactly. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all investment, but if choosing your investments directly and managing a portfolio seems like too much work, there is a shortcut: a multi-asset fund. A multi-asset fund is an easy way to have access to a range of asset classes without the hassle of rebalancing and learning the ins and out of asset allocation. A professional investor does all that for you.

Five multi-asset funds to start you off

The Jupiter Merlin range has something to offer every investor. The Income fund aims to achieve a high and rising income with some potential for capital growth and is the least risky of the three that are Elite Rated by FundCalibre. The Balanced fund aims to have a balanced approach to risk while achieving capital and income growth and typically has more allocated to equities than the former. The most flexible and riskiest of the three is the Growth fund.

The Liontrust Sustainable Future Managed fund is a great option for those looking to put their money towards doing some good. The managers of the fund use a thematic approach to identify the key structural growth trends that will shape the global economy of the future. The funds aims to deliver long-term capital growth and has an excellent track record of outperforming the wider sector over 3, 5 and 10 years*.

Those wanting the most flexibility from their fund may consider the TB Wise Multi-Asset Growth fund. The managers are afforded a significant degree of discretion over asset allocation and are allowed to invest up to 100% in equities. The fund can invest in both listed and private equity, commercial property and infrastructure funds, offering significant diversification to any portfolio.

*Source: FE fundinfo, total returns in sterling to 8 August 2022

This article is provided for information only. The views of the author and any people quoted are their own and do not constitute financial advice. The content is not intended to be a personal recommendation to buy or sell any fund or trust, or to adopt a particular investment strategy. 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. Past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns. Market and exchange-rate movements may cause the value of investments to go down as well as up. Yields will fluctuate and so income from investments is variable and not guaranteed. You may not get back the amount originally invested. Tax treatment depends of your individual circumstances and may be subject to change in the future. If you are unsure about the suitability of any investment you should seek professional advice. Whilst FundCalibre provides product information, guidance and fund research we cannot know which of these products or funds, if any, are suitable for your particular circumstances and must leave that judgement to you. Before you make any investment decision, make sure you’re comfortable and fully understand the risks. Further information can be found on Elite Rated funds by simply clicking on the name highlighted in the article.