Multi-asset investing enters a new phase

  • The importance of diversification
  • The uses of multi-asset funds
  • What is driving multi-asset funds performance
Multi-asset investing enters a new phase


Multi-asset investing goes to the heart of building up one's portfolio.

Whichever way an investor wants to go about it, a diversified mix of portfolios is meant to stand an investor in good stead over the long-term; historically different asset classes did not correlate with each other, so that bad performance in one could be mitigated by good performance in another.

Since the financial crisis, some of this portfolio theory has not always borne out to be true. At the peak of the crisis, assets across the board fared badly because of fears of financial Armageddon.

More recently, we have witnessed volatility in the two main asset classes this year - bonds and equities, as markets responded to a variety of shocks: the falling oil price, falls in the Chinese stock market, the Brexit vote and more QE.

So these challenges necessarily make fund managers' tasks more challenging - they have to work harder to find the best returns. The FTSE All-Share has substantially outperformed all four multi-asset fund categories, although the fund managers did manage to mitigate some of the worst falls during the year.

Despite this, the multi-asset fund sector remains an easier sell, simply because of what it offers – a basket of assets that mean one's investments are not wholly concentrated in one region or asset class.

As a consequence, the fund houses are still keen on launching new funds to the investor community to make the most of the potential for rookie enthusiasm. But as with all active management, pressure is coming from investors over the level of fees, and whether active managers are making enough of a return to prevent investors from turning to the passive sector.

Melanie Tringham is features editor of Financial Adviser

In this special report


Please answer the six multiple choice questions below in order to bank your CPD. Multiple attempts are available until all questions are correctly answered.

  1. According to Talib Sheikh, which of the following is NOT a driver of structural challenge creating lower returns?

  2. According to Talib Sheikh, what are the best ways of diversifying away from less attractive traditional asset classes?

  3. According to Eric Lonergan, what has contributed to the strong performance of bonds?

  4. According to Barbara Wall, what is the average ongoing charge for a multi-asset vehicle in the UK?

  5. According to Anthony Gilham, increasing longevity reassures people that they have enough to live on, true or false?

  6. According to Barbara Wall, what is the next frontier in multi-asset investing?

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  • The importance of diversification
  • The uses of multi-asset funds
  • What is driving multi-asset funds performance

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