Investment Income CPD Course  

Income strategies for the way in and the way out

This article is part of
How to use multi-asset portfolios for income generation

 Income strategies for the way in and the way out

Investing for income during one's working life and drawing out an income through one's retirement require different approaches. 

While multi-asset funds are used successfully for both the accumulation and the decumulation stages of a client's life, there are potential pitfalls along the way, not least the fact the individual's own lifestyle might endure the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune both pre- and post-retirement.

Therefore, it is important to understand how advisers, discretionary fund managers (DFMs) and fund managers can create a sustainable multi-asset investment strategy that works both for a client when accumulating their pension, and spending that money in their retirement.

Joe Roxborough, chartered financial planner for Ascot Lloyd, comments: "When you are accumulating your assets, the ebb and flow can be ignored, and often be seen as an opportunity to double down while prices are low.

"When taking an income, however, you will likely have fewer options, so being able to take profits from something that has held up during a market drop - rather than being forced to sell low - is the aim of the game."

So, how can advisers/managers create a sustainable MA fund for accumulation and decumulation?

All about the client

For Bob Szechenyi, investment director for Rathbones, it all comes down to the client. He explains: "This essentially comes back to a holistic fact-find of investors’ objectives and developing a strategy to meet those individual requirements.

"The benefit of a truly diversified multi-asset portfolio is that in times of market distress, all of the assets are working in different directions and hence providing an element of protection on the downside.

"Income is, of course, an important part of these strategies and the sources of this should also be diversified, for example via a combination of equities, through quality cash-generative companies, fixed income and property vehicles."

Mr Szechenyi says the team wants to ensure what it offers is long-term and sustainable, and from a diversified source, with differing geographical and/or currency exposures.

"Creating these strategies is always about knowing your client, understanding their circumstances and ensuring their risk appetite and the strategies are the right fit," he adds.

Whether the multi-asset portfolio is being managed for someone at the start of their accumulation journey or towards the beginning of their decumulation period, Mr Szechenyi is adamant that the portfolio needs to be robust.

Different approaches

While the investment managers are keen to ensure the multi-asset portfolio provides the right sort of return on the way in and works for the way out, even with income being taken from the fund, advisers are keen to stress that there should be slightly different strategies employed - depending on the individual client - to make sure the fund lasts as long as it is needed to last.