There’s no shortage of investment suggestions out there; it’s the filtering of these recommendations according to your own needs and requirements that’s the difficult part.
But since most people with pension funds are still nursing losses of at least 20 to 30 per cent after the financial collapse (2007 to March 2009), some good investment newsletters should be consulted before you do anything.
I highly recommend the use of a good fee-based investment advisor for back-up assistance.
This is also a way to lower fees and charges if you buy unitised investment funds and pension funds.
However, don’t leave all the research and recommendations to this person: let 2010 be the year that you finally take full personal responsibility for every investment decision you make.
So who are the financial gurus that I mentioned in the first part of this article (a fortnight ago) recommending that you do with your money this year?
Eddie Hobbs has listed a number of investment sectors and individual shares that he believes are worth holding for the medium to long term.
Like all good advisors (none of whom support share speculating, by the way) he subscribes to the conditions I mentioned above.
If you are a cautious person, or retired with limited resources and living on a fixed income, clearly stock market shares are not for you and you need to consider less volatile options like bonds or cash funds, annuities, etc.
He endorses the buying of some precious metals like gold and silver (say, five to 10 per cent of your total fund) for anyone who is mainly holding cash on deposit.
Hobbs suggests buying a low cost gold ETF, unitised fund or in the form of a Perth Mint gold certificate. The point of holding precious metals is to protect yourself against the continuous devaluing of paper currencies like the dollar, pound and Euro.
As of mid-January, an ounce of gold over the past 12 months has increased by 37.89 per cent as valued in US dollars; by 25.49 per cent valued in euro and by 23.17 per cent in UK pounds.
Over five years gold has increased in value in each of these three currencies by 166.67 per cent, 142.85 per cent and 208.75 per cent respectively.
Eddie Hobbs also recommends that people with large cash sums protect themselves by buying some inflation-linked euro-bonds – i.e. Standard Life’s fund.
Other funds that he believes are worth holding for the medium to long term are JP Morgan’ s Global Natural Resources Fund, the Invesco Energy Fund and the KBC Alternative Energy Fund and Water Fund.
Another fee-based advisor, Vincent Digby of Impartial.ie believes that investors need to be wary of the latest stock market rally and doubts if there will be a V-shaped recovery. Developed, western markets could fall in value in 2010, he warns.
Digby is only expecting ‘modest’ inflation in the next few years and is not bullish on precious metals.
However, he thinks investors should be aiming for a realistic, steady return from their portfolio of five to six per cent per annum but you can only do this with a combination of assets and funds.
These include some cash, some corporate and inflation-linked bonds, ‘soft guaranteed funds’ like Friends Firsts’ Protected Equity Plus 2 fund which includes a floor beneath which your funds will not be allowed to go.
It may also include exposure to developing or emerging markets in the Far East (like China and India) and Brazil as well funds or shares in commodity rich countries like Canada and Australia.
Digby believes that people who are interested in taking a more active part in their portfolios should consider investing in a diversified group of low cost, passive ETFs.
On the property front he thinks there is still good value in certain commercial property funds in London where the Olympic Games are being staged in 2012.
Finally, Mark Westlake of wealth managers GoldCore.com (I must declare an interest here: he is my pension fund advisor) offers a series of default investment strategies.
These include cautious and balanced ones that aim to reduce investment risk and volatility by creating a broad selection of asset sectors such as equities, bonds, property, commodities, via the purchase of low cost ETFs.
The portfolio is reviewed annually in conjunction with the client and adjusted to maintain a steady growth or income stream in line with client expectations.
The following are some of the investment/financial courses, newsletters and websites that I have or continue to subscribe to and that you might consider as well.
* The investRcentre.com one day seminar and weekly newsletter
* www.eddiehobbs.com (F)
* www.dailyreckoning.co.uk (F)
* The Fleet Street Letter and The Right Side (www.fleetstreetinvest.co.uk)
* Capital & Crisis (www.agorafinancial.com)
* The Growth Stock Wire, S & A Resource and Daily Wealth (www.Stansberryresearch.com)
* www.goldcore.com (F)
* MoneyWeek magazine
* www.lovemoney.com (F)
* (F) indicates a free service.
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