Tailoring your portfolio to find the perfect fit

  • Investment management
  • 2 minute read
Every investor has different goals. The key to success is choosing products that suit your individual needs.

All investors understand the importance of diversification – that you need to spread your bets rather than holding all your eggs in one basket. But how do you diversify effectively, given your individual needs and circumstances, which are bound to be very different to those of other investors?

“We think many investors need a discretionary managed portfolio,” says Nancy Curtin, Chief Investment Officer of Close Brothers Asset Management. “Rather than simply investing alongside other investors, you need an approach designed to meet your financial planning needs.”

In practice, investment managers rely on the same building blocks to help investors realise their ambitions. Shares provide the potential for long-term growth, while bonds tend to offer more modest returns but less volatility. Alternative assets such as commodities, infrastructure and property provide uncorrelated returns – that is, performance that doesn’t tend to move in line with returns from other investments –and therefore provide some protection.

However, in a more bespoke portfolio, the manager chooses the mix that best reflects the investor’s personal circumstances. For example, it makes sense for someone looking for strong performance over the very long-term, perhaps for retirement, to hold more shares than someone who can’t afford too much short-term volatility.

The final mix of assets can be tailored specifically to attitudes and aspirations. Some investors have strong ethical principles about how their money is used – they may wish to avoid the shares of arms manufacturers or tobacco companies, say. Others may have less tolerance for short-term losses. “It’s important to look at diversification in the widest sense,” says Curtin. “It’s not just a question of holding different investments; you need a tailored portfolio that balances risk and reward.”

This involves holding a spread of assets that deliver over different time horizons. It means not tying up all your money in investments that can’t be accessed at short notice and organising your money tax-efficiently, making good use of allowances such as individual savings accounts (ISAs). A tailored portfolio will deliver these benefits to reflect your specific needs. And over time, such a portfolio is much more likely to achieve your goals.

The value of investments can fall as well as rise and you may get back less than you invested.

Get in touch today to start planning your future or to discuss your long-term financial priorities.

*First seen in The Times 3 December 2017.


Before you invest, make sure you feel comfortable with the level of risk you take. Investments aim to grow your money, but they might lose it too.